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Title: Why are (the Best) women so good at chess? Participation rates and gender differences in intellectual domains
Authors: Bilalić, M
Smallbone, K
McLeod, P
Gobet, F
Keywords: Gender differences;Participation (base) rates;expertise;Chess;Intellectual activities;Intelligence;science;talent
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: Royal Society
Citation: Proceedings of the Royal Society B
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% 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.
Appears in Collections:Psychology
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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