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Men and women have major personality differences: New report suggests previous measurements have underestimated variation between the sexes

Date:
January 5, 2012
Source:
Public Library of Science
Summary:
Men and women have large differences in personality, according to a new study. The existence of such differences, and their extent, has been a subject of much debate, but the authors of the new report describe a new method for measuring and analyzing personality differences that they argue is more accurate than previous methods.

A new test has found that men and women have large differences in personality.
Credit: iStockphoto/David Marchal

Men and women have large differences in personality, according to a new study published Jan. 4 in the online journal PLoS ONE.

The existence of such differences, and their extent, has been a subject of much debate, but the authors of the new report, led by Marco Del Giudice of the University of Turin in Italy, describe a new method for measuring and analyzing personality differences that they argue is more accurate than previous methods.

The researchers used personality measurements from more than 10,000 people, approximately half men and half women. The personality test included 15 personality scales, including such traits as warmth, sensitivity, and perfectionism. When comparing men's and women's overall personality profiles, which take multiple traits into account, very large differences between the sexes became apparent, even though differences look much smaller when each trait is considered separately.

However, the study indicates that previous methods to measure such differences have been inadequate, both because they focused on one trait at a time and because they failed to correct for measurement error.

The authors conclude that the true extent of sex differences in human personality has therefore been consistently underestimated.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Public Library of Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Marco Del Giudice, Tom Booth, Paul Irwing. The Distance Between Mars and Venus: Measuring Global Sex Differences in Personality. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (1): e29265 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029265

Cite This Page:

Public Library of Science. "Men and women have major personality differences: New report suggests previous measurements have underestimated variation between the sexes." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104174812.htm>.
Public Library of Science. (2012, January 5). Men and women have major personality differences: New report suggests previous measurements have underestimated variation between the sexes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104174812.htm
Public Library of Science. "Men and women have major personality differences: New report suggests previous measurements have underestimated variation between the sexes." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120104174812.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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