Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can anyone really multitask?

Date:
October 24, 2013
Source:
BioMed Central Limited
Summary:
The age old adage ‘women are better at multitasking than men’ may have some scientific merit. Reporting on two experiments, researchers show that under certain conditions, women have an advantage over men at multitasking. While past research has shown that women are involved in more multi-tasking than men, there have been few scientific studies that have interrogated this widely believed claim. The conclusion is that women may be better when faced with specific situations.

The age old adage 'women are better at multitasking than men' may have some scientific merit. Reporting on two experiments in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Psychology, researchers show that under certain conditions, women have an advantage over men at multitasking.

Related Articles


The media is peppered with anecdotes that seem to provide evidence of women's superiority over men at multitasking. But while past research has shown that women are involved in more multi-tasking than men, there have been few scientific studies that have interrogated this widely believed claim. So, is it true? Researchers report on their experiments in a new article and conclude that women may be better when faced with specific situations.

The researchers designed two experiments to test a certain type of multitasking; situations where you're faced with many tasks but don't need to carry them out all at the same time. The first lab-based, computer experiment indicated that, in general, people are not good at multitasking, slowing down when they were asked to do more one task. Women did slow down less than men, implying they may have an advantage when faced with multitasking situations.

The researchers then went on to pit men and women against each other in an experiment designed to better simulate real world multitasking. Participants were asked to complete three different tasks in eight minutes. On top of this, during the task a phone would ring. If they chose to answer it, the participants would have to answer general knowledge questions. Although there was no difference between men and women when the entire experiment was analysed, women did score better on the task that required them to devise strategies for locating a lost key.

"Using two very different experimental set ups, we found that women have an advantage over men in specific aspects of multitasking situations," said Gijsbert Stoet, author of the paper. "The lack of other empirical studies, though, should caution against drawing strong conclusions; instead, we hope that other researchers will aim to replicate and elaborate on our findings," he continued.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central Limited. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Gijsbert Stoet, Daryl B O'Connor, Mark Conner and Keith R Laws. Are women better than men at multi-tasking? BMC Psychology, October 2013

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central Limited. "Can anyone really multitask?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024090039.htm>.
BioMed Central Limited. (2013, October 24). Can anyone really multitask?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024090039.htm
BioMed Central Limited. "Can anyone really multitask?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131024090039.htm (accessed December 19, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Friday, December 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Prenatal Exposure To Pollution Might Increase Autism Risk

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) Harvard researchers found children whose mothers were exposed to high pollution levels in the third trimester were twice as likely to develop autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins