Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sex differences in personality: The article I cited in the post on race differences in personality also examined sex differences. The aim of the study was to see if personality assessments used by employers are biased against minorities. Since they found that non-whites came out ahead on most traits, then of course there is nothing to worry about.

But I digress. Here are the results by gender:

Compared to men, women are less adjusted and sociable. They score lower on intellect and stress tolerance, and have less clerical potential.

Women are less influential, less relaxed, less emotionally controlled, less active, less innovative, less competitive, less data rational, and they are less methodical.

Women are less work-oriented but are more perfectionistic.

Most of the differences I list are small. The gaps on "active" and "data rational" are larger.

Many of these differences seem plausible, but give me a second to flex my brain to figure out why the gaps would be more valid for sex than for race....

Ow, that hurt. My guess is this: cultural differences and differing reference groups might cause racial groups to score themselves higher or lower on self-assessments. Males and females belong to the same culture, so that factor is eliminated. On the other hand, I imagine that men tend to compare themselves to other men when self-assessing, and women with other women. If I'm right, then we still have a reference group problem.

1 comment:

  1. dearieme12:55 PM

    "Males and females belong to the same culture": are you quite sure?


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