Generally, self-assessment of accuracy in the cognitive domain produces overconfidence, whereas self-assessment of the accuracy of visual perceptual judgments produces underconfidence. The possible effect of gender differences on these robust findings appears to be underinvestigated. In this paper, I report two studies that take a step toward redressing this shortcoming. In Study 1, a group of young adults (N =185) were presented with a test of General Knowledge and a visual perceptual task. The results indicated the typical over/underconfidence phenomena noted above, but, when analyzed by sex, indicated statistically significant differences; men were more confident than women on both tasks. In Study 2, participants (N =303) with a wider age range completed 4 tests of cognitive ability, which were drawn from the theory of fluid and crystallized intelligence. Results indicated that the tendency for men to express higher levels of confidence than women in the accuracy of their work appears to remain constant across the life-span. These findings are discussed in relation to self-concept and gender stereotyping.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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