Individual and gender differences in good and first-class undergraduate degree performance

Farsides, Tom and Woodfield, Ruth (2007) Individual and gender differences in good and first-class undergraduate degree performance. British Journal of Psychology, 98 (3). pp. 467-483. ISSN 0007-1250

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Abstract

Corroborating recent findings elsewhere, women within a large undergraduate sample at the University of Sussex achieved a greater proportion of `good' (first- or upper-second-class) degrees than did their male counterparts. This female advantage disappeared when statistically controlling for the trait openness to experience and for study-related behaviour whilst at university (i.e. attending seminars and completing `non-contributory' assignments). Contrary to robust findings previously obtained elsewhere, only slight and unreliable evidence was found that men at Sussex obtained a greater proportion of first-class degrees than did women. Moreover, differences favouring either gender were unreliable across the subjects of study. Indeed, `subject gaps' often appeared more pronounced than `gender gaps', where present. We conclude that emphasis should be shifted away from research on gender differences per se in favour of recent approaches that more directly explore reasons for successful undergraduate performance. However, to the extent that subject choice is an important determinant of degree performance, gender differences in subject choice will continue to be an important area of research.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Sociology
Depositing User: Tom Farsides
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 19:28
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2013 15:24
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/20703
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