Sex Differences in Personality are Large and Important

Men and women are different. A seemingly obvious fact to most of humanity but a long-time subject of controversy within psychology. New large-scale results using better empirical methods are resolving the debate, however, in favor of the person in the street. The basic story is that at the broadest level (OCEAN) differences are relatively small but that is because there are large offsetting differences between men and women at lower levels of aggregation. Scott Barry Kaufman, writing at Scientific American, has a very good review of the evidence:

At the broad level, we have traits such as extraversion, neuroticism, and agreeableness. But when you look at the specific facets of each of these broad factors, you realize that there are some traits that males score higher on (on average), and some traits that females score higher on (on average), so the differences cancel each other out. This canceling out gives the appearance that sex differences in personality don’t exist when in reality they very much do exist.

For instance, males and females on average don’t differ much on extraversion. However, at the narrow level, you can see that males on average are more assertive (an aspect of extraversion) whereas females on average are more sociable and friendly (another aspect of extraversion). So what does the overall picture look like for males and females on average when going deeper than the broad level of personality?

On average, males tend to be more dominant, assertive, risk-prone, thrill-seeking, tough-minded, emotionally stable, utilitarian, and open to abstract ideas. Males also tend to score higher on self-estimates of intelligence, even though sex differences in general intelligence measured as an ability are negligible [2]. Men also tend to form larger, competitive groups in which hierarchies tend to be stable and in which individual relationships tend to require little emotional investment. In terms of communication style, males tend to use more assertive speech and are more likely to interrupt people (both men and women) more often– especially intrusive interruptions– which can be interpreted as a form of dominant behavior.

…In contrast, females, on average, tend to be more sociable, sensitive, warm, compassionate, polite, anxious, self-doubting, and more open to aesthetics. On average, women are more interested in intimate, cooperative dyadic relationships that are more emotion-focused and characterized by unstable hierarchies and strong egalitarian norms. Where aggression does arise, it tends to be more indirect and less openly confrontational. Females also tend to display better communication skills, displaying higher verbal ability and the ability to decode other people’s nonverbal behavior. Women also tend to use more affiliative and tentative speech in their language, and tend to be more expressive in both their facial expressions and bodily language (although men tend to adopt a more expansive, open posture). On average, women also tend to smile and cry more frequently than men, although these effects are very contextual and the differences are substantially larger when males and females believe they are being observed than when they believe they are alone.

Moreover, the differences in the subcategories are all correlated so while one might argue that even among the subcategories the differences are small on any single category when you put them all together the differences in male and female personalities are large and systematic.

Relatively small differences across multiple traits can add up to substantial differences when considered as a whole profile of traits. Take the human face, for example. If you were to just take a particular feature of the face– such as mouth width, forehead height, or eye size– you would have difficult differentiating between a male face and a female face. You simply can’t tell a male eyeball from a female eyeball, for instance. However, a look at the combination of facial features produces two very distinct clusters of male vs. female faces. In fact, observers can correctly determine sex from pictures with greater than 95% accuracy [4]. Here’s an interesting question: does the same apply to the domain of personality?

…There now exists four large-scale studies that use this multivariate methodology (see here, here, here, and here). All four studies are conducted cross-culturally and report on an analysis of narrow personality traits (which, as you may recall, is where most of the action is when it comes to sex differences). Critically, all four studies converge on the same basic finding: when looking at the overall gestalt of human personality, there is a truly striking difference between the typical male and female personality profiles.

Just how striking? Well, actually, really striking. In one recent study, Tim Kaiser, Marco Del Giudice, and Tom Booth analyzed personality data from 31,637 people across a number of English-speaking countries. The size of global sex differences was D = 2.10 (it was D = 2.06 for just the United States). To put this number in context, a D= 2.10 means a classification accuracy of 85%. In other words, their data suggests that the probability that a randomly picked individual will be correctly classified as male or female based on knowledge of their global personality profile is 85% (after correcting for the unreliability of the personality tests).

In other words, you can predict whether a person is male of female from their personality traits almost as well as by looking at their face. Overall, the big differences are as follows:

Consistent with prior research, the researchers found that the following traits are most exaggerated among females when considered separately from the rest of the gestalt: sensitivity, tender-mindedness, warmth, anxiety, appreciation of beauty, and openness to change. For males, the most exaggerated traits were emotional stability, assertiveness/dominance, dutifulness, conservatism, and conformity to social hierarchy and traditional structure.

I have also pointed out that gender equality magnifies differences in gender choices and behavior which is probably one reason why fewer women enter STEM fields in societies with greater equality. Consistent with this, personality differences between the sexes are large in all cultures but “for all of these personality effects the sex differences tend to be larger– not smaller– in more individualistic, gender-egalitarian countries.”

Addendum: See John Nye and co-authors on testosterone and finger length for some biological correlations.


Why is this controversial?

Because it offers a likely explanation for differences in outcomes that are not a result of oppression.

Like Darwin's book, this is dangerous to the beliefs of the faithful. This is blasphemy.

It is controversial for the same reason that genetics/nature is controversial; it is incorrectly interpreted to imply that behavior is immutable.

Let's keep alive the idea that environment matters. Then surely the way to correct environmental factors is to place women to lead companies and countries and force enroll them in PhD programs. And surely, what is described in those summary results will not matter anymore!

'is to place women to lead companies and countries'

Yes, Thatcher certainly destroyed the UK, didn't she?

When a variable has variance it takes more than an outlier to rule out the null hypothesis.

Also, Thatcher is overvalued and May has been an utter disaster in a difficult political situation.

"Also, Thatcher is overvalued"

As compared to Macmillan and Heath? Hahahahaha.

"May has been an utter disaster in a difficult political situation"

As compared to Cameron, the man who unleashed forces he hated but couldn't control? If you had an idea about how to deliver Brexit while depending on DUP, you should have sent it to the Lord Chamberlain or something like that.

It’s obvious. Maggie Thatcher was successful in spite of the vast right wing plot to deny her the right to transition.

Titania McGrath? The Legendary Titania McGrath from Twitter? The exceedingly funny Titania McGrath from Twitter? We (at least I) are not worthy?

There seem to be a lot of tensions around what is allowable to be true with respect to sex and gender. For example,

1) The idea that gender differences in personality are primarily the result of socialization, i.e., learned, rather than natural orientations seems to be in tension with the idea that trans individuals have inherently fixed gender traits that differ from their biological sex and always will. So, socialization has made cis-females less aggressive but cis-females can be made more aggressive by changing their social environment, but no amount of socialization or any other change of environmental factors could make a trans individual feel more matched to their biological sex. The trans characteristics are fixed and immutable. Similarly, sexual orientation is also fixed and immutable (with a possible exception of some apparent heterosexuals that really are gay but just don't know it because of socialization/environmental factors).

2) Similarly, people of certain sexual and trans orientations should take great pride in their fixed and immutable orientations but we as a society must remain committed to changing the gender-related tendencies mentioned in this post. Should (cis-)women who exhibit "sensitivity, tender-mindedness, warmth, anxiety, appreciation of beauty, and openness to change" be proud of who they are or not? Similarly, should cis-men celebrate their "emotional stability, assertiveness/dominance, dutifulness, conservatism, and conformity to social hierarchy and traditional structure" or should we subject them to conversion therapy to rid them of their toxic masculinity?

Rather than try to enforce all sorts of conflicting constraints on what is allowed to be true, maybe it would be easier to just allow everyone the freedom to make their own choices to pursue their own Happiness, independent of what any academic study finds.

Because control of womens minds is the only war-on-women that I know of. No group of the global population is as susceptible to suggestion, marketing, and predatory low self-esteem than women. A perfect example of this is the whole wellness movement.

My point is, a lot of people (a lot of them women) have decided women can't be allowed to do this because it defeats A) the purpose of keeping them insecure enough to keep buying and B) it allows those women who've become bitter to live vicariously through younger women by spreading their unhappiness.

Women are marks, useful marks, especially when they can also snag a man's earning power for additional resources to pay for her insecurities.

"Women are marks, useful marks, especially when they can also snag a man's earning power for additional resources to pay for her insecurities."

No, the world doesn't owe you a supermodel. Do you need a safe space to deal with it?

What? What are you on about you incel boomer?

I am neither an incle nor a Boomer. The world does not owe you a supermodel.

And the world didn't owe the sense god gave geese to address a single thing saliently


"Similarly, sexual orientation is also fixed and immutable (with a possible exception of some apparent heterosexuals that really are gay but just don't know it because of socialization/environmental factors)."

This used to be believed, but now this is changing. Trans activist and philosopher Rachel MacKinnon (now, apparently, Victoria Ivy) asserted on Twitter that all sexual orientations besides pansexualism are immoral (see here: Most philosophers who claim that some thing X is immoral also believe that you can not do X. Consequently, MacKinnon probably believes that your sexual orientation is under your control.

I don't think she's a one-off, either. I think this position is becoming more common among transpeople (at least, trans folks who use Twitter).

"it is incorrectly interpreted to imply that behavior is immutable."

But also to imply that all behaviour is entirely mutable.

Given what are effectively hundreds of "switches" in the genome and epigenome plus the hormones, etc, produced by all organs in the body, which can be removed or damaged or not developed to the norm, traits associated with gender/sex are not only not binary, but not always solid in the same direction toward M or F.

What seems to be a master switch, the SrY gene, is not a master switch. For example, normally on the Y chromosome, it pops up on an X chromosome, or some place entirely different, and thus triggers some physical changes to what is a female with two X chromosomes and no Y chromosome.

While the sexual organs can be examined during embryonic and fetal development from a pure asexual, bisexual, bisexual initial state, what can't be observed so far is how the brain changes from its first formation through to about age 25 at least.

I have found no one stating they did not know their sex/gender until someone told them they were either M/F and then taught them how to think like a boy or think like a girl, how to act like a boy or act like a girl.

If sex/gender is mutable, then a girl can be taught to think like a boy, whatever that means. If sex is immutable, a girl who thinks and acts like a boy is immutably thinking like a boy, no matter how many times she is whipped or shouted at.

Sliders for traits we can't yet see, but only deduce, get set invisibly with random bias.

Then, individuals generally harmonize their the traits with both their own self perception, but also to become "civilized".

For example, aggression is associated with men tto a very high degree, thus there are few female serial killers, but most men dampen the expression of aggression to be part of a civilized society. Ie, aggression is considered mutable.

An individual with a naturally high aggression trait will be considered "mentally ill" and confined in a mental institution to protect society by those who reject binary gender/sex, or called evil by those who see sex as binary, with them sent to prison or executed, unless they are called perfect and recruited to kill for the greater good, either called heroes or martyrs or terrorists.

Are "brutal dictators" made or born? Are they not the perfect expression of male traits?

Everything, including ths platform, was made by a man. So because of some bad dudes, all men are by extension capable of being bad, and there aren't any evil women, and apparently everyone owes women complete safety all the time. And I thought they were all wonderwoman.

Who hurt you?

I am surprised by the degree to which feminists deny the notion of innate male/female personality differences. I would think those innate differences would explain a great amount of the failure of women to rise up in male-created organizations. That is to say that it could be argued that those organizations are structured in a way that they necessarily reward male personality traits and punish, or at least fail to reward, female ones.

This is the ultimate basis for requiring that women be placed in positions of authority in the major American institutions like government and business. The argument would be that until women have the power to reorganize the way in which these organizations reward behavior/personality to at least place female personality traits on an equal plane with male ones, they will never be able to wield real power outside the small minority of women who display male personality traits.

Innate differences and essentialism are trigger words for social constructionists because the existence of innate differences means that they must accept the humiliating truth that women intrinsically are "inferior" to men in their capacity to rule. Social construction satisfies both the desire to attach moral blame to men (if it's innate men can say: "We were born this way!") and to give feminists the freedom to produce utopia by socially re-engineering both "gender" and "gender roles."

Women have been free to start a female-owned business for 75 years and many do. Is there any evidence that women who own a business run it differently than men would and that such different management is successful? I doubt it. Most of what is called male organization is just organization. An organization must be hierarchical if over 30 people--men find this more congenial to their personality. A business must have procedures and rules and follow accounting standards. A business must compete with other businesses. All of this is by necessity.

Yeah, sure. But you will still get people who misunderstand it. It doesn't mean a woman applying for a STEM job is unsuited. She isn't any longer a member of the general population. She has self-selected her preference.

And a company with a number of openings much smaller than the US population might fill half it's staff with such selections, numerically speaking.

Though yes, as those Nordic studies show the national aggregate employment will start to reflect disposition "on average." Given a safety net so strong that employees are no longer salary maximizing?

As usual you either say nothing or something completely wrong.

Yes, obviously treat individuals as individuals. That’s a non statement with zero controversy. Even the google idiot Damore said this a dozen or so times in his “don’t ever hire me again” manifesto.

As for the rest you have it precisely backwards. If does not “reflect disposition on average.” It’s .... the exact opposite.

As gender equality increases, gender bifurcation occurs. Higher % women engineers in countries like Egypt than Sweden. More choice leads individuals to self select into careers that are a good fit.

If you’re cynical this is an opportunity to bludgeon every technology company until they’re staffed with Gender Inclusivity Czars. If you’re not cynical this is a case where well meaning people are upset about something that was self selected in the first place.

James Damore was right.

It depends on how you look at it. You probably could not make 50% of all programmers in the US women, without draconian measures. On the other hand, one firm, especially a highly desirable destination, might meet that goal with ease.

There is certainly no law in the US that they *can't* have gender equality in their workforce.

?? James' argument was just that resources devoted to sensitivity and inclusiveness training, female mentoring, and other standard diversity initiatives (google spent about 1/4 billion over 10 years at the time of the memo) are poorly aligned with the goal of increasing female engineer share.
Because men not being inclusive or sensitive enough isn't actually the bottleneck to female hiring and retention. He had a bunch of other recommendations and ideas about how to make engineering and stem training more female friendly to attract and retain females both at Google specifically, and in stem fields generally, but those ideas were premised upon average gender personality and preference differences, so of course they're nonstarters with the diversity and inclusion czars of the world.

The question is why should the goal be to make 50% of US programmers (or Google programmers) women rather than to allow 100% of women to choose their own paths in life that make them most Happy as they themselves define such Happiness? Why should a goal of enforced statistical outcomes take precedence over a goal of open and free markets?

Maybe because 50+ years of civil rights legislation, court decisions, and case history say so.

Yeah, I saw a Black in the bus and I am shocked.

Is Google a player in free markets? Free to follow its own peculiar goals?

There are many ways the goals of a company are different than demands of society (through law) but that is one. If they simply decide they "want minorities" by whatever definition, they aren't running afoul.

This is where some might be tempted to say that "wanting minorities" is as pernicious as "avoiding minorities" but I'd hope no one would fall into that trap.

An attempt at inclusion is not really morally equivalent to an attempt at exclusion.

"This is where some might be tempted to say that "wanting minorities" is as pernicious as "avoiding minorities" but I'd hope no one would fall into that trap."

"Wanting minorities" leads to discrimination
against non-minorities.

Don't tell me you can't see that. Not even you are that dumb.

Delusional as always.

Find me the group of executives or employees in tech who are promoting “avoid minorities.”

Please continue on your Quixotic quest to slay straw men.

You’re a Boomer, call your children and get off the economics blogs.

Racial discrimination is totally fine as long as it's against the proper skin color (whites and asians)!

"Yes, obviously treat individuals as individuals. That’s a non statement with zero controversy."

Actually, that's precisely the controversy when it comes to affirmative action, whether in college admissions or in tech hiring.

Your willful miscomprehensions are boring.

“Reflect disposition on average” was nothing more that recapitulation of Alex and Stoet and Geary.

Ok Boomer/troll. Time to get off the internet. You’ve trolled enough academics blogs for the day.

We’re all proud of you for learning how to google Jstor though.

Within Google there is a team that develops a web framework called Angular, used within Google for app development and has a broad user base outside. The community has a conference every year in Salt Lake, a few days where you hear technical talks. At the end of the conference all the angular team get on the stage for a QA. Last year there was one woman. Someone asked a question about it. The answer from the team lead was that they had failed. And it wasn't for lack of trying. It was a point of pride for the team that they encouraged mentorship and other initiatives to bring women into the community and development team at Google.

At one point it becomes an ideological vanity project. It isn't that there aren't capable women, there are. It is simply that there aren't very many of them, and they have an extraordinary number of choices open to them. To get a team half populated by women, as James Demore got fired for saying, is not practical. You would have to overpay for the few available women. Which would be defined except by the most ideological as open prejudice.

The women I see rarely focus on maximizing salary. I'm seeing business run by women staffed almost entirely by women, these are professional firms, diversifying their employee base so they have someone who wants to work long hours, and is going to be there for the long term while the women work part time or take a year off to have children. When a society is prosperous enough to allow people to choose what they want to do, we see that women don't act to maximize salaries, but men do.

The post above talks about 85% of the population matching certain characteristics. Very capable software developers are very rare in the population. They typically have a short productive life span due to the demands of the endeavor. Demore thought that it might be possible to get to 20%. It seems that he was over optimistic.

Another field where this is showing up is medicine. Like software development the difference in productivity between the extremely proficient and the proficient is very high. In software development is is 10 fold. So we see these typically male doctors who carry an extraordinary load. I've had experience with a few of them. They are retiring now, and there are no replacements. As a spouse of one of them told me, the women don't want to work long hours, and the women of the men who would don't want them to. So three doctors have to be trained to replace one.

There's nothing I really disagree with there, though like math, programming might be unfairly thought of as an ability contest. Ability helps, but most of the world's code doesn't have to be overly complex, opaque, or unreliable (the traps high IQ coders tend to fall into). Most code in fact should be simple, straightforward, and easily communicatable. Even if you have IQ you should be able to hand off to someone with 10 or 20 points less.

That difference in capability would mean handing it off to 10 people. Which really means 20 because the friction of that many people involved would be enormous.

And yes, it isn't simply IQ. An extremely good memory, and a high level of conscientiousness are very valuable. Or as Larry Wall said, Laziness, Impatience and Hubris.

