Are there sex differences in problem solving? an investigation of problem context and sex role type

Journal Article

In this study we investigated sex differences, the effects of problem context, and subject sex-role type on subject's problem-solving ability. The 160 subjects (80 men and 80 women) were students from introductory psychology classes. They were chosen so that each of the four sex-role types, as measured by the Bern Sex Role Inventory (Bern, 1974), were equally represented in the male and female groups. All subjects were administered 18 analytical insight problems, varying in gender context. Subjects' Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) scores on math were used as a covariate. There was no significant effect for sex or sex-role type and no interaction of sex and sex-role type with context of problem. There was a main effect for context of problem, F(2, 302) = 11. 16, p <.01. Subjects of both sexes performed better on masculine-context problems, but problem-solving performance was not affected by sex or sex-role type. Mathematical aptitude seemed to be the most important factor in problem-solving performance. © 1988 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Beckham, JC; Carbonell, JL; Gustafson, DJ

Published Date

  • January 1, 1988

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 122 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 21 - 32

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1940-1019

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3980

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/00223980.1988.10542939

Citation Source

  • Scopus