Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Women in Science

My favorite thing about being a woman in science? I can say things that men would never dare.

I'm analyzing data on four classic economic games. In these four games, there are two possible avenues for screwing over your (anonymous) partner. In the ultimatum game, you can reject an offer to split a certain sum of money, resulting in neither of you getting anything. In the trust game, you can take an investment from your partner, triple it, and return only a small amount. Guess what demographic attribute most strongly predicts that you will be more than normally backstabbing? Being female. (And, sex is not a significant predictor for any other action in any of the four games; just those two.)

I don't know how robust is this effect even within this small dataset let alone in the world, but I was pretty tickled at the thought of publishing it. (As Ted Miguel said this morning "I'll let you be the lead author on that paper...")