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Women Beat Men At Multitasking, Science Confirms

Update Date: Oct 25, 2013 10:25 AM EDT
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It's true- women really are better at multitasking than men.

A new study reveals that there is truth to the belief that women are better than men at juggling many tasks at the same time.

The latest study involved 120 men and 120 women. Participants were asked to complete computer tasks designed to measure their task-switching abilities. Participants performed two tasks separately before being asked to perform them both in the same test.

While both men and women struggled with multi-tasking, men struggled more on average, according to BBC. The study revealed that both sexes performed the separate tasks with the same speed and accuracy. However, men were slower than women on the mixed tasks. Women's responses on the mixed tasks were 61 percent slower, whereas men's responses were 77 percent slower.

Researchers recruited a different group of 47 men and 47 women for the second experiment. The participants were given a pre-set time limit to sketch out how they would search for a set of lost keys in a field, find restaurant symbols on a Philadelphia map and solve simple arithmetical questions.

Researchers said the tasks were chosen to test the participants' planning and strategic abilities, attention control and manipulation of simple information under time pressure.

Participants were able to decide how to split the time between each task. They were also told to expect a phone call, which they could choose to answer or not, at some point during the test. If participants picked up the call, they were asked a series of additional general knowledge questions to add to the burden.

The findings revealed that women scored significantly higher on the key searching task. Researchers said this finding suggests that women are better at tasks that require high-level cognitive control like planning, monitoring and inhibition.

"They spent more time thinking at the beginning, whereas men had a slight impulsiveness-they jumped in too quickly," researcher wrote, according to Newser.

"Men tell me this doesn't ring true with their experience," researchers added, but "people don't seem to be very good at assessing themselves."

Previously, researchers found that people who think they're good at multitasking are actually the worst at it, according to Business Insider.

The latest findings are published in the journal BMC Psychology.

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