Men Cleverer than Women, Say Scientists

  • #1
Friendly Immigrant
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Men cleverer than women, say scientists

ANDREW DENHOLM, Education Correspondent August 25 2005

MEN have larger brains – and higher IQs – than women, according to a controversial new study.
In a paper for the British Journal of Psychology, which is bound to reignite the academic row about gender differences, one of Britain's most controversial academics argues that men are more likely than women to win Nobel prizes and gain academic distinction because they are more intelligent.

[ . . . ]

Complete article at http://www.theherald.co.uk/news/45664-print.shtml [Broken]
 
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  • #2
DM
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This new claim clashes against the general passing grades between men and women. Women have for years beat us in exams.
 
  • #3
Pengwuino
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DM said:
This new claim clashes against the general passing grades between men and women. Women have for years beat us in exams.

I thought it was the other way around. I mean that bit about the nobel prize thing does kinda confuse me. Last time i saw the list of recipients, it was mainly guys.
 
  • #4
DM
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Pengwuino said:
I thought it was the other way around. I mean that bit about the nobel prize thing does kinda confuse me. Last time i saw the list of recipients, it was mainly guys.

Interesting. Now I'm confused.
 
  • #5
selfAdjoint
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The general result of studies in the US is that women are better at learningmathematics. The ratio of women to men among creative mathematicians is low but rising, and may reasonably attributed to social factors. The number of women historically among the most highly creative mathematicians is close to zero. The usually cited cases, Hypatia, Agnesi, Germaine, Kovalevsi, and Noether are only very good, not to be compared with the likes of Archimedes, Appolonius, Newton, Euler, Gauss, Riemann, Poincare, or Hilbert.
 
  • #6
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As usual, there is a confusion of concepts here. He's actually asserting than men have higher I.Q.s by an average of five points, and erroneously jumping from there to saying they are more intelligent. His proof: the greater achievements and nobel prizes, etc. is presented without any qualifications. (He has completely ignored any "old boy network" factors and "glass ceilings" by which women, and minorities for that matter, are prevented from achieving the amount they could.)

As we all know, I.Q. doesn't test intelligence, only a certain kind of intelligence. The particular kind of intelligence it tests can't be confused with "cleverness" nor can it be linked to success in a carrear. People with prodigious I.Q.s are frequently inept in life.

The person responsible for this study is widely known, according to the article, to be controversial, due to his links to an organization known to have a Nazi history. It's pretty clear he had a confirmation bias in favor of "proving" ethnic and gender superiorities.
 
  • #7
gravenewworld
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Here we go again....
 
  • #8
Learning Curve
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selfAdjoint said:
The general result of studies in the US is that women are better at learningmathematics. The ratio of women to men among creative mathematicians is low but rising, and may reasonably attributed to social factors. The number of women historically among the most highly creative mathematicians is close to zero. The usually cited cases, Hypatia, Agnesi, Germaine, Kovalevsi, and Noether are only very good, not to be compared with the likes of Archimedes, Appolonius, Newton, Euler, Gauss, Riemann, Poincare, or Hilbert.
Don't forget pascal and the first calculator.
 
  • #9
Moonbear
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I just checked the latest issue and the article isn't published yet. When/if it is, I'll look into it and see if it's the crap it sounds like it will be. Zooby said it best; you can't claim women are less creative or less intelligent because they haven't won as many Nobel Prizes; they've had enough obstacles to face just getting a lab let alone getting recognized for their work at that level.
 
  • #10
Pengwuino
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Moonbear said:
I just checked the latest issue and the article isn't published yet. When/if it is, I'll look into it and see if it's the crap it sounds like it will be. Zooby said it best; you can't claim women are less creative or less intelligent because they haven't won as many Nobel Prizes; they've had enough obstacles to face just getting a lab let alone getting recognized for their work at that level.

Yah that is true. I wonder how university enrollments look at the top universities where gender shouldn't really be an issue.
 
  • #11
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Moonbear said:
I just checked the latest issue and the article isn't published yet.
Helmuth Nyborg came to a similar conclusion recently.

https://www.physicsforums.com/search.php?searchid=235232 [Broken]
 
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  • #12
Moonbear
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So, here's a question I've been wondering. How do we know that IQ tests don't just measure those aspects of intelligence that the male test designers think are important because it's what they are good at, and ignore aspects of intelligence that women possess and are good at as unimportant because the male test designers are weak in those areas, so dismiss it?
 
  • #13
Pengwuino
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Moonbear said:
So, here's a question I've been wondering. How do we know that IQ tests don't just measure those aspects of intelligence that the male test designers think are important because it's what they are good at, and ignore aspects of intelligence that women possess and are good at as unimportant because the male test designers are weak in those areas, so dismiss it?

What are some examples?
 
  • #14
JamesU
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this is going nowhere good.....
 
