Sex differences in general knowledge in German high school students

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  • Richard Lynn
  • Sylwia Wilberg
  • Jutta Margraf-Stiksrud

This study examines the hypotheses that (1) 17 domains of general knowledge can be identified; (2) these are positively intercorrelated and form a general factor of general knowledge; (3) there are sex differences in the different domains of general knowledge; and (4) males have more general knowledge in more of these domains than females and in the general factor. The study tests these hypotheses on a sample of 302 German high school students. All the hypotheses were confirmed. All the domains of general knowledge were positively intercorrelated. A general factor was found that explained 31.3% of the variance. Males achieved significantly and substantially higher scores than females in general knowledge of 0.60d. The only area in which females scored significantly higher than males was Nutrition for which there was a medium size effect size (d = 0.50). The results are highly similar to those among university students in Northern Ireland reported by Lynn, Irwing, and Cammock (2002).

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1643-1650
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 12.2004

    Research areas

  • General knowledge, Sex differences
  • Psychology