EGI Notes

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Do Women and Minorities Depress White Male Cognitive Performance?

More sex and race segregation, please.

Read this.  Emphasis added:

They were asked to read out loud a number of Dutch words while sitting in front of a webcam. The experimenters told them that during this “lip reading task” an observer would watch them over the webcam. The observer was given either a common male or female name. Participants were led to believe that this person would see them over the web cam, but they would not be able to interact with the person. No pictures or other identifying information were provided about the observer—all the participants knew was his or her name. After the lip reading task, the participants took another Stroop test. Women’s performance on the second test did not differ, regardless of the gender of their observer. However men who thought a woman was observing them ended up performing worse on the second Stroop test. 
Researchers have begun to explore the cognitive impairment that men experience before and after interacting with women. A 2009 study demonstrated that after a short interaction with an attractive woman, men experienced a decline in mental performance. 
A more recent study suggests that this cognitive impairment takes hold even when men simply anticipate interacting with a woman who they know very little about. 
Once again, women’s performance on the test did not differ, regardless of whether they were expecting a man or woman to observe them. But men who had been told a woman would observe them ended up doing much worse on the second Stroop task. Thus, simply anticipating the opposite sex interaction was enough to interfere with men’s cognitive functioning.
In today’s society people frequently interact with each other over the phone or online, where the only way to infer somebody’s gender is through their name or voice. Nauts’ research suggests that even with these very limited interactions, men may experience cognitive impairment when faced with the opposite sex. Although the studies on their own don’t offer any concrete explanations, Nauts and her colleagues think that the reason may have something to do with men being more strongly attuned to potential mating opportunities. 
The results may also have to do with social expectations. Our society may place more pressure on men to impress women during social interactions. Although this hypothesis remains speculative, previous research has shown that the more you care about making the right impression, the more your brain gets taxed. Such interactions require us to spend a great deal of mental energy imagining how others might interpret our words and actions. For example, psychologists Jennifer Richeson and Nicole Shelton found that Caucasian Americans who hold stronger racial prejudices face similar cognitive impairments after interacting with somebody who is African American. In these situations, individuals who hold strong prejudices must try hard to come across as not prejudiced.

Questions:

Is the degeneracy of today's White male (not "man") at least partially due to having to share workplaces, co-education, and other venues with IQ-depressing women and minorities? Are White males so obsessed with getting "poosy" and not offending half-apes that they cannot think straight? Is this what happened to the men on Theranos' board of directors? What if a White male lives with a female minority - will he be doubly addled (hello, Derbyshire)? Do we need racial segregation (yes, please), sex-segregated education, and more traditional sex roles overall in order to boost the cognitive performance of the important fraction of our population?



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