The empathising systemising theory for gender development

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According to this theory what is the female brain hard-wired for?
It is predominantly hard-wired for empathy
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What is empathy?
It is the ability to effectively identify and respond to other peoples emotions.
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What is the male brain hard-wired for?
It is predominantly hard-wired for systemising
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What is systemising
It is the ability to build, invent and predict sytems
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How does Baron Cohen explain these differences?
He states it is due to the hormonal mechanism behind levels of pre-natal testoosterone in the mothers amniotic fluid.
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How would these two traits be beneficial in evolutionary terms?
Systemising - would be useful for hunter gatherers as they could build traps and predict the movement of animals. Empathising - would be useful in terms of child care, understanding the babies needs would increase its chance of survival.
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What is one issue with this theory? (IDA)
we cannot go back in time and see if these behaviours have evolved as an adaptive response. we should look to other approaches to exaplain these behavioural differences (biosocial approach).
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What are two pieces of supporting research?
Connellan and Batki - baby girls spend more time looking at a human face where baby boys spend more time looking at mechanical objects. Cohen - males scored higher on the SQ and females higher on the EQ test
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How does the research support the theoyry?
Connellan - it shows that boys and girls have different interests, however it doesnt show that boys/girls are better at either. Cohen - partially supports, the anomolous results do not fit the theory.
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What is one good thing about the Connellan and Batki study? (AO3)
it shows strong evidence as it uses ppts who have experience little nurture.
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What is a negative thing about the Connellan and Batki study? (AO3)
the study cannot tell us whether these behaviours have evolved, although it seems likely we cannot prove it.
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What are the practical applications of this theory?
changing the structure of schools, teach boys empathy and girls systemising techniques. this would balance the evolutionary differences and create equal opportunities.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

What is empathy?

Back

It is the ability to effectively identify and respond to other peoples emotions.

Card 3

Front

What is the male brain hard-wired for?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

What is systemising

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

How does Baron Cohen explain these differences?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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