The aim of this study was to define neurodiversity in a scientific manner so it can be researched in further studies without involving disorders defined by psychiatry or popular beliefs about neurodiversity in the autistic community. Neurodiversity was defined as the primary factor output by factor analysis of a data set of human behaviors which contains evenly distributed traits of all sorts that cover all of human diversity. Neurotypical function was defined as the second factor. The study used many different traits and a large sample to find the full extent of neurodiversity, and to provide evenly distributed traits. The result was a test with 145 scoring items and 5 control items that could give participants a neurodiverse and a neurotypical score, and an indication that the participant was neurodiverse, neurotypical, or mixed. It was found that the neurodiversity score was independent of gender and age, and that the prevalence appears to have remained unchanged. There were possible differences in racial prevalence that need further research. The results correlated to many disorders defined by psychiatry, and also with several factors in personality tests. People who had been diagnosed with these disorders had considerably higher neurodiversity scores. The idea that neurodiversity was at the extreme end of a normal distribution was not supported, rather it was found that neurodiversity had its own normal distribution overlapping typical traits.
- experimental psychology
- social sciences
- behavioral sciences
- factor analysis
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Funding The author(s) received no financial support for the research and/or authorship of this article.
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