Men Are More Likely Than Women to Perceive They Are More Intelligent

A new study by researchers at Arizona State University finds that undergraduate men rate their intelligence higher than undergraduate women who have identical grade point averages.

Researchers surveyed 244 students in an upper-level course in physiology. The class was held three times a week for 50 minutes. The class was not a lecture course but rather was conducted in an active learning environment with a lot of work with groups of other students. Students were surveyed during the first week of class and then seven weeks later after they had been working with other students in the class for an extended period. In the second survey, students were asked if they perceived that they were smarter than other people in the class.

The results showed that the average man with a 3.3 GPA (the average GPA of students in the class) perceived that he was smarter than 66 percent of students in the physiology class, whereas the average woman with a 3.3 GPA perceived that she was smarter than only 54 percent of the students in the class.

Why does academic self-concept matter? The authors explain that “students with higher academic self-concept are more likely to report participating more in small-group discussions; this could have implications for student learning.”

The full study, “Who Perceives They Are Smarter? Exploring the Influence of Student Characteristics on Student Academic Self-Concept in Physiology,” was published in the journal Advances in Physiology Education. It may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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