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Sex Differences in IQ (Intro Psych Tutorial #122)

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www.psychexamreview.com In this video I consider sex differences in IQ scores. While average male and female IQ scores are comparable, there are differences in performance on certain types of tasks including verbal fluency, spatial ability, math problem-solving, use of complex prose, and others. There is also a difference in the distribution of IQ scores for males and females, with males showing greater variance and greater representation at the extremes of both low and high scores. Interpreting the consequences of these IQ differences is difficult, as there are sex differences in genes, hormones, interests, personality traits, and sociocultural expectations and pressures, all of which could be influencing outcomes such as career choices. Don’t forget to subscribe to the channel to see future videos! Have questions or topics you’d like to see covered in a future video? Let me know by commenting or sending me an email! Check out my book, Master Introductory Psychology, an alternative to a traditional textbook: http://amzn.to/2eTqm5s
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Text Comments (38)
David Parry (26 days ago)
You missed FOUR highly significant features of the data sets of female/male IQ distributions that have been noted in most of the studies done, namely; a) The female curve is far tighter than you indicated, being highly suggestive of a reliable and consistent decision-making process and learning process at play. b) The female curve is symmetrical. c) The male curve dominates the upper and lower ends of the IQ range to a greater extent than you indicated. d) The male curve is asymmetrical, skewed noticeably toward the lower IQ end, making the curve typically appear as a breaking-wave rather than a pure bell-curve. All of these are significant and highly indicative of the neural processes at work, allowing the learning process to be unpicked, in terms of the Y chromosome's involvement, when doing algorithmic analysis aimed at improving the learning and artificial synapse management techniques suitable for use in machine learning applications.
David Parry (25 days ago)
No problem. Glad it helped you. While LTP (in all its different flavours!) and LTD (when they figure out the neurochemistry a little better!) are only part of the story, I suspect the over-arching functional purpose of all these disparate elements that is now becoming apparent is going to surprise people. At the moment, the machine learning community starts to look a lot like a Cargo Cult up close, with groups wiggling and teasing and aping something they barely understand, for reasons they don't comprehend, using over-complicated floating-point math to intensely describe things that aren't there, to copy mechanisms they grasp only at a rudimentary level which have consequences they can't figure out because the rules they imagine are in play are based on some ideas from the 1940s that are essentially based on research that was incomplete and missed the point. So many false starts. So much wasted time. So much calculation and computational effort for so little... 70+yrs of it! Learn the biology. Learn the chemistry. The biochemistry never lies. We started with a tabula rasa and worked outwards. It can be exciting but not being able to discuss most of it is frustrating. We're living in exciting and interesting times... Watch this space. Rule Britannia! 8)
PsychExamReview (25 days ago)
Thanks for the reply, I had seen the Deary Scottish Mental Survey paper in the past and it does have a large data set and good discussion of sex differences. I'm certainly curious to see how our understanding of learning at the neural level might change in the future. Let me know when your work is available, I guess I've got a few years to learn enough so that I have a chance of understanding it :)
David Parry (25 days ago)
By 'breaking wave', I meant in terms of gradient giving a steeper high-IQ end and the shallower low-IQ end. I can't recall which paper mentions it specifically.... but it's what gave us the clue to the mechanism at play that mods the female variant, which is reliable and consistent, into a neurologically high-risk strategy for learning which rarely pays off, leading to the bulky 'prison-end', but when it does work gives rise to the high-IQ individuals at the 'genius' end.
David Parry (25 days ago)
No problem. The Scottish Mental Survey 1932 shows it clearly. Grab the graph and you're there. Deary, I. J., Thorpe G., Wilson V., Starr J. M., Whalley L. J., “Population sex differences in IQ at age 11: the Scottish mental survey 1932”, 2003, Intelligence 31 (2003) 533-542. Hope this helps. I work in the field of Machine Learning and some elements may relate to unpublished work used in restricted work, some with minor implications for healthcare... such as a potential means to correct developmental problems in infants and adults. I can't really recommend much related to what was mentioned as the models used in most 'AI' systems are primitive, mostly incorrect due to being based on the work of Hebb and consequently based on the Perceptron and not synaptic circuits incorporating the effects of glial cells and giotransmitters which give you chance to model real tissue. I can't really go much further as we aren't in a position to publish yet. By all means read the available 'AI' literature but bear in mind much of it is wrong, it's assumptions shoud be taken with big pinches of salt, especially regarding the explanations involving the neuron and learning, and likely to change. Perhaps you might keep your eye open for something from a British team maybe in the next 4yrs?, maybe?, as the model we use isn't the same as that used in mainstream work, due to the nature of it
PsychExamReview (25 days ago)
Hi David, Thanks for your comments. I'll admit that my free-hand drawing of the curves might leave something to be desired as it relates to your points A, B, and C, and that I was not attempting to illustrate any particular data set of how the curves overlap. My point was to illustrate the general idea of how the distributions relate to one another and what this means without discussing the exact magnitude of those differences. As for point D, I've not seen the male distribution presented as a breaking-wave rather than a bell curve but I'd be happy to read any studies indicating this. I'll also admit my complete ignorance about machine learning applications so any recommended reading would be appreciated!
thebudkellyfiles (1 month ago)
I cannot help but wonder if this male-female comparison is tailored for the current needs of political correctness. I mean, if it turned out that men had higher IQs, could they even say that in today's female-dominated, politically correct, easily offended educational environment? If women are better at complex prose and verbal fluency, where are all the great female writers of history? If they are better at fine motor skills, where are the great female sculptresses, painters, diamond cutters, surgeons, etc.? If women are just as smart, what are they doing to show it? I don't care personally, but why don't women get off the sofa and outperform men?
