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Men are equally capable of multi-tasking, study finds  

Sorry ladies, but you’re NOT better at multi-tasking! Men are equally capable of juggling numerous jobs but just can’t be bothered, study finds

  • Researchers from Germany’s Aachen University analysing 48 men and women
  • Measuring reaction time, they found there was no difference between the two
  • The data  contradicts widely-held belief that women multitask better than men
  • In fact, the researchers found that men had a significantly better spatial ability

Women are not inherently better at multi-tasking – and that’s according to scientists. 

A study examining the long-asserted myth has proved that men are just as capable of juggling numerous jobs simultaneously.

In fact, despite years of claims to the contrary, it transpires that both genders are equally able, or unable, to do more than one task concurrently.  

A team of researchers led by Dr Patricia Hirsch of Germany’s Aachen University reached the conclusion after analysing 48 men and 48 women, with an average age of 24, in letter or number identification tasks.

 

Equal: The researchers measured reaction time and accuracy and found that while multitasking was a struggle for both men and women, there was no difference between them

HOW WAS THE STUDY MEASURED? 

The team analysed 48 men and 48 women, with an average age of 24, in letter or number identification tasks. 

Some participants were asked to pay attention to two tasks at once, known as concurrent multitasking.

Other tasks required them to switch attention between tasks, called sequential multitasking.

The researchers measured reaction time and accuracy and found that while multitasking was a struggle for both men and women, there was no difference between the two.  

Some participants were asked to pay attention to two tasks at once, known as concurrent multitasking.

Other tasks required them to switch attention between tasks, called sequential multitasking.

The researchers measured reaction time and accuracy and found that while multitasking was a struggle for both men and women, there was no difference between the two.   

The finding adds to a growing literature that contradicts the widely held belief that women multitask better than men.  

Dr Hirsch said: ‘It is a widely held belief that women outperform men in multitasking situations, possibly because of an evolutionary advantage and extensive multitasking practice resulting from managing children, household, and jobs.

‘In fact, two recent studies showed that the majority of participants was convinced that gender differences in multitasking existed and at least 80 per cent of them attributed better multitasking abilities to women than to men.

Facts don't care about your feelings: The finding adds to a growing literature that contradicts the widely held belief that women multitask better than men

Facts don’t care about your feelings: The finding adds to a growing literature that contradicts the widely held belief that women multitask better than men

‘Multitasking resulted in substantial performance costs across all experimental conditions without a single significant gender difference in any of these ten measures, even when controlling for gender differences in underlying cognitive abilities.

‘Thus, our results do not confirm the widespread stereotype that women are better at multitasking than men at least in the popular sequential and concurrent multitasking settings used in the present study.

‘The present findings strongly suggest that there are no substantial gender differences in multitasking performance across task-switching and dual-task paradigms, which predominantly measure cognitive control mechanisms such as working memory updating, the engagement and disengagement of task sets, and inhibition.’  

Separate research has found that around 80 per cent of people believe that women are better at multi-tasking than men. 

The idea women are better than men at doing two things has been suggested by former Prime Minister Theresa May. When asked why she was on her phone during a debate, she replied: ‘Just a bit of female multitasking’ to Chris Leslie MP.

The study was published in the journal, PLOS ONE.      



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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