I meant handing off a completed project, which if well done should just hum for a few years without intervention. With someone there for spec changes.

Or in the case of an architecture, certainly extended easily by average Joes.

Needing 10x sounds like a horror story tbh.

Lots of references there from studies. If you are hiring a maintenance developer the exigencies and requirements are vastly different from a production developer, almost a difference in kind.

What annoys me about this whole kerfuffle is how disconnected from the reality of software development the whole conversation is. The state of development is awful. In a hundred years the current best practices will look like what medieval monks did a millenium ago, poring over hand written documents by a small group of cloistered monks. The state of the art is so bad that poring energy into goals that have nothing to do with the problem at hand is ridiculous. A group of people like they have at Google with the ample funding to explore ideas has the potential to make a big difference, and in ways they have, but there is a very long way to go. But they are distracted by other things now, and it shows.

I agree that you want your lead architect(s) to have skills commensurate with the problem domain.

Ability helps, but most of the world's code doesn't have to be overly complex, opaque, or unreliable (the traps high IQ coders tend to fall into).

That’s actually the trap that the mediocre programmers fall into - they lack the capacity to prevent complexity, opacity, and lack of reliability, and still get the job “done” on time. The great programmer can produce The Right Thing, simple, understandable, reliable, in the same time.

In any technical field, it’s far easier to produce crap than jewels. In my own field - aerospace engineering - look no further than the Boeing 737 MAX fiasco for an example. (Yes, the pilots screwed the pooch, but Boeing put them in a position where they had much smaller margins than they were prepared for - and Boeing didn’t tell them about it.)

New classic English nursery rhyme:

Boris Johnson’s big Johnson
Up my ass
Up my ass
Up my ass
Boris Johnson’s Big Johnson
Up my ass
All the live-long day

"That’s actually the trap that the mediocre programmers fall into - they lack the capacity to prevent complexity, opacity, and lack of reliability, and still get the job “done” on time. The great programmer can produce The Right Thing, simple, understandable, reliable, in the same time."

I'm not sure it's as clear cut as you say. I know some really good programmers that spit out code very fast and it's often poor code that works. I have known some bad coders (won't bother calling them programmers) that at least followed the idea of commenting and modularity.

I think good coding is a taught skill (not inherent) and that lazy programmers (both good and bad) don't like the extra work. It's not really a good/bad paradigm and more likely a conscientious/not paradigm.

Granted, I've met a few good programmers that were highly conscientious. and yes their code tends to be The Right Thing.

That being said, it's not always "Simple". Sometimes good code will use a clever trick that vastly simplifies the operation but isn't intuitive. However a conscientious programmer leaves good commenting that clearly indicates why she chose that method.

So three doctors have to be trained to replace one.

Try making your anecdotes plausible.

Did you notice one of the things that Boris promised yesterday was to increase doctors and nurses by some number.

My GP for many years wanted to retire. His wife worked in the practice and he had something like 2500 patients. He knew them, worked long long hours, and was very effective. Come time to retire, he tried to find someone who would take over. They would look at that number and say no thanks. He had to pare it in half to get a young man with a family interested. That was more than a decade ago.

Recently I did some work for the spouse of an internist, who has specialized in oncology. He too works extremely long hours, weekends, and has done so for decades. He is past retirement age and is looking for a replacement. The long hours are not of interest, as well as no option for time off or flexible scheduling. Two people could do what he does, but they would need a third to fill in when they were gone having kids, or whatever.

If I've learned anything it is that almost no one knows what keeps the current system running. I'm in lots of places and like to chat with people, and find all these individuals who do the work of keeping civilization running. Every system in place was put together at a time when men were expected to carry a heavy burden of labor, and they simply did it. Society has changed, and that pool of men isn't there anymore. Women are rarely willing or able to put in the ridiculous hours necessary. So who is going to do it? The people pontificating about all this stuff have no idea how it actually works.

Within medicine most of the serious projections now include an offset for "millennial hours" or something similar. Very few young physicians want a 60+ hour workweek. When they do, the vast majority want large amounts of time for travel or similar. The handful that are left want to be compensated highly, which might just be moving hours from later into hours now, but if not is still hard to square with the mostly futile efforts to drive down healthcare costs.

We are training and importing physicians quite heavily and having been devolving ever more responsibilities to physician extenders and NPs. Nonetheless, with the boomers retiring, physician shortages are expected to increase. Worse when you do replace a boomer with more people, you lose a lot of hours in overhead. Something like 1/8th of total physician time is sunk into per-capita overhead (e.g. CME, compliance for admitting privileges, licensure maintenance, sexual harassment compliance). The more we part out the work, the worse the over all efficiency. The majority of medical students just went female this year and unless they differ from the previous set of female physicians, we can expect a large number of them to significantly drop their hours for childbearing/rearing. Couple all that with the ever deepening subspecialization of medicine, and we are going to see more training time (e.g. the now standard fellowship for most specialties) and increased per capita demand for physicians.

