Men are more likely to be deemed 'brilliant' than women, says study
A new study has revealed that men are more likely to be considered ‘brilliant’, compared to women.
Before you even go there, this is not due to men actually being more brilliant than women, but rather a result of implicit bias.
Let us explain.
The study, published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, had 3,000 participants from 78 countries, all of whom were asked to take part in five experiments.
One of these included a survey, where they were asked which gender they associate with ‘high level intellectual ability’ (brilliance).
While the participants didn’t directly choose men, 70-75% of those surveyed were found to have implicit bias that leant towards males being seen as brilliant more often than women.
To make matters worse, the researchers who conducted the study, and who regularly investigate why women are underrepresented in some industries, believe this could affect gender equality.
‘If people associate these traits that they see as essential for success with men more than women, then potentially, they’re less likely to give women opportunities to succeed in these fields,’ Andrei Cimpian, associate professor in New York University’s psychology department, told Insider.
Interestingly, when the participants were asked the question with phrasing that directly questioned if they associate men with brilliance more than women, many said no.
But people have prejudices that they might not acknowledge when asked a direct question, so Andrei and his team of fellow researchers decided to use what is known as an Implicit Association Test.
It consisted of various images, such as that of a woman or man, which participants had to slot into various categories.
In order for it to be an instinctual choice, they were given very little time to decide.
And thus, with implicit bias revealed how people really felt, with men coming out on top in reference to brilliance.
‘The fact that these are implicit associations that people aren’t able or willing to report on suggests that it may be a particularly pernicious obstacle to women,” added Andrei.
‘People might not even be aware of the fact that they hold these associations, so they might give more opportunities to men and evaluate male performance more positively without even realising what they are doing.’
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