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Brother-sister differences in the g factor in intelligence: Analysis of full, opposite-sex siblings from the NLSY 1979

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-456
Number of pages6
JournalIntelligence
Volume35
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Abstract

There is scientific and popular dispute about whether there are sex differences in cognitive abilities and whether they are relevant to the proportions of men and women who attain high-level achievements, such as Nobel Prizes. A recent meta-analysis (Lynn, R., and Irwing, P. (2004). Sex differences on the progressive matrices: a meta-analysis. Intelligence, 32, 481-498.), which suggested that males have higher mean scores on the general factor in intelligence (g), proved especially contentious. Here we use a novel design, comparing 1292 pairs of opposite-sex siblings who participated in the US National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY1979). The mental test applied was the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), from which the briefer Armed Forces Qualification Test (AFQT) scores can also be derived. Males have only a marginal advantage in mean levels of g (less than 7% of a standard deviation) from the ASVAB and AFQT, but substantially greater variance. Among the top 2% AFQT scores, there were almost twice as many males as females. These differences could provide a partial basis for sex differences in intellectual eminence. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • intelligence, g, sex, gender, STANDARD PROGRESSIVE MATRICES, INDIVIDUAL-DIFFERENCES, GENDER-DIFFERENCES, TEST-SCORES, BRAIN SIZE, WAIS-III, APTITUDE, METAANALYSIS, VARIABILITY, ABILITIES

ID: 468130