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What's Up Magazine

Are women really the 
better multi-taskers?

Dec 25, 2014 09:00AM ● By Cate Reynolds
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: bear with us.

According to a scholarly paper in BMC Psychology (a U.K. journal that publishes peer review material), both genders are becoming more proficient at multitasking, but testing showed that men were slightly slower and less organized than women when switching rapidly between tasks, as tested by psychologists in Britain. Male and female subjects were both given the same tasks to perform—office work that required jumping between incoming emails, phone calls and assignments, and running in and out of meetings, as well as household work such as cooking a meal while looking after children and suddenly having to answer the phone. In other words these scientists used real life conditions—conditions that are only getting worse considering all the electronic distractions with which we have to cope. Just driving a car has become a Bluetooth-ed, gps-ed, Bose-ed, rear camera-ed assault on the senses. (So much for the relaxing Sunday drive.) —S.H.

Bottom Line: Let’s not change too quickly. Our inbreed single-mindedness isn’t necessarily a bad thing—our ability to concentrate and stick-with-it separates us from other animals and allows us to invent things like fire, the experts point out.