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GIRLS, CONFIDENCE AND GIVING FEEDBACK
Is it surprising that girls and women regularly underestimate their abilities and intelligence? It’s the opposite for boys and men who often overestimate theirs.
Katelyn Cooper, a doctoral candidate at Arizona State University, and her team asked 250 undergraduate biology students about their intelligence as compared to their peers.
“I would ask students about how their classes were going and I noticed a trend,” Cooper said. “Over and over again, women would tell me that they were afraid that other students thought that they were ‘stupid.’ I never heard this from the men in those same biology classes, so I wanted to study it.”
She found that men are 3.2 times more likely than women to believe they are smarter. On average, a man has a 61% chance of believing he is smarter than his colleagues, while a woman has only a 33% chance.
This confidence disparity by gender is not just true for biology students. Girls (and women) also underestimate their abilities across the board from academics to the workplace to sports. And, also notable, is that boys (and men) are the complete opposite, often believing that they are better than they actually are.
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