That “Are Men Smarter at Science? They Certainly Think So” study…. don’t even bother

Young men in a biology class were somewhat more confident about how smart they were compared with young women. A sample of one class from one university, with who knows how much p-hacking and forking paths, nevertheless goes viral because lots of people think that it likely to be generally true.

While the study was based on students in a single class, it underscored how differently men and women in science perceive their abilities. Such self-perceptions can have cascading effects on motivation, participation and confidence.

Notice the journalist’s clever “can” there… self-perceptions can also leave to non-cascading effects….

And way at the bottom of the article:

The researchers cautioned against overgeneralizing the findings until the study could be replicated in different classes and schools.

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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