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  • Level: GCSE
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An Investigation into Gender-Based Stereotyping Using IQ Estimates

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Student: Zoe Wood

Tutor: Mike Rawsterne


An Investigation into Gender-Based Stereotyping Using IQ Estimates

ONCW – Psychology – Level 3

Blackburn College

Assignment 3

Date of Submission: 26th April 2006

An In Investigation into Gender-Based Stereotyping Using IQ Estimates


A Natural experiment was carried out to look into the relationship of gender stereotyping and IQ estimates of males and females. It was hypothesised that the participants would estimate their fathers IQ as being higher than their mothers IQ, showing people think males have higher IQ scores than females. The female participants will also estimate that their father IQ is greater than their own IQ and the male participants will estimate their own IQ as being greater than their mothers IQ, again favourable to the males. It is also hypothesised that males will give a higher estimate of their own IQ scores than the females will give of their own IQ scores.

Ten males and ten females who were friend and family of the experimenter were shown a IQ scale and asked to estimate what their fathers, their mothers and their own IQ scores would be. The results of the experiment indicate that the hypotheses are all correct and that gender stereotyping is still present in society today.

The results were compared to previous studies and suggestions made for future investigations.


In our society today, men and women perform distinctly different roles which are based on nothing more than their biological gender. In general, the roles in modern

...read more.


This study will look into gender-based stereotyping using IQ estimates of males and females to distinguish which sex will be estimated to have the highest IQ scores, and if the hypotheses are confirmed or unconfirmed.

Like this study, Psychologists of the University of London conducted a study with a larger number of participants for evidence of gender based stereotyping. 224 participants were used (82 men, 138 women, and 4 who did not report their gender) for the experiment and asked to estimate their own and parental IQs. They hypothesised that men would give a higher estimate than women, and regardless of gender, they would estimate that their fathers IQ was higher than their mothers. The hypotheses were confirmed, on an average count, supporting the view that people perceive IQ as a primarily masculine attribute.

Hypotheses 1

Participants will estimate that their fathers IQ will be higher than their mothers IQ.

Hypotheses 2

Females will estimate that their fathers IQ is higher than their own IQ.

Hypotheses 3

Males will estimate their own IQ as being higher than their mothers IQ.

Hypotheses 4

Males will give higher estimates of their own IQ than females will.


Design: The test was a natural experiment as the independent variables were not controlled, such as the gender of the participants and the gender of the persons’ whose IQ was being estimated. The participants were given a new scale to indicate the estimates of IQ scores they were told to indicate separately to prevent the participant comparing their estimates together.

Participants: There were ten females and ten males who took part in the experiment.

...read more.


Another suggestion would be to compare Emotional Intelligence (EI) to IQ scores as EI is perceived to be feminine, as IQ is masculine. A scale of different emotional categories can be used to estimate what their own and their parent’s emotional strengths and weaknesses are and comparing the data with the IQ estimates.

To further the study into gender stereotyping another experiment could be taken out which include the participant estimating other relatives such as brothers and sisters to see if there would be gender bias with a wider range of results.


Gross, R D (2005) Psychology: The Science of Mind and Behaviour, Second Edition, London: Hodder & Stoughton






Instructions given, by mouth, to the participants:

The participants were asked to take part in a study relating to gender stereotypes.

(1 IQ scale was given to the participant)

  • Look at the scale of IQ scores shown at the top of the scale which lead to what those scores would indicate.
  • Mark on the scale what you would estimate your own IQ score would be.

(Another separate scale was given to the participant)

  • Now mark on what you think your mothers IQ score would be.

(Another separate scale was given to the participant)

  • Now mark on the scale what you think your fathers IQ score would be.

Any questions the participants had were answered.

The scales were then collected in and a mean IQ estimate was drawn, and placed in results tables.

...read more.

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