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Men’s and Women’s Personalities: World’s Apart, or Not So Different?
If men andِ women atِ times seemِ to beِ from differentِ planets, itِ may beِ because thereِ areِ large differences inِ their personalities, a newِ study suggests.
Men tend toِ beِ more dominant (forceful andِ aggressive) andِ emotionally stable, whileِ women tend toِ beِ more sensitive, warm (attentive toِ others) andِ apprehensive, theِ study found.
Psychologically, men andِ women areِ almost a differentِ species, saidِ study researcher Paul Irwing, ofِ the University ofِ Manchester, inِ the United Kingdom.
How different are men and women?
Irwing andِ colleagues analyzed information fromِ more thanِ 10,000 people inِ the United States betweenِ the ages ofِ 15 andِ 92 whoِ tookِ a personality test.
The tests wereِ designed toِ measure 15 personality facets, including warmth, emotional stability, dominance, liveliness, social boldness, sensitivity andِ openness toِ change.
The researchers thenِ combined theِ scores onِ these personality facets toِ compute whatِ theyِ call theِ global difference inِ personality betweenِ men andِ women.
But theِ findings counter theِ prevailing view among psychologists that, onِ the whole, men andِ women areِ more similar thanِ they areِ different, inِ a number ofِ ways, including personality traits.
Janet Shibley Hyde, a professor ofِ psychology andِ women’s studies atِ the University ofِ Wisconsin whoِ published a paper inِ 2005 thatِ was influential inِ contributing toِ thisِ hypothesis, saidِ the newِ study doesِ not overturn thisِ view.
It’s notِ very manly toِ sayِ that you’reِ sensitive, sheِ said.
It’s really uninterpretable, it doesn’t mean anything, Hyde said.
In addition, theِ way theِ researchers crunched theirِ numbers biases theirِ results, becauseِ their method maximizes theِ differences betweenِ males andِ females, Hyde said.
Patrick Ian Armstrong, a professor ofِ psychology atِ Iowa State University, agreed withِ Hyde’s assessment.
Armstrong pointed outِ that theِ global difference valueِ will actuallyِ get bigger theِ moreِ personality factors theِ researchers considerِ (so analyzing 15 factors willِ show a greater difference thanِ analyzing fiveِ factors.) Given theِ issues withِ theِ study’s methods, it’sِ not asِ open andِ shut a case asِ they makeِ itِ out toِ be, Armstrong said.