Frankly, we will be lucky if we can maintain current amounts of physician time per patient with a just a 3:1 replacement rate.

This is happening in lots of professional fields. In manufacturing it's getting really hard to find millennials who will work in a factory. I've been involved in a number of factory digitization projects, and the managers I've talked to say their primary driver is not automation or efficiency, but capturing the process knowledge of all their old workers, as they are having a hell of a time finding replacements for them. Normally the current workers would have apprentices they could pass their knowledge onto, but they don't have any.

Apparently, lots of people come in for interviews, but once they see the details of the work, such as having to park their phones in their locker for the day while on the floor, they run away.

And these aren't sweat shops. They're modern factories with good wages and full benefits. One factory manager told me that they didn't even require a high school diploma, and the pay started over $20/hr. This was an aviation factory - clean and quiet and with interesting work. Yet despite relatively high youth unemployment in the area, they were struggling to find young people who would do the job. The average age of the workers in their factory was 54.

What area of the country?

I think the previous year there were 3 or 4 on the team. So their initiatives got exactly the opposite result.

I am reminded once that a guy quit after six months trying to get a communications package working. Management was very frustrated. I was given it. In the handoff he explained that it was a six level deep nested state machine. As I went further I realized he must be a genius. As I went still further, I decided he was nuts. I ripped out four levels, turned it in two weeks later, had no bugs reported against it for the years I was there.

The extra four levels, that were killing him, were trying to provide good answers for bad, out of spec, queries. He was smart, but he was trying to be smarter still. A common mode of failure.

Error code, done.

I'm in a technical trade, one that could be called mature. Someone like that would be trained to do things properly, for the very simple reason that pulling such nonsense would mean not getting paid.

We put systems in that are provide core functionality to our business customers, expected to operate for 15 years with some maintenance, and a big job for us takes three weeks. But we don't smelt the metal and machine the components, because it is a mature market. I'm not a professional developer, but have enough experience to see how bad the whole endeavor is. Your story is very real, and I suspect is the problem behind the lack of productivity growth.

Nothing beats experience. What shocks me is that someone with 5 years experience in development is considered very experienced, and a few months with specific technologies gets you work. After 5 years in what I do you just start learning all the things you can screw up, after a decade you can take on anything that gets thrown at you.

The whole thing is shockingly immature. Tightening things up, establishing standards in an already too expensive situation seems ridiculous. This is a real problem, especially now that almost everything depends on this stuff working.

It seems decisions and policies and pontifications are made mostly by people who think that their IPhone is characteristic of the whole industry.

Maybe good solid development processes require an alpha male with very strong opinions (the right ones of course) who hollers at everyone who dares disagree. That is what produced the IPhone. I wonder if his language was as salty as Torvalds'?

Someone said recently that much of these fusses that consume attention are at the core a war against competence. Not a good idea when everything depends on very competent people to keep it all working.

One comment from serious developers I've heard is that they can't get paid to write tests for their code. Or the schedules don't allow time. That is one thing that I like about what Google is doing, they are setting a standard of excellence in this regard. The angular code base on github, with the multiple updates daily as it is developed is used live throughout Google as is. They have a testing regime that ensures the changes won't break things. A remarkable achievement.

The claim that men and women are equal in g is disproved by the same multivariate approach Tyler cites in this review. That fallacy comes from conflating the mean and the modal averages.

Only one gender will find these results mega-triggering

No, not one gender. One ideology. The women I know and work with, work for know the difference. They structure their lives and businesses to meet their needs and desires. They don't like the ideologues either.

Lol, what a bunch of hatefacts.
Next you know, people will start saying that (racial) groups of people evolved under different adaptive conditions and are not equal (on aggregate) in intelligence, temperament, character, ability to maintain tech civilization in their societies, etc.

Better not allow it by instituting world communism.
Or, if that does not work, make a deal with the neoliberals so that we get both low taxes and the the cultural marxists control both media and the university system.
It's a win-win!

Wow, that sure was everything we were told yesterday never happens.

Let's see, reader, if they are madder at John for saying it, or me for noticing.

I’d give the probability of this being either a troll or you posting under another handle at about 95%.

100% fail

'Better not allow it by instituting world communism.'

