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2009.13: Why are (the best) women so good at chess? Participation rates and gender differences in intellectual domains

2009.13: Merim Bilalić, Kieran Smallbone, Peter McLeod and Fernand Gobet (2009) Why are (the best) women so good at chess? Participation rates and gender differences in intellectual domains. Proceedings of the Royal Society B - Biological Sciences, 276. pp. 1161-1165.

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DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2008.1576

Abstract

A popular explanation for the small number of women at the top level of intellectually demanding activities from chess to science appeals to biological differences in the intellectual abilities of men and women. An alternative explanation is that the extreme values in a large sample are likely to be greater than those in a small one. Although the performance of the 100 best German male chess players is better than that of the 100 best German women, we show that 96 per cent of the observed difference would be expected given the much greater number of men who play chess. There is little left for biological or cultural explanations to account for. In science, where there are many more male than female participants, this statistical sampling explanation, rather than differences in intellectual ability, may also be the main reason why women are under-represented at the top end.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:gender differences, participation (base) rates, chess, intellectual activities, intelligence, science
Subjects:MSC 2000 > 91 Game theory, economics, social and behavioral sciences
MIMS number:2009.13
Deposited By:Dr Kieran Smallbone
Deposited On:09 February 2009

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