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Gender Differences in Delay of Gratification: A Meta-Analysis Irwin W. Silverman. Alicia Summers Radford University. Purpose: . To analyze possible gender differences in delay of gratification Are females more likely than males to be able to delay gratification?

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gender differences in delay of gratification a meta analysis irwin w silverman

Gender Differences in Delay of Gratification: A Meta-Analysis Irwin W. Silverman

Alicia Summers

Radford University

purpose
Purpose:
  • To analyze possible gender differences in delay of gratification
    • Are females more likely than males to be able to delay gratification?
    • Is there an age difference among delay of gratification results among females and males?
    • Do results support Bjorklund & Kipp’s hypothesis concerning selection pressures operating during evolution?
issues to consider
Issues to Consider
  • How is delay of gratification assessed?

-Choice between two rewards

Small now or larger later if can wait

-Choice between one or more rewards

After choice made, cannot revoke

-Continuous Measures-count of time waited to receive larger reward, or when more than one choice is made

-Dichotomous Measures-when only one choice is made

literature review
Literature Review
  • Up until Sept, 2002
  • Methods

Electronic Sources using keyword phrase “delay of gratification”

      • PsycINFO
      • ERIC

Search of bibliographies of studies found through database results

For Dissertation Abstract found, only those which circulated without cost were used

  • Studies
      • 115 found
      • 33 usable
        • 38 Effect Sizes
studies to include
Studies to Include
  • Must be written in English
  • Subjects recruited from general population
  • Participants had to have been offered real instead of hypothetical choices
  • Must provide information to calculate effect size for gender differences
potential moderators
Potential Moderators
  • Type of assessment
      • Dichotomous
      • Continuous
  • Age level of participants
      • Preschool (3-5 years)
      • Preschool/Elementary (3-11 years)
      • Elementary (6-11 years)
      • Adolescence/Adulthood ( 12-17/18+ years)
results
Results
  • No overall gender difference
  • For the dichotomous studies, none of the effect sizes were significant
  • Means significantly larger for continuous, z = -2.45, p < .05
  • For the continuous studies, there was an overall effect size and all subgroups except Elementary age were significant
  • Only Preschool age was generalizable, all other studies had too much variability and other moderators need to be considered
  • No significant difference between age groups at any levels
limitations of the study
Limitations of the Study
  • Other potential moderators not mentioned:
      • Type of reward
  • Small effect sizes, may be due to small sample sizes
  • Had to throw out nonsignificant studies of gender differences which may have affected overall effect size
  • Didn’t search in all available databases
  • Considered items as continuous even when only three choices
conclusions regarding bjorklund kipp s hypothesis
Conclusions regarding Bjorklund & Kipp’s Hypothesis
  • From a sociobiological perspective, women should be better able to delay gratification than men
  • Gender differences did favor females
  • No evidence to support that delay of gratification intensifies with puberty
  • There are other explanations for gender differences in delay of gratification