Men tend to be more overconfident in their knowledge and abilities than women—even in a high-stakes environment, such as competitive running and diving. This gender overconfidence gap is most prevalent when people are asked to evaluate their performance on a masculine-gender-typed task. By contrast, women do not show the same overconfidence for feminine-gender-typed tasks.
some real-world survey data suggest that people, especially men, can be remarkably overconfident in their ability to do ridiculous things. Data from a recent YouGov survey showed 12% of men claimed they could win a point in a game against 23-time tennis grand slam winner Serena Williams.
Anyway, these researchers decided to see HOW FAR THEY COULD PUSH MEN. So they recruited a bunch of people (men and women) and showed half of them a video of a pilot landing a plane and half of them no video at all, before asking them whether or not they thought they could lane a plane without dying.
Turns out, people are idiots, because although the video was filmed from the back of the flight deck and therefore showed nothing of what the pilots were actually doing with their hands, and in fact was described by a pilot with 35 years experience and who also trains pilots as “100% useless” in terms of its instructive benefit, it seems that “people” who watched the video were more likely than “people” who had not watched the video to think that they could land the plane without dying, despite having had no pilot training beyond having watched a “100% useless” video.
I put “people” in scare quotes there because the study rather annoyingly does not present sex disaggregated data for the video/non-video condition so it doesn’t tell us if men were more likely to have been influenced by watching the video. It does, however, inform us that “men were more confident than women in every condition,” ie that men are more confident than women that they could safely land the plane irrespective of whether or not they watched a video that didn’t tell them anything.
As I said, adorable.
Anyway, this whole gendered dimension was a pretty big part of the study, which was reflected in the Daily Mail‘s reporting: