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Gender Differences in Perceptions of Gender

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 1933 words Published: 28th Mar 2018

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Student: 3222650

Perceptions of IQ.


This study examined individual estimations of their own, their mothers and their fathers IQ.

Fifteen males and fifteen females participated. It was hypothesized that participants would estimate their IQ to be higher than both mother and father. They would estimate their fathers IQ to be higher than their mothers and their mothers IQ lower than their fathers.

The male participants estimations of their own IQ would be higher than the females. The results found supported the hypothesis and were similar to other studies carried out.


Intelligence is a concept and there are arguments in deciding if it can be defined at all. It can be seen as having mental ability for reasoning, problem solving and learning (Colom, Karama, Jung & Haier 2010). Self-conceptwas believed by Maslow and Rogers (1990; cited in Myers 2014) to be a central feature of a person’s personality. If Self-concept is positive, then a person will perceive the world in a positive way. If it is negative, then a person can feel dissatisfied and unhappy (Myers 2014)Stereotypes are inaccurate perceptions of people based on assumptions of a person’s group membership.

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Stereotypes are based on generalizing from schemata (Glassman & Hadad 2009). The present study looks at all three of the above. The studywas carried out to look at a person’s estimation of theirs, their mother and fathers IQ. In previous studies investigating Intelligence males estimate there’sto be higher than that of females. Hogan (1978) was one of the first to conduct research onintelligence and gender self-estimations.

Kirk, Caldy, Noack, Furnhum & Siefen (2007) examined parent estimations of their own and their child’sintelligence. Variance analysis found gender variations in parents self and child rating. Males rated themselves highly except for emotional intelligence. Analytical and practical differences found in children, sons higher than daughters. An analysis of regression suggested that parent’s estimates of their intelligence influenced the rating they gave their child.This research extended the previous as they used parents as well as children.

Furnham, Wytykowska & Petrides (2005) extended previous study.They examined perceptions of participantsown IQ, their parents and theirgrandparents. These were based on multiple and general intelligence. Thiswas a comparative studyof polish and British data. Cultural differences were found in mother and father estimations.

Generational differences in estimatesof general intelligence were found. In general, spatial and musical intelligence males self estimates were higher than females.

Regression analysis showedconsistent predictors of estimate general intelligence in verbal, mathematical and interpersonal intelligence.

Visser, Ashton & Vernon (2008) examined correlates of self estimated levels of intelligence were examined using the eight abilities of Gardner’s (1983) “multiple intelligences” framework. Two maximum performance tests of each ability were performed.

Sex differences were found high levels of self-estimated abilities related to men who measured high in conscientiousness, extraversion, and openness to experience. This was found to be low in emotionality.

Goldbeck, Daseking, Brida, Waldmann & Petermann (2010) investigated cognitive sex differences in child adolescent intelligence measured in WISC-IV. They found no gender effects in full scale IQ. Gender effects favoured boys in verbal comprehension index and girls in processing speed index.

This present study has been carried out to in order to replicate previous studies of intelligence. This will give a view of how people estimate their overall intelligence. In this study there are four hypothesis Males will estimate that their IQ will higher in comparison to females. Participants estimate their fathers IQ will be higher in comparison to their mothers. Participants estimate their mothers IQ will be lower in comparison to their fathers.

A person would estimate their mothers IQ to be lower than their own.



A convenience sample was used to collect data in this study. Thirty participants were used (Mean age = 28.3, sd=10.3). The sample consisted of fifteen males(mean age =27.4, sd=5.11) and fifteen females (mean age= 29.2, sd=13.7). The age range of the sample was sixteen – sixty-one.


A questionnaire was used to collect the data. The participants were asked to answer three questions in relation to IQ (see appendix).


A within-subjects and between-subjects design was used in this study.The IV was gender and the DV were the estimations of IQ given. The levels were male & female.


Participants were given a consent form to sign before participating in the study (see appendix). The participants consisted of friends and family of the researchers. They were each given maximum of 15 minutes to answer the questions. They were then given a debrief form to explain the purpose of the study and why it had been carried out (see appendix).


Figure. 1.


