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Old April 23 2012, 09:55 PM   #69
Christopher
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Re: Heads up! MYTHBUSTERS season premiere tonight at 9 Eastern!

davejames wrote: View Post
Anyway, I thought it was a fun episode. One can question their methodology (especially the very limited sampling sizes they used), but generally speaking I think the truth is probably the way they showed it-- there might be slight advantages here or there, but not enough to say that one gender is massively better at certain things than the other.
And again, these are just differences in the average performance, and it's always unwise to forget the wide variation within each gender. For instance, there were those studies a while back (which I think have since been debunked anyway) showing that boys did "better" at math than girls; but really it was just that the average for the boys was slightly better, and if you plotted the boys' and girls' bell curves on top of each other, they'd overlap almost completely. So there'd be a lot of girls who did better at math than many or most of the boys.

It's always dangerous to take averages too literally. Averages are statistical artifacts that we invent to simplify things, but they can be misleading. The average position of a car on a circular racetrack (if it moves at constant velocity) is the center of the circle -- a point it never actually occupies.


I do have to wonder how much people's nerves played in these tests though. No matter how adept you might be at driving normally, if you're at a police training center with a police instructor grading every move you make (not to mention all the cameras watching you or the ridiculous outfit you're wearing) you're GOING to drive a bit differently.

If it was me I'd probably be shaking like a leaf. Lol

And putting a severe time limit on the car-packing test seemed kind of odd to me as well. Some people might require more time to pack a car properly, but that doesn't mean they don't know HOW to do it.
But those would only be significant here if men and women responded differently to the stress. Otherwise the effect cancels out and both sexes' performance is equally impaired, so it doesn't hurt the results.
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