Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lab meeting Dec 3: Cognitive differences between the sexes

Posted by Jessica Abbott on behalf of Utku Urhan

Hi All,
The article i have picked for the next lab meeting will be a follow up on intelligence topic from our previous discussion. This new article from "Trends in Cognitive Sciences"  reviews contemporary studies on cognitive sex differences and points out  biological and environmental factors which may affect male and female cognitive abilities and development differently. Authors also discuss possible ways to maximize cognitive potentials of both genders.

The new science of cognitive sex differences
David I. Miller1 and Diane F. Halpern2
1 Department of Psychology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208, USA
2 Department of Psychology, Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, CA 91711, USA

Surprising new findings indicate that many conclusions about sex differences and similarities in cognitive abilities need to be reexamined. Cognitive sex differences are changing, decreasing for some tasks whereas remaining stable or increasing for other tasks. Some sex differences are detected in infancy, but the data are complex and depend on task characteristics. Diverse disciplines have revolutionized our understanding of why these differences exist. For instance, fraternal-twin studies align with earlier literature to help establish the role of prenatal androgens and large international datasets help explain how cultural factors such as economic prosperity and gender equity affect females and males differently. Understanding how biological and environmental factors interact could help maximize cognitive potential and address pressing societal issues.

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