Gender Differences in Implicit and Explicit Personality Traits

22 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2013

See all articles by Michelangelo Vianello

Michelangelo Vianello

University of Padua

Konrad Schnabel

University of Potsdam

Natarajan Sriram


Brian A. Nosek

University of Virginia

Date Written: April 11, 2013


This article investigates gender differences in implicit and explicit measures of the BIG FIVE traits of personality. In a high-powered study (N=14,348), we replicated previous research showing that women report higher levels of Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion and Neuroticism. For implicit measures, gender differences were much smaller for all, and opposite in sign for Extraversion. Somewhat higher levels of implicit Neuroticism and Agreeableness were observed in women, and somewhat higher levels of implicit Extraversion and Openness were observed in men. There was no gender difference in implicit Conscientiousness. A possible explanation is that explicit self-concepts partly reflect social norms and self-expectations about gender roles, while implicit self-concepts may mostly reflect self-related experiences.

Keywords: IAT, Implicit Association Test, personality traits, gender differences

Suggested Citation

Vianello, Michelangelo and Schnabel, Konrad and Sriram, Natarajan and Nosek, Brian A., Gender Differences in Implicit and Explicit Personality Traits (April 11, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Michelangelo Vianello

University of Padua ( email )

via venezia 8
Padova, Padova 35100

Konrad Schnabel

University of Potsdam ( email )

August-Bebel Strasse 89
Potsdam, 14482

Natarajan Sriram

Implisci ( email )

1999 English Oaks Cir N
Charlottesville, VA 22911
United States

Brian A. Nosek (Contact Author)

University of Virginia ( email )

1400 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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