Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities
Psychology Press – 2000 – 440 pages
Psychology Press – 2000 – 440 pages
In the third edition of her popular text, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, Diane Halpern tackles fundamental questions about the meaning of sex differences in cognition and why people are so afraid of the differences. She provides a comprehensive context for understanding the theories and research on this controversial topic. The author employs the psychobiosocial model of cognition to negotiate a cease fire on the nature-nurture wars and offers a more holistic and integrative conceptualization of the forces that make people unique.
This new edition reflects the explosion of theories and research in the area over the past several years. New techniques for peering into the human brain have changed the nature of the questions being asked and the kinds of answers that can be expected. There have been surprising new findings on the influence of sex hormones on cognitive abilities across the life span, as well as an increasing number of studies examining how attention paid to category variables such as one's sex, race, or age affects unconscious and automatic cognitive processes.
Written in a clear, engaging style, this new edition takes a refreshing look at the science and politics of cognitive sex differences. Although it is a comprehensive and up-to-date synthesis of scientific theory and research into how, why, when, and to what extent females and males differ in intellectual abilities, it conveys complex ideas and interrelationships among variables in an engrossing and understandable manner, bridging the gap between sensationalized 'pop' literature and highly technical scientific journals. Halpern's thought-provoking perspectives on this controversial topic will be of interest to students and professionals alike.
[features used for book mailer] FEATURES:
*Includes new information about sex differences and similarities in the brain, the role of sex hormones on cognition (including exciting new work on hormone replacement therapy during menopause), new perspectives from evolutionary psychology, the way stereotypes and other group-based expectations unconsciously and automatically influence thought, the influence of pervasive sex-differentiated child rearing and other sex role effects, and understanding how research is conducted and interpreted.
*Takes a cognitive process approach that examines similarities and differences in visuospatial working memory, verbal working memory, long-term acquisition and retrieval, sensation and perception, and other stages in information processing.
*Provides a developmental analysis of sex differences and similarities in cognition extending from the early prenatal phase into very old age.
*Tackles both political and scientific issues and explains how they influence each other--readers are warned that science is not value-free.
*Uses cross-cultural data and warns readers about the limitations on conclusions that have not been assessed in multiple cultures.
*Includes many new figures and tables that summarize complex issues and provide section reviews.
It is a beautifully written book by a master teacher who really cares about presenting a clear and honest picture of contemporary psychology's most politicized topic.
Contents: Prefaces. Introduction and Overview. Searching for Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities. Empirical Evidence for Cognitive Sex Differences. Biological Hypotheses Part I: Genes and Hormones. Biological Hypotheses Part II: Brains, Evolutionary Pressures, and Brain-Behavior Relationships. Psychosocial Hypotheses Part I: Sex Role Stereotypes Through the Life Span. Psychosocial Hypotheses Part II: Theoretical Perspectives for Understanding the Role of Psychosocial Variables. Using a Psychobiosocial Perspective to Understand Cognitive Sex Differences.