PsychExamReview (1 month ago)
Thanks for your questions. These are complex issues so I've taken this as an opportunity to try to organize my thoughts a bit more clearly and write a fairly lengthy response. I think you’re correct in recognizing that political correctness is tangled up in discussion of gender differences and unfortunately this can stifle the expression of certain views, as was clearly demonstrated in the case of James Damore’s memo last year. I’m not a fan of political correctness and believe that all views should be put in the open for scrutiny and honest debate. As for variants of the question “where are the female equivalents of Shakespeare, DaVinci, Edison, etc.?” the answer is more complex than pure intellectual ability. While the differences in the extremes for IQ help to explain why men might outnumber women in certain areas, it’s still the case that there are women at those extremes. This is where differences in interests and other personality traits like agreeableness or competitiveness begin to factor in to how that high intellectual ability is put to use. Societal pressures and expectations are also relevant here, though in the current climate of political correctness I think their role in the explanation may be overstated by some people. It’s also likely the case that motherhood provides an opportunity for meaning and responsibility that may make other status-oriented pursuits pale in comparison and therefore many talented, competent women shift to focus on family and quality of life rather than maintaining the narrow focus on work/career necessary for such historic levels of achievement (though certainly there are women who do reach these levels of achievement and to suggest that there are not any great female writers, painters, artisans, etc is disingenuous). As for the application of fine motor skills, one need only look to intricate weaving, stitching, and textile production, predominantly performed by women in many cultures, for a vivid demonstration. Of course, the vast majority of men do not have the particular combination of traits and abilities for historic levels of achievement either. The simple fact that someone is also male doesn’t grant him some sort of privileged access to any of the credit for the achievements of great men. It’s not about women sitting on sofas while men do all the achieving, it’s about tendencies toward different interests and thus engaging in different tasks. The underlying idea that women must demonstrate competence in the same areas as men in order to be considered on equal terms is rarely applied in the reverse. Few also ask “where are the male equivalents of Florence Nightingale, Mother Theresa, or Dorothea Dix?”. I don’t think either version of the question is particularly useful, as I don’t see the value in setting things in competitive terms of who has whom on their side. Men and women differ and, unlike fish and bicycles, we both do actually need each other.
Jimmy Fortef (3 months ago)
How can I increase my verbal IQ? I'm really lacking in that area.
PsychExamReview (3 months ago)
Most Harvard students probably have not taken formal IQ assessments so the answer isn't really known. That said, we can make some assumptions about SAT performance and consider that if most Harvard students score around the 98th percentile on the SAT then IQ scores might be comparable. The 98th percentile for IQ would be somewhere around 2 standard deviations above the mean, which would be an IQ score around 130.
PsychExamReview (3 months ago)
Improving your ability to communicate is a noble endeavor that can continue for the rest of your life!
Jimmy Fortef (3 months ago)
Last question if your able to answer please. What is the average fluid IQ of a Harvard student?
Jimmy Fortef (3 months ago)
PsychExamReview alright, thankyou for your detailed responses and advice. I Will continue in my newly found endeavour to crystalize my verbal and written articulation 😂 - sorry if I come across as pompous, I'm practicing
PsychExamReview (3 months ago)
I'm not familiar with research on a particular ratio between crystallized (Gc) and fluid intelligence (Gf) and such a ratio would depend on which test is used to assess each and how those scores are calculated and compared. If your goal is to improve your communication skills this is certainly possible (whereas increasing fluid intelligence doesn't seem to be) and given that your fluid intelligence score is above average you might expect to make progress more rapidly than most people. I would recommend adopting the view that you'll never truly exhaust your potential (given that none of us are everything we could be) and that comparing yourself to a "normal path" isn't as useful as comparing your current self to your previous self and seeing the progress that has occurred. Best of luck!
Rita Geraghty (3 months ago)
I was IQ tested as a female child and found to have an unusually high visuospatial IQ and exhibited masculine traits. As child, I had shown great love for maths, art, engineering drawing, woodwork, etc. I was weak at languages and hated poetry. I did not multitask like a stereotyped female should. Right up to today, I have manlike hobbies like the comic collections, 3D modelling, programming, woodwork, etc. My one room for studies is like a man's cave with all the things that I have collected over the years. My nephews all love that room and cannot stay out of it. My sisters absolutely forbid me to speak of my interests to their partners who too collect comics/graphic novels and auto magazines. Women just hate men having their own caves and hobbies. Meanwhile, I see nothing wrong in men having their own room for recreation and introspection. Another difference about me, I don't carry handbags or wear makeups. I dress mostly in jeans and baggy tops. I am not as conscious about my looks as most females are. Yet, I am heterosexual and I don't ever feel I'm born in a wrong body. I think myself as a woman, but in the recent decade, I try to be as feminine as possible, but it is tough and it takes a lot of training. I forget my manners at times and turn uncouth. My ever etiquette-conscious mother constantly corrects my unladylike ways: for example, how I sit, how I stand or walk, how I enter the door, etc. One improvement, I have stopped sticking my hands in pockets, as most women don't do that and only men do that.
