New research coming from Sweden may debunk the old idea that women are better at multitasking than men, despite the tons of responsibilities working mothers hold.
“On the contrary, the results of our study show that men are better at multitasking than women,” Timo Maentylae, a psychology professor at Stockholm University, said.
While the study shows that men are better than women at handling multiple tasks simultaneously at times, the gap in performance correlates with the female menstrual cycle.
The ability to combine several different tasks at once was found to be linked to spatial ability, which, for women, is linked to their menstrual phase.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
The participants, 160 men and women between 20 and 43 years of age, were instructed to keep track of three digital “clocks”, or counters, that displayed different times at different speeds.
The spatial ability was measured in different ways for different people.
Jordan Shepherd | Elite.