  • #15
Moonbear
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Pengwuino said:
What are some examples?
Of course, I can only speculate on examples, because there's no test comparing such things, but what comes to mind are things like multi-tasking, or working in a noisy environment, identifying subtle (or not so subtle) color differences on paint chips. When you're only talking a difference of 5 points, it doesn't have to be every question on the test that is biased, but just a small subset that are being overlooked and giving an advantage to one gender over the other. How would you react to a test that had just a few questions such as, "Mauve:Pink::_____:Blue?"

IQ tests include things like spatial relations. It's not a personal weakness for me, but it is something that in general, women seem to not be as good at as men, maybe because they aren't encouraged to build stuff when young, or maybe because of differences in specific brain areas. But, what does that have to do with intelligence that you can mentally rotate a multi-sided structure in your head? Why should that be any different than being able to tell mauve from strawberry from watermelon from carnation from lavender?
 
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  • #16
loseyourname
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It is really that women are better able to distinguish different colors, or is it just that only women care enough to learn the names for all forty shades between red and blue?

You do raise an interesting point, though. Exactly what set of cognitive abilities should intersect with the set considered "intelligence" and why? If we simply test people to qualify them for certain positions, then test the qualities required to perform that position. There is no reason to glorify some over others by labelling only certain qualities as "intelligent."
 
  • #17
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loseyourname said:
It is really that women are better able to distinguish different colors, or is it just that only women care enough to learn the names for all forty shades between red and blue?
:rofl: I don't really know. I hadn't given a lot of thought to what might be good examples when I posed the question, so just pulled some stuff off the top of my head. There may be no sex differences in those areas either, just perceived ones, or as you put it, maybe men could learn all those colors and just don't care to. Oh, and there's way more than just 40 shades. See, women just know these things. :biggrin: But unless you're working as an interior decorator, is it all that important?
 
  • #18
honestrosewater
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It is really that men are better able to mentally rotate a multi-sided structure, or is it just that only men care enough to practice rotating multi-sided structures in their minds?
What I find most interesting is that the solution seems to be choosing things that people can't get better at with practice; Tasks that people are just 'born with' an aptitude for and can't acquire through experience. But when I think of intelligence, being able to get better at a task with practice is one of the most important factors! :confused:
 
  • #19
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Moonbear said:
:rofl: I don't really know. I hadn't given a lot of thought to what might be good examples when I posed the question, so just pulled some stuff off the top of my head. There may be no sex differences in those areas either, just perceived ones, or as you put it, maybe men could learn all those colors and just don't care to. Oh, and there's way more than just 40 shades. See, women just know these things. :biggrin: But unless you're working as an interior decorator, is it all that important?

My box of crayons only had four colors. :cry:

All the girls had those super-boxes that had >216 colors. At the time I didn't know the difference between yellow-orange, orange-yellow, tangerine orange, pale orange, etc.
 
  • #20
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honestrosewater said:
But when I think of intelligence, being able to get better at a task with practice is one of the most important factors
Hence the most-culture-loaded items tend to be the best predictors of g. For example, on the Weschler (WAIS III), the highest g-loading is on the vocabulary subtest.
 
  • #21
loseyourname
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honestrosewater said:
It is really that men are better able to mentally rotate a multi-sided structure, or is it just that only men care enough to practice rotating multi-sided structures in their minds?

What I find most interesting is that the solution seems to be choosing things that people can't get better at with practice; Tasks that people are just 'born with' an aptitude for and can't acquire through experience.

You answered your own question. No one gets better at rotating multi-sided structures in their heads by practice. You can either do it or you cannot.
 
  • #22
quasar987
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A bit of speculation.

Friendly Immigrant said:
one of Britain's most controversial academics argues that men are more likely than women to win Nobel prizes and gain academic distinction because they are more intelligent.

Not because more intelligent; because more interested. Same thing would explains why on average, men may score higher in the IQ tests. Some questions in IQ tests are of the style "What river separate such and such country in half?" I say if both a man and a women have heard the answer at some point in their live, the man is more likely to have remembered it because he had interest in doing so. He subconsciously(?) tought if he could remember that and spit it out at some point during a conversation, he could impress his friends. I think men are always (at least subconsciously) on the lookout for things that could augment their social status (for obvious mating-related reasons). It probably goes the same for women, but they wouldn't necessarily consider knowing useless facts as something status-heithening among the rest of the female comunity.
 
  • #23
quasar987
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loseyourname said:
You answered your own question. No one gets better at rotating multi-sided structures in their heads by practice. You can either do it or you cannot.
In college, I had a course of 3-D drawing, and I feel like I'm better at imagining and rotating 3-d figures now than i was before.

why do you believe imagining 3-d is something you can or cannot do, but not learn and get better at?
 
  • #24
Pengwuino
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honestrosewater said:
It is really that men are better able to mentally rotate a multi-sided structure, or is it just that only men care enough to practice rotating multi-sided structures in their minds?

lol If i try to rotate multi-sided structures in my mind, the side that I change focus from ends up coming up different then it originally was when i rotate back aroudn to it.
 
