Contrary to what many people believe, women are NOT better at multitasking than men.
Professor Timo Mäntylä, author of a study on gender differences in multitasking, said:
“On the contrary, the results of our study show that men are better at multitasking than women.”
How much better men are at multitasking than women depends on women’s menstrual cycle, the research found.
Professor Mäntylä said:
“Previous studies have shown that women’s spatial skills vary across the menstrual cycle with high capacity around menstruation and much lower around ovulation, when oestrogen levels are high.
The results showed a clear difference in multitasking between men and women in the ovulation phase, while this effect was eliminated for women in the menstrual phase.”
And this finding is not just the result of one study, but several.
Why you should avoid multitasking anyway!
Multitasking is nothing to be proud of.
In general the brain works best when we concentrate on one thing at a time.
And multitasking could even cause the brain to shrink:
“Using laptops, phones and other media devices at the same time could be shrinking important structures in our brains, a new study may indicate.
For the first time, neuroscientists have found that people who use multiple devices simultaneously have lower gray-matter density in an area of the brain associated with cognitive and emotional control.”
How to improve your multitasking skills
Should you be interested in improving your multitasking skills, exercise is one key:
“Physical fitness increases multitasking skills by increasing the size of crucial areas of the brain, a new study finds.
Neuroscientists found larger gray matter volume in several brain areas of those who had higher cardiorespiratory fitness.
These brain areas help boost both reasoning and problem-solving.”
The study was published in the journal Psychological Science (Mäntylä, 2013).
Brain image from Shutterstock