Chapter 16

Chapter 16 - Chapter Sixteen Sex Gender and Personality...

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Chapter Sixteen Sex, Gender, and Personality Introduction People are intrinsically fascinated with psychological sex differences o Average differences between women and men in personality or behavior Gender is the social interpretation of what it means to be a man or a woman o Can change over time Gender stereotypes are beliefs about how men and women differ or are supposed to differ, in contrast to what the actual differences are The Science and Politics of Studying Sex and Gender Some psychologists such as Roy Baumeister have advocated stopping research on sex differences because finding s of sex differences might conflict with ideals of egalitarianism History of the Study of Sex Differences Women are slightly better than men at verbal ability Men are slightly better than women in mathematical ability and spatial ability In terms of personality characteristics, they concluded that only one sex difference existed: men were more aggressive than women Overall they concluded that sex differences were few in number and trivial in importance Meta-analysis is a statistical method for summarizing the findings of large numbers of individual studies o Allows researchers to calculate with greater objectivity and precision whether a particular difference – such as a sex difference – is consistent across studies Furthermore, it allows researchers to estimate how large the difference actually is – called the effect size Calculation of Effect Size: How Large are the Sex Differences? The most commonly used statistic in meta-analysis is the effect size , or d statistic o The d statistic is used to express a difference in standard deviation units When comparing men to women, assume that positive d scores indicate that men score higher than women Negative d scores indicate that women score higher than men Minimalists and Maximalists Those who describe sex differences as small and inconsequential, those who take the minimalist position, offer two arguments o The first is that, empirically, most findings of sex differences show small magnitudes of effect
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Minimalists tend to emphasize that the distributions of men and women on any given personality variable show tremendous overlap, which reflect their small magnitude of effect o A second argument advanced by minimalists is that whatever differences exist do not have much practical importance for behavior in everyday life In contrast, those who take the maximalist position tend to argue that the magnitude of sex differences is comparable to the magnitude of many other effects in psychology and should not be trivialized Sex Differences in Personality The five-factor model of personality provides a convenient framework for organizing a number of otherwise scattered findings about sex differences in personality Temperament in Children Inhibitory control
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Chapter 16 - Chapter Sixteen Sex Gender and Personality...

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