A paired t-test was used in this study to compare estimations of IQ. Statistics show that there are no significant differences between estimations p=>0.5. Participants estimated that their IQ was higher than that of their mothers (Mean=5.27, sd=15.6), t=1.85, df=29, p=0.74 Participants estimated that their IQ was lower than their fathers (Mean= 2.53,sd =12.7), t=1.95, df=29, p=.283 The differences between males and female estimations of their own IQ was only a slight difference (Mean=-2.73, sd=13.05), -1.15, df=29, .261.


In this study male self-estimations of gender were slightly higher than females. Participants estimations of there own IQ was slightly higher than their parents. Participants estimations of their fathers IQ were higher than that of their mother. The findings found in this study were consistent and supported that of other studies that have been carried out. In previous research found in the literature, many have used multiple intelligence tests. One study found that emotional intelligence was an intelligence that women scored higher than men.

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This supports the stereotype of men feeling that they should not show emotions. An interesting finding was found in Furnham et al (1999) study. Females rated their intelligence higher than both parents in numerical intelligence. Males rated their intelligence higher than females but not parents or siblings. This study is not consistent with this present study this is where cultural differences play a part in estimations.

The results found were expected and the method used was the best way to obtain the results. This method of data collection has been used in the literature found. This study has limitations as it only looks at overall intelligence. This study can be improved by looking at particular intelligencesi.e.Gardner’s list of intelligences, which has been used in previous research.This will give the study a theoretical approach when looking at intelligence like in Rammstedt and Rammsayer (2002) study. The sample of people that was used could have been people of a specific age range. Asking estimations of IQ then actually testing the persons IQ level can also extend it. The results found in this study were expected and they support the hypothesis.It has been shown that gender affects the estimation of a persons IQ. There is a stereotype of females having a lower IQ than that of men. These trends have been consistent throughout the literature. The difference between these however is only a slight difference that was found in this study. More research needs to be done to find out why even now male IQ is seen to be higher than females.


Colom, R., Karama, S., Jung, R.E., Haier, R.J. (2010) Human Intelligence and Brain Networks. Dialogues in Clinical Neuroscience. 12(4) 489-501. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3181994/

Furnham, A., Wytykowska, A. & Petrides, K. V.(2005) Estimations of Multiple Intelligences: A study in Poland, European psychologist. 10(1) 51-59. Retrieved from http://0web.ebscohost.com.lispac.lsbu.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=d39c61b9-53bf-4913-bab4-b61d184b81ef%40sessionmgr14&vid=8&hid=14

Glassman, W., E. & Hadad, M. (2009). Approaches to Psychology. UK:New York:McGraw-Hill Education

Goldbeck, L., Daseking, M., Brida, S.H, Waldmann, H.C. & Petermann. F. (2010) Sex Differences on The German Wechsler Intelligence Test for Children (WISC-IV). Journal of Individual Differences. 31(1) 22-28. Retrieved from http://0-web.ebscohost.com.lispac.lsbu.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=11&sid=d39c61b9-53bf-4913-bab4-b61d184b81ef%40sessionmgr14&hid=14

Hogan, H.W. (1978) IQ Self Estimates of Males and Females. The Journal of Social Psychology. 106 137-138

Kirkcaldy, B., Noack, P., Furnham, A. and Siefen, G. (2007) Parental Estimations of Their Own and Their Childrens Intelligence. European Psychologist. 12(3) 173-180. Retrieved from http://0web.ebscohost.com.lispac.lsbu.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=d39c61b9-53bf-4913-bab4-b61d184b81ef%40sessionmgr14&vid=15&hid=14

Myers, D.G. (2014). Exploring Psychology. New York, NY:Worth Publishers.

Visser, B., Ashton, M.C. & Vernon, P.A. (2008) What Makes You Think You’re So Smart? Measured Abilities, Personality, and Sex Diffrences in Relation to Self-Estimates of MultipleIntelligences. Journal of Individual Diffrences, 29(1). 35-44. Retrieved from http://0web.ebscohost.com.lispac.lsbu.ac.uk/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=9&sid=d39c61b9-53bf-4913-bab4-b61d184b81ef%40sessionmgr14&hid=14


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