Men (Wrongly) Think They're Smarter Than They Are

Newsweek has an interview with British researcher Adrian Furnham, who is a professor of psychology at University College London. While scientists know that men and women are fairly equal in terms of IQ, Furnham studies perceived smarts. He says he's found that "women, across the world, tend to underplay their intelligence, while men overstate it." Sigh. Continues Furnham: "Men are more confident about their IQ. These studies show that on average, women underestimate their IQ scores by about five points while men overestimate their own IQs. Since these studies were international in scope, the results were essentially the same whether women were from Argentina, America, Britain, Japan or Zimbabwe." Not only that, but Furnham says that both genders tend to believe that their fathers are smarter than their mothers and grandfathers are more intelligent than their grandmothers. And guess what? Parents tend to think their sons are brighter than their daughters. Where have we gone wrong?



Furnham doesn't think self-esteem training is the cure. He's more into positive feedback and whatnot. But, he warns, "Beliefs may be more important than actual ability in certain settings." Meaning that a dude who thinks he's a genius may get a job instead of a women who's supersmart but doesn't think she is. How did we get here? Why is this a global phenomenon? Each and every one of us probably has a story about our incredibly intelligent mother, grandmother or daughter... But how frightening is it that we're in the minority?

He's Not as Smart As He Thinks [Newsweek]