Introduction to the Study of Gender Differences in Cognition

Richardson, John T. E. (1997). Introduction to the Study of Gender Differences in Cognition. In: Caplan, Paula J.; Crawford, Mary; Hyde, Janet Shibley and Richardson, John T. E. eds. Gender Differences in Human Cognition. Oxford University Press, pp. 2–29.



This chapter briefly reviews the historical development of research into differences between women and men as it relates to contemporary discussions concerning actual or potential differences in cognition. In addition, methodological issues that are involved in research on differences between men and women and the broad variety of theoretical accounts that tend to be put forward in order to explain the findings obtained in such research are considered. Some of these issues are shown by discussing the research findings obtained in the case of one particular measure of spatial ability, the Rod and Frame Test. In general, the range of theoretical options that have been exploited in endeavoring to explain observed differences between men and women in terms of their cognitive performance are described.

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