  • #25
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quasar987 said:
Some questions in IQ tests are of the style "What river separate such and such country in half?" I say if both a man and a women have heard the answer at some point in their live, the man is more likely to have remembered it because he had interest in doing so.
Invention is only part of IQ test construction. The other major part is selection for discriminative value. If a given test item does not discriminate well, it is dropped. If a given test item is loading heavily on an interest factor (or any other non-ability factor), it is by definition not discriminating well in terms of mental ability.

Knowledge items, such as the item you used as an example, tend to discriminate very well in terms of mental ability, and tend to load lightly on non-ability factors.
 
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  • #26
MaxS
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Pengwuino said:
I thought it was the other way around. I mean that bit about the nobel prize thing does kinda confuse me. Last time i saw the list of recipients, it was mainly guys.

LOL who do you think is in charge of giving the awards
 
  • #27
honestrosewater
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loseyourname said:
You answered your own question. No one gets better at rotating multi-sided structures in their heads by practice. You can either do it or you cannot.
How do you know? People can't learn to predict how an image will look when rotated, maybe similar to the way a person can learn to predict the path of a thrown basketball? There are no tricks that people can learn? Perhaps mentally drawing in the axes or labelling certain areas helps. And I imagine these things would make an even bigger difference if the task is timed.

Oops, I hadn't seen quasar987's post.
 
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  • #28
The Smoking Man
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selfAdjoint said:
The general result of studies in the US is that women are better at learningmathematics. The ratio of women to men among creative mathematicians is low but rising, and may reasonably attributed to social factors. The number of women historically among the most highly creative mathematicians is close to zero. The usually cited cases, Hypatia, Agnesi, Germaine, Kovalevsi, and Noether are only very good, not to be compared with the likes of Archimedes, Appolonius, Newton, Euler, Gauss, Riemann, Poincare, or Hilbert.
Oh, come on, we all know they became 'big' in the field because their girlfriends were helping them.

So do you think this scientist get's laid much after publishing stuff like this?
 
  • #29
honestrosewater
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The Smoking Man said:
Oh, come on, we all know they became 'big' in the field because their girlfriends were helping them.
:rofl: Mathematicians with girlfriends...
So do you think this scientist get's laid much after publishing stuff like this?
I think he'll get laid just as much as he did prior to publishing it.
 
  • #30
arildno
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Psychologists aren't scientists, they are fantasists.
 
  • #31
honestrosewater
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arildno said:
Psychologists aren't scientists, they are fantasists.
I understand your, um, skepticism. I'm currently looking for a psychologist, and I think I have found one who is also a scientist. If you ever feel like challenging your opinion, I hope you'll http://www.drbobtampa.com/ [Broken].
 
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  • #32
Berislav
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I would like to see a study on the average IQ of psychometricians.
 
  • #33
loseyourname
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quasar987 said:
In college, I had a course of 3-D drawing, and I feel like I'm better at imagining and rotating 3-d figures now than i was before.

why do you believe imagining 3-d is something you can or cannot do, but not learn and get better at?

Good question. I suppose I don't have any good reason, aside from the fact that I've always been able to visualize just about anything, including 3-D rotations, pretty easily, without any need for practice. Obviously, that doesn't exactly prove anything.
 
  • #34
The Smoking Man
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loseyourname said:
Good question. I suppose I don't have any good reason, aside from the fact that I've always been able to visualize just about anything, including 3-D rotations, pretty easily, without any need for practice. Obviously, that doesn't exactly prove anything.
There is also the factor of necessity and environment.

Take for example Kim's Game. People are able to improve their memory and their observation skills.

As far as scientific skills, if not exposed to scientific theory or practices, the terminology may become confusing. It was proven a number of years ago that many of the intelligence tests in use favoured upper middle class students however when the wording used in these tests or the subject matter, Ghetto children were often able to answer the questions. (ie. ask a kid about a lab and how one uses advanced equipment to produce a specific solution and he hasn't a clue ... ask him how to cut heroin and he can tell you to the gram)

3D imagery and rotation? Think about make-up and the illusions created by the effects as viewed from all angles... Okay and architect or a draftsman can rotate designs in their minds however a woman can envision abstracts of light, colour and shadow to alter a 3D image to produce an illusion of depth.

Besides, the other theory over depth perception is that women have a problem with distances because men keep telling them that 4" is 8". :biggrin:
 
  • #35
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The Smoking Man said:
Besides, the other theory over depth perception is that women have a problem with distances because men keep telling them that 4" is 8". :biggrin:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl: We're also used to numbers being totally meaningless and arbitrary, such as clothing sizes. Ask a woman if 8 is larger or smaller than 10 and she'll have to ask you which stores you bought each one at. :biggrin:
 

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