Why bother? We already know what an utter failure communism was - look at just how backward Russia remains today. Considering just what an almagalm of racial groups the 'Russians' are (mixing with all those groups in various -stan places, along with native Sberians), who is surprised? At least ethnically pure Slavs, like those in Poland, are able to succeed in the modern world. And being good Catholics, they know the proper place for women too.

"Better not allow it by instituting world communism.
Or, if that does not work, make a deal with the neoliberals so that we get both low taxes and the the cultural marxists control both media and the university system"


Does anyone else find the constant repetition of the redundant phrase 'on average' as annoying as I do?

It's the italics of the redundant "on average" that annoys me.

Feeble minded people who tend to overreact to this type of information need repetition.

Yes, but Alex doesn't want to get Demored.

Straussian? Conveying that, on average, his audience will need that "on average" like a baby needs its blanket? Scientific American determined years ago that it wanted the average American reader to be a little less Scientific.

Which goes swimmingly with the imbecilic, weirdly reductive veneration of programming.

Human differences matter. They explain why Brasília, Brazil's capital, which was designed by famous Brazilian architect Mr. Niemeyer thrives and Brazil's stock market booms while the Tripoli (the Lebanese city, not the Libyan one) sector Mr. Niemeyer designed has gone to hell in a basket and was looted by looters. As Mr. Dominic Cummings likes to say, quoting famous American Colonel Boyd, "People, ideas, machines — in that order!".

Good point, Mr. Barks. I have been reading the financial news recently, and I must say it is amazing how well Brazilian stocks are doing lately. Did you know Brazilian stock broker XP's stocks rose almost 30% in the last dew days. I wish my retirement funds were being invested in such rock solid assets instead of in worthless American stocks.

I myself have invested in Brazilian stocks and can't complain about the returns.

Brazil has also gone without a war for longer than almost any other country. Geopolitical differences matter. Lebanon is in a hot spot and Brazil is not (although the Brazilian crime rate is horrific). That does, of course, lead back to human differences.

I think we should discourage research that can lead to stereotypes. So much of research is from Balnibarbi anyway, so pick a different topic.

On average....

I love the phase. Take a northern US city and find the "average temperature" over the course of the year, and ask if that average is representative of a given day, such that you would wear the same clothes every day and work outside in those clothes,

Pick a city and report back. Pick one with extreme variation.

Next, ask, from your own personal experience, do you find that persons are individuals or an undifferentiated mass based solely on their gender.

I don't like these data points, please censor the topic immediately.

Another ENTP!

I am an INFP.

Astrology is random, MBTI just categorizes people based on a set of questions.

I thought you said you are an INTP.

For males, the most exaggerated traits were ... conformity to social hierarchy and traditional structure.

Odd then that libertarians (who are low on conformity to hierarchy and tradition) tend to be predominantly male. I think of non-conformity (higher in males) to be the opposite of agreeableness (higher in females). The women I know seem much less comfortable in flouting social expectations and more likely to demand that society change so that their own values and preferences can seen as normal and mainstream.

Insecure males love this kind of post

Because they feel threatened from being below average,

And only sexual identity will lift them up.

Not their own efforts.

Average is over.

Weirder pseudo haiku than usual, Bill. I think we probably shouldn’t care what below average people think about anything. Regardless of gender, race or sexual identity.

Actually make that below ~98th percentile instead of average.

I agree with Bill for once. Just shift it to the right. Definitely no Holocaust if Ashkenazis are over half the voting public.

Who says its a haiku?


"I shouldn't care what below average people think about anything."

You won't enjoy what you create if you only seek to please others.

"Odd then that libertarians (who are low on conformity to hierarchy and tradition) tend to be predominantly male."

Not at all. Gangsters, too, are mostly men. The dact they don't fit normalsociety does not need they can't fit other, marginal hierarchies. Libertarians have their own power games in their clubs.

The truth of the matter is that gangsters, too, are mostly Russian. Since they don't fit into normal European society, they have to fit into other, marginal hierarchies.

Russians have their own power games in their clubs, but since those clubs tend to be rundown dachas left over from the failure of the Soviet Union, the world laughing at them is hard to ignore.

There are gangsters in other countries, too.

Yes, there are, but compared to Russian gangsters, they just don't compare. The Russians are world famous for their gangsters, and are considered by far and away the most brutal criminals you are likely to run across, now that the liberal Russian government lets them leave the country. At least the Soviet Union kept its gangsters inside its borders - the gulags were not just for political prisoners.

There are gangaters in other countries, too.

The essential Wikipedia account:

--which features this telling line for note 5:

"The Big Five personality traits was (sic) the model to comprehend the relationship between personality and academic behaviors."

Is it fair, just, equitable, et cetera, to extrapolate for general populations from a model devised to ascertain "academic personality traits"?

