Men Are Worse at Multitasking

Women perform better in new study
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2013 3:25 PM CDT
Men Are Worse at Multitasking
Can you help me with this, honey?   (Shutterstock)

Women have a distinct edge when it comes to juggling problems, a new study has concluded. Researchers had 120 men and 120 women each complete a computer test, first giving them the tasks one at a time, and then mixing them up, forcing participants to tackle them in a fragmented fashion meant to simulate, say, a busy office worker's day, the BBC reports. The groups were essentially equal in the first test, but in the second, men slowed by 77%, compared to 69% for women.

Women were also significantly better in a second round of tests that asked participants to complete tasks in an impossibly short period of time. "They spent more time thinking at the beginning, whereas men had a slight impulsiveness—they jumped in too quickly," one co-author observes. The findings echo those of an earlier Chinese study. "Men tell me this doesn't ring true with their experience," the researcher says, but "people don't seem to be very good at assessing themselves." Indeed, as Business Insider points out, one study has shown that people who say they're good at multitasking are the worst at it. (More multitasking stories.)

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