Who thinks they're smarter, men or women? ASU researcher studying perceived intelligence

Posted: Updated:
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

Who is smarter, guys or gals? The smartest way to answer that question is by not answering. 

But who thinks they're smarter? That is what an Arizona State University researcher is studying. 

"I feel confident with what I'm doing. I like what I'm studying, so I feel like I know what I'm doing,' said Josh Kwak, an ASU sophomore 

"Since coming to college, I have been doubting myself a little bit more, I've kind of lost some confidence," said Mady Privatsky, ASU freshman. 

Just weeks away from earning her doctoral degree, Katelyn Cooper with the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences remembers feeling less than confident too. 

"Many times in undergrad I thought other people were smarter than me," said Cooper. 

She recently surveyed more than 200 biology students, all with a similar 3.3 grade point average, about how they perceive their own intelligence. 

"The average male is likely to think that he's smarter than 66 percent of the class. Whereas the average female is only likely to think that she's smarter than 54 percent of the class,' said Cooper. 

"Usually, yeah I feel like I can usually learn anything,' said ASU junior Evan Greavu.

"I feel like I understand the topics, but it's more so the fact that I don't feel confident enough to vocalize my answers to the class," said ASU freshman Avalon Milburn. 

A shocking trend Cooper worries might be scaring women away from STEM fields. She hopes her study might one day help lead to a solution. 

"Reminding them sometimes we're underestimating our own intelligence is a really important reminder that in those moments of doubt thinking about 'I might be smarter than I think I am' is really important," said Cooper.

"Exposing our children to science is really important, and taking our daughters to science museums and taking the time to explain science and encouraging them that they can be scientists." 

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Lauren ReimerLauren Reimer joined the 3TV/CBS 5 family in June 2016. She is originally from Racine, WI but is no stranger to our heat.

Click to learn more about Lauren.

Lauren Reimer

She previously worked for KVOA in Tucson, covering topics that matter to Arizonans including the monsoon, wildfires and border issues. During the child migrant crisis of 2014, Reimer was one of only a handful of journalists given access to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection detention facility in Nogales, where hundreds of unaccompanied children were being held after crossing into the U.S. from Central America. Before that, Reimer worked at WREX in Rockford, IL. Lauren is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and still visits home often. When not chasing news stories, Reimer loves to explore, enjoying everything from trying new adventurous foods to visiting state and national parks or local places of historical significance.

Hide bio