What's That Word You're Looking For? Oh, Fork
I know it's age, I want to believe I'm still 25. But when I'm looking for the word for fork, and I can't find it, that's when I start to worry.
The origin of these sex/gender differences; nature versus nurture - and the potential consequences of these differences -- have been the subject of big societal debates. "As in, do men and women have different talents for different professions?" the website asks.
Textbooks and popular science books take it for granted that women are better at finding words. It has also been considered “fact” that women are better at remembering words.
"Yet, the actual findings are much more inconsistent than textbooks imply: Some studies find a female advantage, some find a male advantage, some do not find any advantage," newswise states.
“Most intellectual skills show no or negligible differences in average performance between men and women. However, women excel in some tasks, while men excel in others on average," it quotes Marco Hirnstein, an author of the study and professor at The University of Bergen, Norway.
This might sound like stating the obvious, but Hirnstein and his colleagues point out how their findings can be useful in diagnosis and in health care.
The results are relevant in at least two ways, Hirnstein notes. "First, they help to clarify whether the female advantage is real. Second, knowing about this sex/gender difference is important for interpreting the results of diagnostic assessments, in which those abilities are frequently tested," he says at the website.
Women tend to be better at retention and the danger is in making allowances for this, so they could be under-diagnosed for something like dementia. Since they have a lower average baseline performance, men can be over-diagnosed.
The researchers found from their meta-analysis, 500 measures from 350,000 participants, that women are indeed better. The advantage is small but consistent across the last 50 years and across an individual’s lifespan.
Moreover, they found that the female advantage depends on the sex/gender of the leading scientist: Female scientists report a larger female advantage, male scientists report a smaller female advantage.