attribution of failure to a lack of ability

Attribution of failure to a lack of ability  Girls are more likely than boys to attribute failure to a lack of ability According to a comprehensive study on gender stereotypes published on Wednesday, girls are more prone than boys to attribute academic failure to a lack of talent in their own countries or regions.


Girls are more likely than boys to attribute failure to a lack of ability


  Contrary to popular belief, the notion that males are intrinsically more bright was most firmly established in countries with a more equitable social structure.

These kinds of preconceptions have been investigated in the past, but the current research, which was published in the journal Science Advances, has the advantage of including 500,000 students from around the world, making it feasible to compare results across countries.

The study analyzed data from the 2018 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which is undertaken every three years to learn more about the knowledge and skills of kids as young as 15, particularly in mathematics, reading, and science.

attribution of failure to a lack of ability

The following sentence appeared in the 2018 survey: “When I am failing, I am afraid that I may not have enough talent.”

Results showed that, even when performance was identical, females were more likely than boys to ascribe their failures to a lack of skill, while boys were more likely to explain their failures to external circumstances. Saudi Arabia was the one and only exception.

The disparities were especially significant in wealthier countries, contrary to what one might assume.

When asked whether they agreed with the statement in wealthy OECD countries, 61 percent of girls responded positively, compared to 47 percent of boys — a 14 percent difference.

In countries outside of the OECD, the gap was still present, but the difference was only eight percent smaller. Read more on Nordic Diet and Health Benefits Even Without Weight Loss

When comparing kids with higher levels of achievement to those with medium levels of achievement, the disparity was even bigger.

“We don’t have a perfect explanation” for this conundrum, according to Thomas Breda, a co-author of the study from the CNRS and the Paris School of Economics.

However, this seeming anomaly has been noticed in the past, for example, in terms of self-confidence and the likelihood that boys will pursue careers in the sciences and mathematics.

The study demonstrates, according to Breda, that “gender norms do not disappear, but rather reorganize themselves as countries grow.”

One theory holds that countries with greater freedom ultimately allow individuals to revert to old stereotypes because they have more room to do so.

These countries are also extremely focused on individual achievement, and as a result, they place a higher value on the concept of talent itself.




People are less likely to apply stereotypes in communities where talent is not given as much importance as it is in more competitive countries.

In addition, the researchers discovered a significant relationship between the perception of being less brilliant and three other indicators investigated as part of the PISA survey.

In comparison to boys, the more girls believe they are less competent, the less confidence they have, the less they enjoy competition, and the less likely they are to want to work in male-dominated sectors such as information and communication technology.




The three variables are frequently identified as potential contributors to the existence of the glass ceiling, which prevents women from rising to the highest levels of management and leadership. Girls are more likely than boys to attribute failure to a lack of ability

Taken together, the findings “indicate that the glass ceiling is unlikely to be eliminated as countries progress or become more gender-equal,” according to the authors of the study published in Science.

Breda offered this suggestion as a solution: “Stop thinking in terms of intrinsic skill.”

If we demolish the concept of pure genius, we will also deconstruct the belief that girls are less naturally gifted with talent than boys.” “Success comes from learning through trial and error,” says the author.


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