A new study published in Frontiers in Psychology This explains why men and women exhibit different levels and types of knowledge.
“IQ has been shown to be related to better mental health and perhaps greater longevity,” say the authors of the research, led by Emily Trechler and Dilip Zest of the University of California San Diego. “Wise people experience higher well-being, greater life satisfaction, more optimism, and are better able to handle loss and adversity.”
According to the authors, knowledge can be divided into the following components:
- Empathy and compassion (ie, understanding and helping others)
- take control of your emotions
- Self-reflection (that is, understanding and attempting to improve one’s own behavior)
- accepting uncertainty
- accepting a variety of perspectives
- Giving advice to others seeking guidance
- and, spirituality (that is, a feeling of constant attachment to an entity that is not seen or heard)
To test how men and women differed on components of cognition, researchers recruited more than 650 people and asked them to complete two common measures of cognition: the San Diego Wisdom Scale and the 3-Dimensional Intelligence Scale.
“We expected women to score higher on compassion and other pro-social components of wisdom, as found in other studies,” the authors said. “Similarly, we also predicted that men would score higher on decisiveness, as some other studies have reported. We found differences that we had hypothesized.”
However, there were some surprises. For one, researchers reported greater self-reflection in women and greater emotion regulation in men.
“We can think of knowledge as a whole (that is, not belonging to a specific gender group), but there are some differences of opinion on sub-fields of knowledge in women and men,” the authors said.
The authors suggest that socio-cultural factors may contribute to the observed gender differences in knowledge. For example, in most societies, if not all societies, women and men are treated differently from infancy, which according to them affects knowledge and how they describe “intelligent women” versus “intelligent men”. We do. It can consciously and unintentionally affect the development of knowledge in both genders.
Additionally, biological factors may also contribute to gender differences in cognition – for example, hormone differences may explain why women score higher on the compassionate dimension of cognition.
To increase your own knowledge, the authors recommend the following:
- Try to understand the point of view of others with different backgrounds and different perspectives
- Develop compassion by helping others in your community and participating in causes that serve a greater good
- Practice making effective decisions by slowing down that process and considering all the evidence
The authors hope to branch out research on knowledge in several directions, including understanding more about the longitudinal trajectory of knowledge and life-long development, understanding knowledge from a non-binary gender lens, and identifying knowledge interventions to improve well-being. and implementation is involved. for a range of groups.
“Overall, we hope that knowledge research is used to improve quality of life for people of all ages and backgrounds,” conclude the authors.
A full interview with Emily Trechler and Dilip Zest discussing their new research on wisdom can be found here: How does gender affect knowledge?