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Population sex differences in IQ at age 11: The Scottish mental survey 1932

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Valerie Wilson


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There is uncertainty whether the sexes differ with respect to their mean levels and variabilities in mental ability test scores. Here we describe the cognitive ability distribution in 80,000+ children-almost everyone born in Scotland in 1921-tested at age 11 in 1932. There were no significant mean differences in cognitive test scores between boys and girls, but there was a highly significant difference in their standard deviations ( P <.001). Boys were over-represented at the low and high extremes of cognitive ability. These findings, the first to be presented from a whole population, might in part explain such cognitive outcomes as the slight excess of men achieving first class university degrees, and the excess of males with learning difficulties. © 2003 Elsevier Science Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Deary IJ, Thorpe G, Wilson V, Starr JM, Whalley LJ

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Intelligence

Year: 2003

Volume: 31

Issue: 6

Pages: 533-542

ISSN (print): 0160-2896

ISSN (electronic): 1873-7935

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/S0160-2896(03)00053-9


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