PSYB30H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Gender Role, Effect Size, Meta-Analysis

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24 Apr 2013
Personality Psychology Foundations and Findings
Chapter 11 Gender and Personality
- Differences in mental rotation can be seen in infants as young as 3-5 months of age, hence why it
is assumed to be hard-wired into our biology as a result of evolution
- Study: Women who trained on an action game were able to catch up in spatial ability to the
average man without the training
- Some gender differences may be changeable as a result of life experiences, opportunities,
preferences, or expectations, rather than set in stone and due to innate differences
Beliefs About Personality Similarities and Differences Between Men and Women
- Tend to believe there are differences between men and women in personality, social roles,
physical attributes, emotional experience and expression
- Beliefs about differences are stable and consistent across cultures
o Women: more concerned with nurturing
o Men: more concerned with actions and accomplishments
- Men and women pursue different careers, hobbies and favourite activities
o Men: auto mechanic, carpenter, pilot, civil engineer, spend free time on computers, chess
o Women: nurse, art teacher, social worker, spend free time shopping
- Communion way of approaching the social world with a concern for other people, as
independent, and connected to others (women)
- Agency way of approaching the social world with a focus on the individual and feelings of self-
protection and self-assertion (men)
- Stereotype generalization about a group of people in which attributes are assumed to be true for
all members of the group regardless of actual variation
- Gender stereotypes traits and behaviours that people believe occur more frequently in one
gender or the other
- Research Methods Illustrated: Effect Size and Meta-Analysis
o Effect size tells us the impact or importance of a variable to the overall observed effect
(i.e. the size of a significant difference)
d = (Mm Mf)/s , where M is the average score for males and females
respectively, and s is the standard deviation of the scores
o Meta-analysis researchers combine the individual results of different experiments to
calculate an estimate of how large an effect is across many different participants,
samples, experimenters, methods, and measures
o When effect size is small, there is a huge overlap in the distributions of the scores of men
and women, a moderate difference will likely be noticeable in everyday life, large
differences are generally already known to be different for men and women
o A meta-analysis is only as good as the data that goes into it
Personality Differences Between Men and Women: Fact or Fiction?
- The results of many effect size analyses summarize that men and women are the most different
when it comes to physical attributes (i.e. height and strength), some aspects of sexuality, and
qualities desired in a potential mate
- Men prefer realistic jobs more so than women (i.e. working with machines, equipment, and
inanimate objects)
- Women prefer people-oriented jobs that involve managing and interacting with people
- No gender differences in preference for occupations that require creative thought and intellectual
effort; data-oriented occupations; or conventional occupations
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- No gender difference in general intelligence , but there are some differences in specific mental
- Men score slightly higher in performance on word problems, spatial ability and spatial
visualization, score much better in spatial perception and mental rotation
- Substance-related disorders, childhood disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders more
frequent among men
- Mood disorders, depression more frequent among women
- Gender Similarities and Differences in the Five-Factor Model
o Women average higher Neuroticism scores
o Genders are almost identical in Openness
o Women slightly higher Conscientiousness, Extraversion, and Agreeableness, across all
o Meta-analysis shows large differences in facets of assertiveness (men higher) and tender-
mindedness (women higher), small differences in anxiety, trust, and order (women
- Gender Differences in Other Aspects of Personality and Social Behaviour
o Aggression
Men are more physically aggressive than women, only slightly more verbally
aggressive (unless the woman has been directly threatened, where there will be
no difference)
Bettencourt and Miller, 1996 gender differences are most apparent under
conditions of unprovoked aggression but disappear when people have been
directly threatened
When provoked, women are slightly more likely to respond with verbal
aggression than men
Both respond equally aggressively to physical attacks, insults or negative
Men respond more aggressively to frustration and insults of intelligence
Gender differences across all kinds of aggression were greatest in young
adulthood, decreased with age
During childhood and adolescence, girls engage in more indirect or relational
aggression (i.e. gossip)
o Risk Taking
Men higher in impulsive sensation-seeking, only slightly more likely to engage
in risky behaviours
Gender difference in risk taking depends on context, type of risk, and age
There were significant gender differences across all age groups, but what was
considered risky tended to vary by age
Boys and men tend to take more risks even when it’s a bad idea
- Gender Differences? It Depends
o Empathy
Women show more empathy and sympathy than men (but results are based on
No gender differences on unobtrusive measures of empathy (i.e. facial
Women are more likely to feel the emotions of those around them according to
Women are better at reading body language and facial expressions, expressing
emotions nonverbally, engage in more eye contact
o Emotion
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