Why Women Score Lower In Tech Aptitude
November 2, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
IOWA CITY, Iowa, Nov. 1 (UPI) — Males score better than females on technical aptitude tests because males are more interested than females in technical things, a U.S. researcher says.
Frank Schmidt of the Tippie College of Business at the University of Iowa said he wanted to explain why men score better than women on technical aptitude tests even though the two genders are of equal intelligence.
Aptitude tests — which focus on particular skills or kinds of specific aptitude, like verbal or technical aptitude — are used to predict how well people will do in school and on jobs.
Research during the last few decades by Schmidt and others found what matters more is general intelligence, not specific aptitudes, because intelligent people are able to learn the requirements of any job if they are motivated, the study said.
“The factors that are measured by the specific aptitude tests independent of the general intelligence component in these tests don’t make any contribution to job performance,” Schmidt said in a statement.
Schmidt analyzed data from the 10 subtest Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery to look at how men and women differed on the tests. The study, published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, found at all intelligence levels women score lower than men on technical aptitude at the same intelligence level, but at all levels of technical aptitude women had higher levels of general intelligence.
If technical aptitude tests are used as part of a measure of general intelligence, women could receive intelligence scores that are too low, or technical aptitude tests may be biased indicators of general intelligence for girls and women, Schmidt said.