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November 28, 2007



Ah, but which are more accurate?


What was the one country that didn't have 'strong and highly significant gender differences in consumer confidence data'?


Does this mean men are less able to see what's coming?

Matt Munro

Men believe that they have more control over the external world, and are therefore more likely to be able to exert positive influence. Women perceive themselves as passive victims of events, with limited ability to exert positive change. Applies as much to consumer confidence indexes as changing the wheel on a car.


Certain beliefs and/or opinions may have a gender split, but that doesn't necessarily mean the difference has a genetic or evolutionary basis. Evolutionary psychologists (and others) need to learn this basic fact.

Hamster on a Treadmill

Ahh but were they careful to distinguish between young, up and coming men with no responsibilities and the illusion of freedom and the rest of us, bogged down with mortgages, jobs we hate but we have to do, nagging wives who spend our money and very expensive children?
I think then, perhaps we would see a difference in who believes they have "freedom" or not.

Matt Munro

Katherine - agreed. By the same token it does not necessarily mean they are a product of conditioning - social psychologists would to well to remember that too.
The fact that in this instance there is a culturally invariant difference in male/female attitudes, and a consistent direction of difference, suggests the difference is "genetic" - although personally I prefer the term "innate".
I could ramble on here about the Garcia effect and how it's not possible to reinforce behaviour that has no adaptive advantage (in other words conditioning is really only the socially modified expression of innate characteristics) but I can't be bothered. The nature/nurture argument should be declared a score draw IMHO.

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