Background of the Problem
Studies on gender have become a significant part of scholarly literature in the past several decades. The possible reason for it is that many scientists are trying to analyze the possible differences and similarities in knowledge people of different genders have, as well as the approaches they tend to choose. The presented paper studies the topic of the differences in financial knowledge between male and female undergraduate psychology students. The hypothesis the work will test is that male undergraduate psychology students have higher financial knowledge than female undergraduate psychology students do. To test the hypothesis, a literature review will be performed, and the possible research gap will be identified.
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It is crucial to investigate the presented research problem because currently, the topic is understudied. For instance, in recent years, there have been many works analyzing varieties between males and females from the perspectives of financial literacy. However, the findings obtained during some studies contradict the ones received during the other ones. For example, some authors claim that males have an increased level of financial literacy than females, while others present the opposite claims. At the same time, the information about females’ and males’ financial knowledge could be useful for organizations hiring employees in related positions. Moreover, financial, educational institutions could use the findings of this study to alter existing studying plans for all students’ needs. Thus, it is vital to study this research problem because there is no consensus on whether the gender factor is a significant determinant of financial literacy.
The theoretical framework utilized for this study is the findings of the study by Agnew and Cameron-Agnew (2015). The authors report that, on average, males are more financially literate than females. Notably, Agnew and Cameron-Agnew (2015) add that the differences in financial knowledge are not associated with the general educational level of men and women but with the levels of their interest and awareness of financial issues in general. The hypothesis was formulated based on the assumption that males have a generally higher level of financial knowledge regardless of the causes of such a phenomenon. It is vital to note that, for this paper, financial literacy is defined as the knowledge an individual has to make informed decisions associated with finances.
The literature review on the issue supports the hypothesis of the study but features opposing perspectives as well. For instance, the work by Driva, Lührmann, & Winter (2016) reveals that there are differences in financial knowledge between male and female students. The authors add that the causes for such differences may be associated with lower self-confidence and gender-specific risk attitudes. The findings presented by Walczak and Pieńkowska-Kamieniecka (2018) and Agyei (2018) correspond to the ones presented above, as the authors believe that the varieties in women’s and men’s’s’s knowledge are affected by factors other than gender. On the contrary, Sholevar and Harris (2019) prove the hypothesis and admit that males have a higher level of financial knowledge without mentioning the factors affecting it.
Notably, there are opposing perspectives on the issue as well. The work by Adam (2017) reveals that there is a link between financial knowledge and gender, but it is impossible to say that males have a higher level of financial literacy in all aspects. For instance, women are found to have an increased understanding of whether buying something on credit is feasible (Adam, 2017). Males, on the contrary, have a generally higher interest in accounting. Moreover, Agnew and Harrison (2015) note that the observed differences are associated with biases society has against women.
It is possible to say that there is a major research gap in studies in relation to the presented hypothesis, as there is a limited number of studies analyzing the impact of gender on students’ financial knowledge. This gap is significant because students and older adults may have different levels of financial literacy. In addition, none of the selected studies addresses the issue from the perspective of psychology students. The presented paper may fill in the gap by providing an analysis of this group of individuals.
The aim of the presented study is to analyze possible differences in financial knowledge between male and female undergraduate psychology students. The variable that will be tested during the study is financial literacy; its definition is presented above. The study states the following research question: Is there a difference in financial knowledge between male undergraduate psychology students and female undergraduate psychology students? The following hypothesis is the center of the study: Male undergraduate psychology students have higher financial knowledge than female ones. The research question and hypothesis were selected based on the theoretical framework and the theory by Agnew and Cameron-Agnew (2015) that states that males have increased financial knowledge. The study will contribute to knowledge and real life, as it will allow employers and financial, educational institutions to analyze the disparities in financial literacy between men and women and alter their approaches correspondingly.
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Adam, A. M. (2017). Gender disparity in financial literacy. Journal of Accounting and Management, 7(2), 140-148.
Agnew, S., & Cameron-Agnew, T. (2015). The influence of gender and household culture on financial literacy knowledge; attitudes and behaviour. Journal of Financial Management, Markets and Institutions, 3(1), 31-50.
Agnew, S., & Harrison, N. (2015). Financial literacy and student attitudes to debt: A cross national study examining the influence of gender on personal finance concepts. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 25, 122-129.
Agyei, S. K. (2018). Culture, financial literacy, and SME performance in Ghana. Cogent Economics & Finance, 6(1). Web.
Driva, A., Lührmann, M., & Winter, J. (2016). Gender differences and stereotypes in financial literacy: Off to an early start. Economics Letters, 146, 143-146.
Sholevar, M., & Harris, L. (2019). Mind the gap: A discussion paper on financial literacy, financial behaviour and financial education: Is there any gender gap? Web.
Walczak, D., & Pieńkowska-Kamieniecka, S. (2018). Gender differences in financial behaviours. Inzinerine Ekonomika-Engineering Economics, 29(1), 123-132.