ABOUT Kris Hardies

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Kris Hardies is postdoctoral researcher in accounting at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and a visiting research scholar at the University of Florida. He studied Political Sciences (M.A. 2007) and Economic Sciences (Ph.D. 2011) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He received the KPMG Outstanding Dissertation Award (2012) for his dissertation, "The Gendered Production of Audit Quality".


Kris Hardies: All Posts


Neuroscience, Sex, and the Brain

Posted 30 July 2013 by Kris Hardies

Putting the Brain in Context   Several recent popular books have drawn on neuroscientific findings to support the claim that there are ("hard-wired") psychological sex differences (Louann Brizendine's The Female Brain, for example, was a New York Times bestseller). Thousands of studies have indeed documented sex differences in the brain in practically any parameter imaginable. No less than other research in psychology, neuroscientific research has, however, so far drawn heavily on the study of WEIRD subjects (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic; see my previous blog post).  ... Read more

Putting Sex Differences in Context

Posted 6 June 2013 by Kris Hardies

The plethora of psychological research on sex differences has relied heavily on the study of (Western, and more specifically American) undergraduates (majoring in psychology). In an important recent review, Henrich et al. (2010) convincingly cautioned against the overgeneralization of findings from particular human populations such as psychology majors or other WEIRD (Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic) participants. While psychological theories are assumed to be universal, the vast majority of psychological research draws upon the study of (Western) undergraduates. At this point, very few studies have explicitly contrasted... Read more

The nature-nurture dichotomy

Posted 22 April 2013 by Kris Hardies

Two major strands of explanations exist to explain sex differences (i.e., differences between men and women). The first set of explanations is usually referred to as "nature" and contains that biological factors underlie alleged sex differences. Conversely, explanations that are usually referred to as "nurture" contain that sex differences in (social) behavior arise from the distribution of men and women in different social roles within society. BIOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL ESSENTIALISM Although these approaches stand in sharp contrast to each other... Read more

Pink science: It’s a girl thing!

Posted 4 March 2013 by Kris Hardies

From the moment of birth, when we ask the simple question 'is it a boy or a girl', gender socialization takes off. But already before birth we start gender typing our "children-to-be". Before a child is born, parents (and others) spent hours speculating about if "it" is going to be a boy or a girl, choose different names to anticipate both outcomes, and decorate the baby room in pink or blue. It is quite interesting in this respect to note... Read more

The Pursuit of Happiness (Concluding Remarks)

Posted 22 January 2013 by Kris Hardies

The truth will set you free By now, it should be clear that money is not the road to salvation (especially not as long as the Joneses are around). Where does this leave us? Should we change destinations, and stop pursuing happiness? Or do we just need to change roads, and focus on stuff than does turn us into happier people? There is little doubt that the pursuit of happiness is worthwhile. Arguably even the only thing really worth of... Read more

The Pursuit of Happiness (Part 3)

Posted 28 November 2012 by Kris Hardies

Three Facts worth Disseminating Fact Nº3: Everything is relative (including the fact that everything is relative) For the sake of completeness, absolute income is important for happiness when income is very low (let's say below the poverty line). However, as soon as people are able to fulfill their basic needs, relative changes in income are what really matters. This encompasses the law of diminishing marginal utility: Adding a €100 to the income of an economics professor does not have the same... Read more

The Pursuit of Happiness (Part 2)

Posted 29 October 2012 by Kris Hardies

Three Facts worth Disseminating Fact Nº2: Everything will be back to normal before you can say Jack Robinson A major reason why money is not going to make you any happier, is the fact that people have a natural tendency to adapt (rather quickly) to changing circumstances. Consequently, changes in circumstances, while having short term effects, have almost no long lasting consequences for your experienced happiness (the so-called hedonic treadmill). This is true even if the changes are rather dramatic in... Read more

The Pursuit of Happiness (Part 1)

Posted 24 September 2012 by Kris Hardies

Three Facts worth Disseminating Fact Nº1: Money can't buy you happiness '[Money] can't buy me love', The Beatles famously sang. Now that might be true, but it does buy you a whole lot of other stuff. So rather unsurprisingly, wealthier people are, on average, happier than poorer people (see, e.g., Easterlin, 2001). Although the word "happy" might be somewhat misleading in this context. More money tends to make people more satisfied about their lives. Oddly enough, at the same time... Read more

Math is a girl thing!

Posted 29 August 2012 by Kris Hardies

Women's underrepresentation in math-intensive fields of science continues to receive a great deal of attention from both scientists and the public. Despite the accumulated scientific evidence on this topic, this remains, however, a very complex area with many yet to be resolved issues. Furthermore, myths and half-truths seem to cloud the public's understanding of this issue. SEX DIFFERENCES IN MATH PERFORMANCE It is easy to track down some studies that show men to be, on average, somewhat better at math... Read more

Interdisciplinarity, Heritability, and Public Policy

Posted 28 July 2012 by Kris Hardies

We are living in times of hyperspecialization. Since the Industrial Revolution (1750–1850) we have witnessed an explosion of technological inventions and an enormous accumulation as well as dissemination of knowledge. As a result, it is no longer possible for a single human being to keep up with the latest trends in widely diverse scientific fields such as geology, mathematics, psychology, genetics, and neuroscience. Let alone that it would be possible to master proficiency in one or more of these fields... Read more