Gender differences in self-estimated intelligence and their relation to gender-role orientation

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Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that gender differences in self-estimated intelligence are domain specific: Males estimate their mathematical, logical and spatial abilities significantly higher than females. It has been frequently hypothesized that these differences are moderated by the individual's degree of gender-role orientation. However, studies investigating the effect of gender-role orientation on self-estimated intelligence revealed highly inconsistent results. In the present study, 267 participants estimated their own abilities in 11 intelligence domains and completed the Bem Sex Role Inventory (BSRI). Factor analysis of the 11 intelligence domains yielded four interpretable factors. Gender differences were identified for the mathematical–logical and the artistic intelligence factor. Additional analyses revealed a moderating effect of gender-role orientation on gender differences in factor scores. Thus, the present study provided direct evidence for the notion that in male, but not in female individuals, self-estimates of specific aspects of intelligence are markedly influenced by gender-role orientation. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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