NEWSWEEK: Many studies show that men score slightly higher in IQ tests. Is this significant?It would indeed be surprising if people all over the world are so wrong about
Adrian Furnham: Universally, men tend to score higher on certain specialized skills, such as spatial awareness. In the real world, that means they might be better at reading maps or navigating. Women score higher in terms of language development and emotional intelligence. But most experts agree there is no real, important overall difference when it comes to gender and intelligence.
But women think they aren't as smart as men?
That's the conundrum. What I study is "perceived intelligence," essentially how smart people think they are. I analyzed 30 international studies, and what I found was that women, across the world, tend to underplay their intelligence, while men overstate it.
So do most men think they're Albert Einstein?
There certainly is a greater male ego. It's what we call the male hubris and female humility effect. Men are more confident about their IQ. These studies show that on average, women underestimate their IQ scores by about five points while men overestimate their own IQs. Since these studies were international in scope, the results were essentially the same whether women were from Argentina, America, Britain, Japan or Zimbabwe. Another factor affecting perception may be distribution of IQ ... Although [men and women] are on average the same, the people at the very top and the very bottom of the IQ bell curve are more likely to be men. That is a pattern that we see in the university setting, with men either being at the very top of the class or at the bottom.
Do women tend to think that men are smarter than they are?
Surprisingly, [both] men and women perceive men being smarter across generations. Both sexes believe that their fathers are smarter than their mothers and grandfathers are more intelligent than their grandmothers.
their own parents.