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

Bilalić, Merim, Smallbone, Kieran, McLeod, Peter and Gobet, Fernand (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 (1659). 1161 - 1165. ISSN 0962-8452

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Identification Number: 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
Official URL: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/journal/rspb
Additional Information: © 2008 The Royal Society
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2019 15:36
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2020 07:10
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/102871

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