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Chapter 5

Chapter 5 Gender Comparisons in Cognitive Abilities and Attitudes about Achievements.docx

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York University
PSYC 3480
Noreen Stuckless

Chapter 5 Gender Comparisons in Cognitive Abilities and Attitudes about Achievements  Biased samples can influence results. Almost all research on cognitive abilities is on college students  People’s expectations can influence results. Researchers who expect to find gender differences will find them, and the participants also have expectations about cognitive gender differences  Researchers seldom find gender differences in all situations  The cognitive gender differences are not large enough to be relevant for a person’s career choice  The Meta Analysis Approach to Summarizing Multiple studies o When using the box score approach, researchers read through all the appropriate studies on a given topic and draw conclusions based on a tally of their outcomes o However, the box score approach can produce unclear tallies o Meta analysis provides a statistical method for combining numerous studies on a single topic Cognitive Abilities  Cognitive abilities that show no consistent gender differences o General intelligence  However, male scores show more variability o Complex Cognitive Tasks o Memory Ability  They are generally the same in memory ability  However, women tend to be accurate than men in remembering events from their own lives and in recognizing faces  Women generally earn somewhat higher scores on memory tests for words, life events, faces and objects o Verbal Ability  Research shows genders similarities in language skills, however females seem to be somewhat better at verbal fluency o Mathematical Ability  Males and females ability show gender similarities o Spatial Visualization Explaining the Gender Comparisons  Biological explanation o Suggests that spatial ability might be a recessive trait carried on the X chromosome o Hormones o Brain organization. Lateralization means that two halves of the brain function somewhat differently o A typical lateralization theory argues that males use only the right hemisphere to perform spatial tasks. o In contrast, females use both.  Experience as an explanation o Boys may have more experience o Parents and teachers may provide difference experiences for males and females o The media hardly shows females in nontradition
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