5 important biases in this chapter:
1. Peoples expectations can influence results
2. Biased samples can affect results- focus on college students in North America
3. Scores of males are females typically produce overlapping distributions
4. Researchers seldom find gender differences in all situations
5. Cognitive gender differences are not large enough to be relevant for your career choice.
Before meta- analysis there was box- score approach (counting approach) where researchers take all
appropriate studies on a certain topic and draw conclusions based on a tally of the outcomes. Meta
analysis yields a result of “d”.if 0=same
.65 is large effect.
General intelligence and complex cognitive tasks show no consistent gender difference.
Some evidence of gender differences in:
1. Memory- women to better on memory tasks.
a. Women remember better than men when info had to do with grocery store and equal
when had to do with hardware store.
b. Males are better at remembering material that had to do with sports and politics.
c. Women remember events from their own lives better than men and are better at
recognizing faces and odours.
d. Male and female similar in remembering shapes.
2. Verbal ability- before age 2, girls have better vocabulary than men.
a. May have statistical difference, but not practical difference.
b. Females are better at verbal fluency- naming objects that meet a certain criteria.
c. Men are found to have more reading disabilities but this is b/c of bias of teachers
3. Mathematics ability- women are actually better at math, but men get higher SAT scores in math
(could be b/c it is not fully valid).
4. Spatial ability
a. Spatial visualization- males and females are fairly similar. Some studies show difference
in map reading abilities and others show no differences
b. Spatial perception- males get somewhat higher scores, and another study found no
gender difference, but gender differences can be erased through brief training sessions c. Mental rotation: Manipulating shapes and figures- the largest gender differences.
i. It also depends on how the task is given to the participants.
ii. It depends if emphasie sterotypically masculine or feminine professions.
5. Explaining gender comparisons:
a. Biological explanations for fender differences in cognitive skills include:
1. Spatial ability may be recessive trait carried in X chromosome
1. Women perform better if high male hormones
2. Yet men perform better if low levels of male hormone
iii. Brain organization/lateralization
2. R= spatial(males only use R)
iv. Current research does not strongly support any of these
b. Social explanations in cognitive skills:
i. Illustrations in books magazines tv etc...