Some of us do and would resent the comparison.

You mean like IQ having been invented to evaluate French children learning?

Yes, even valiant psychometric efforts like "intelligence quotients".

Perhaps possibly maybe, academics face occupational hazards disposing them toward "metrics mania", a (severe? pathological?) neurotic disposition to measure phenomena simply in order to constrain their conformity to standards, units, and practices of measurement.

So you don't there is a difference between a 50 IQ and a 150? I can point the difference.

It is not the case that I think that no differences exist between an IQ metric of 50 and an IQ metric of 150.

I think it is the case instead that no IQ metrics can or do measure all relevant differences or that they can possibly measure discernible differences accurately.

Does academic mania for or with psychometric measurement itself signal "intelligence" accurately or clearly? I remain skeptical while I continue to wonder whether contemporary academics are more concerned with putative measurement protocols and data than they are with whatever phenomena they purport to measure.

I think the science is pretty clear on this one.

I think academic psychometricians possess sufficient incentives to gratuitously lie at least as much as their vaunted data permit about what constitutes "intelligence". Their metrics do seem dismissive of a lot of complex human phenomena (even among half-witted academics.)

I do not think academic psychometricians' methodologies capable of accurately measuring human intelligence. (I've not seen any metrics that purport to measure "volition" or "ruthlessness" in terms of specific applications of intelligence, e. g., nor do I think proffered metrics take sufficient account of potentially disabling affective phenomena, just as the metrics routinely fail to account for temporal or historical context.)

I continue to contend that Holy Science values its precious data far more than its precious data can accurately measure cognitive performance. (The proffered OCEAN model of personality traits prominent among academics hardly seems a sound model for measuring human intelligence. Perhaps psychometricians are far too concerned with the methodological pretenses of "precision" and fail to give sufficient weight to "approximation" when purporting to assess human phenomena.)

You might just do something sensible like allowing private companies the discretion to hire and promote according to their preferences and regulating hiring and promotion in the public sector by competitive, chips-fall-where-they-may examinations. Naah, let's have everyone's decisions second-guessed by lawyers listening to social workers. It's social justice, or something-or-other.

You need a safe space?

Are we still stuck at "women are never responsible for any problems and it is always men's fault because men oppress women" ?

Another skirmish in the gender wars. Tabarrok should stick to demonizing the regulatory state.

You are misinformed. There is no controversy about whether "Sex Differences in Personality are Large and Important". There is a deep controversy about;
A. Why is this? Is it as Bouvier stated, "Woman are made, not born"?
B. What to do about this difference. Are there social or economic or moral decisions that should evolve from this knowledge?
C. How should this determine a person's individual interactions with other people...after all, this information involves averages, not individuals.

"Why is this? Is it as Bouvier stated, "Woman are made, not born"?"

The position of 100% nurture should have died with the Boaz moron. If not with him , then with Jay Gould the liar. Unfortunately, it still clings on.

"How should this determine a person's individual interactions with other people...after all, this information involves averages, not individuals."

Most implications are actually related to public policy where only aggregate values matter.
The rest is the question: Should you statistically discriminate?
The answer: Of course. I do it every day.

"their data suggests that the probability that a randomly picked individual will be correctly classified as male or female based on knowledge of their global personality profile is 85%"

So, every seventh identification will be wrong.

You get the meal you order 85% of the time, and the one someone else ordered 15% of the time based on the server giving the food to the person they think would have wanted it.

Much thoughtcrime here. Tyler, please ask Ezra what should be done with Alex.

"their data suggests that the probability that a randomly picked individual will be correctly classified as male or female based on knowledge of their global personality profile is 85%"

And given the human brain, you can guarantee that if this becomes part of our basic social knowledge, there will be a substantial proportion of the population that will consider that 15% deviant and to be shunned or destroyed.

To the nearest approximation, 100% of these studies will be misused to reinforce the requirement that *every* human being conform to whatever stereotype the study reinforces.

The human brain casts to boolean.

Tyler's hyperlink on negligible sex differences in IQ links to a book by Arthur Jensen. Here's what Jensen actually said in a different book: "The most widely used standardized tests of general intelligence have explicitly tried to minimize sex differences in total score by discarding those items that show the largest differences..." Guess which items favoring which sex are more likely to be removed.

The much-derided Jordan Peterson has been all over this stuff for years.

>> For males, the most exaggerated traits were emotional stability


Most, if not all, of these "differences" can be traced right back to culture and environment. Women have historically led very different lives than men and not in a nice way. All of that was done to them by men. Of course, they'll have different behaviors. It will take more than a few generations of relative freedom from endemic repression to undo the damage to the female psyche.

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