Gender Differences in Cognition

Janet Shibley Hyde and Nita M. McKinley

in Gender Differences in Human Cognition

Published in print January 1997 | ISBN: 9780195112917
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199846900 | DOI:

Series: Counterpoints: Cognition, Memory, and Language

Gender Differences in Cognition

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This chapter introduces the statistical technique of meta-analysis, which provides a quantitative method for assessing what many different research studies, taken together say about the existence and magnitude of gender differences in abilities. Then, the results of meta-analyses of gender differences in verbal, mathematical, spatial, and scientific abilities are reported. The evidence on gender differences from the much-publicized Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth is also critically examined. The evidence on whether gender differences in cognition have been growing smaller over the course of time is shown. Finally, the hypothesis of greater male variability and the current evidence relating to this hypothesis is described. Within the practical realm, the presented meta-analyses provide no evidence that deficits in abilities are responsible for the underrepresentation of women in the fields of mathematics, science, and engineering.

Keywords: verbal ability; spatial ability; underrepresentation; meta analysis; mathematics; science; engineering

Chapter.  9481 words. 

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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