Full Moon (7 months ago)
Good video, but being dyslexic does not make a difference with IQ. People can have a low or high IQ and be dyslexic. Albert Einstein was dyslexic.
Young Jesus (1 month ago)
Albert Einstein was an idiot.
Full Moon (5 months ago)
Ha. So your a MGTOW. How did I guess. I work full time six days a week. Some guys in the MGTOW community do not work and make a living making videos slagging women off all day. Then call us parasites. As for feminism. There are women that fight against it and there are men that are feminists/SJW. Plus if you are going to hate 50% of the population based on gender then you are the mirror image of radical feminism.
Full Moon (5 months ago)
More of the dumbest people in the world are men and more of the geniuses are men. That is what the actual experts know. A community of men who have a grudge against women are not experts.
Full Moon (5 months ago)
This "women are dumber than men" normally comes from a community of the dumbest men you can find on youtube.
PsychExamReview (7 months ago)
You're correct. I didn't mean to imply that other areas where males are over-represented (dyslexia, autism, etc.) were directly related to low IQ and I should have stated that more clearly. My point was to highlight other areas (in addition to low IQ) where males are over-represented compared to females. Thanks for commenting!
Darestone (8 months ago)
I very much enjoyed this lecture, thanks for sharing! I am currently working on a Physiological psychology essay and was wondering if you had any good reputable studies that might be beneficial for my research relating back to the topic of the video (Male/female IQ bell curve, different levels of ability in different sectors of IQ), thank!
PsychExamReview (8 months ago)
Hi, this is a complex subject so you likely won't be able to cover all possible angles in a single paper and instead will probably have to focus on a particular area of proposed difference/similarity. I'd recommend beginning with some review/summary papers on the topic in general (searching for researchers such as Diane Halpern, Richard Nisbett, Richard Haier, Ulric Neisser, James Flynn, or others might help you get started) and then choosing a specific focus and investigating related studies cited in those reviews.
Conner Stern (10 months ago)
Your not a very good teacher. You suck at elaborating fathomable concepts/examples. D-
PsychExamReview (10 months ago)
Conner Stern I'm sorry you were disappointed by this but I'm always eager to hear ideas for improving my videos if you have suggestions!
小白R (11 months ago)
different people can make a different study with the result they want. studies can be easily controlled. but in reality, almost all of new technologies (new car new plane, smartphone, computer, spacecraft) are invented by men. almost all of theories in math, bio, physic are created by men. chess & chinese chess winner all are men. the tallest people are men. the fastest runner are men. the fastest swimmer are men. this is the fact.
Cj Chevallier (5 months ago)
Calla Merkel- women’s brains are 10% smaller, thus dumber. It’s like a dude taking a bar of soap out of his brain. Stroke victims have smaller parts of their brains damaged and suffer major problems. So don’t act like women are the same. That’s why we gotta treat women like they need special attention..... cause they actually do need it cause y’all half retarded. But god forbid we actually say it. It’s like a white calling a black person “nigga” to his face. So go sit your fat ass down somewhere and let the men talk.
小白R (11 months ago)
there are males at the extremes, & there are females at the extremes, but extremes males are better than extremes female, this is fact. men know to run, & women also know to run, but the fastest male runner who certainly run faster than the fastest female runner. women know science, men know too, but the best are men in science, new tech, this is actual result, is the fact. put down excuse & face the fact. be a brave people.
小白R (11 months ago)
what u only can do is to find excuses(studies) for women. but no matter what excuses u find, the fact of men being the best in almost all fields will not be changed. u just can make study, and then excuses, study & then excuses.....study & then excuses, but end up, men are best in almost all fields, nothing will change for what u said. SJW & feminism are scared of differences between men & women, scared the fact, thus they like twisting fact, fear people know the differences. fear people know men are best in almost all of fields. for example, women have the result of 5 scores, then they can say they have 5 scores, but don't just have the result of 5 scores, but love saying they have the best scores. in fact, i can breakdown the sun, but I....have some reason, so i didn't do so, I have no time to do so, i am not interested to do so. excuses are useless, the the actual result is the fact, is the truth.
PsychExamReview (11 months ago)
R 小白 I wouldn't deny these physical differences between men and women and don't deny the possibility of cognitive differences either, though these are more difficult to measure. As for the achievements of men, this may in part relate to the distributions I've described, as there will be many more males at the extremes. This, of course, does not mean that women do not also exist at these extremes (though they are less common). Achievements you mention are not just about intelligence and personality trait distributions are also part of the explanation for the over-representation of males in many areas.

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