Messungen weltweiter Geschlechtsunterschiede in der Persönlichkeit

Roslin hat bei Danisch auf einen interessanten Artikel hingewiesen.

Sex differences in personality are believed to be comparatively small. However, research in this area has suffered from significant methodological limitations. We advance a set of guidelines for overcoming those limitations: (a) measure personality with a higher resolution than that afforded by the Big Five; (b) estimate sex differences on latent factors; and (c) assess global sex differences with multivariate effect sizes. We then apply these guidelines to a large, representative adult sample, and obtain what is presently the best estimate of global sex differences in personality.

Sie verweisen zunächst auf die „Gender Similarities Hypothesis“  , die von eher kleinen Geschlechtsunterschieden ausgeht, obwohl auch dort bei den aufgeführten Unterschieden einige durchaus nicht so kleine vorhanden sind. Dieser werden evolutionäre Theorien gegenüber gestellt.

Danach wird darauf abgestellt, dass die Geschlechtsunterschiede in der Persönlichkeit insbesondere im Zusammenspiel deutlich größere Unterschiede erzeugen:

When two groups differ on more than one variable, many comparatively small differences may add up to a large overall effect; in addition, the pattern of correlations between variables can substantially affect the end result. As a simple illustrative example, consider two fictional towns, Lowtown and Hightown. The distance between the two towns can be measured on three (orthogonal) dimensions: longitude, latitude, and altitude. Hightown is 3,000 feet higher than Lowtown, and they are located 3 miles apart in the north-south direction and 3 miles apart in the east-west direction. What is the overall distance between Hightown and Lowtown? The average of the three measures is 2.2 miles, but it is easy to see that this is the wrong answer. The actual distance is the Euclidean distance, i.e., 4.3 miles – almost twice the “average” value.

Aus meiner Sicht ein gutes Beispiel. Die Geschlechtsunterschiede können sich eben durchaus addieren. Wenn jemand in mehreren Eigenschaften in eine bestimmte Richtung abweicht, dann kann sich daraus eben auch ein anderes Verhalten ergeben, weil sich die Faktoren verstärken. Dabei ist zu bedenken, dass die Unterschiede, wenn man die evolutionären Theorien zugrunde legt, eben auch gut alle in eine bestimmte Richtung verlaufen, weil sie Anpassungen an einen bestimmten evolutionären Druck sind. Es sind keine zufälligen Unterschiede, die sich gegenseitig ausgleichen, auch wenn sie durch zufällige Mutationen entstanden sind, die aber eben einem Selektionsprozess durchlaufen haben.

Zu den Ergebnissen:

The uncorrected multivariate effect size for observed scores was D = 1.49 (with 95% CI from 1.45 to 1.53), corresponding to an overlap of 29%. Correcting for score unreliability yielded D = 1.72, corresponding to an overlap of 24%. The multivariate effect for latent variables was D = 2.71 (with 95% CI from 2.66 to 2.76); this is an extremely large effect, corresponding to an overlap of only 10% between the male and female distributions (assuming normality). On the basis of univariate d’s (Table 2), it might be hypothesized that global sex differences are overwhelmingly determined by the large effect size on factor I, or Sensitivity (d = −2.29). Thus, we recomputed the multivariate effect size for latent variables excluding Sensitivity; the remaining d’s ranged from −.89 to +.54. The resulting effect was D = 1.71 (with 95% CI from 1.66 to 1.75), still an extremely large difference implying an overlap of 24% between the male and female distributions (the corresponding effect size for observed scores, corrected for unreliability, was D = 1.07, implying a 42% overlap). In other words, the large value of D could not be explained away by the difference in Sensitivity, as removing the latter caused the overlap between males and females to increase by only 14%. While Sensitivity certainly contributed to the overall effect size, the large magnitude of global sex differences was primarily driven by the other personality factors and the pattern of correlations among them. It should be noted that Sensitivity is not a marginal aspect of personality; in the 16PF questionnaire, Sensitivity differentiates people who are sensitive, aesthetic, sentimental, intuitive, and tender-minded from those who are utilitarian, objective, unsentimental, and tough-minded. This factor overlaps considerably with “feminine openness/closedness”, identified by Costa and colleagues [49] as a cross-culturally stable dimension of sex differences in personality.

Klingt etwas nach der Unterscheidung zwischen dem empathischen und dem systematischen Gehirn.