• Sweden's news in English
 
almadalen_header

Men better multi-taskers than women: study

Published: 24 Oct 2012 13:13 GMT+02:00

"On the contrary, the results of our study show that men are better at multi-tasking than women," Timo Mäntylä, a psychology professor at Stockholm University, said.

Men are sometimes better than women at handling multiple tasks simultaneously, but the performance gap is correlated to the female menstrual cycle, according to his study, to be published in US peer-reviewed journal Psychological Science.

In line with previous research, men and women with good so-called working memory were also better than others at multi-tasking.

However, Mäntylä found that the ability to combine several different tasks at once was also 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 estrogen levels are high," he said.

"The results showed a clear difference in multi-tasking 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.

While registering certain times displayed by the clocks, defined by a simple set of rules, they also had to watch a scrolling ticker featuring common Swedish names, pressing the mouse button when one of the names was repeated.

Differences in spatial ability and working memory were based on separate tests.

AFP/The Local

Follow The Local on Twitter

Your comments about this article

14:29 October 24, 2012 by JulieLou40
What an absolute pile of crap.
14:38 October 24, 2012 by Snood
a study of 160 people and they call this evidence? .... they must be new to science. Men aren't better than women at multi-tasking in the same way that women are better than men... some people are better at it than some other people....
09:16 October 25, 2012 by Dariyana
Such a nonsense!

My husband cant check football score on website (just checking 2 simple digits) and maintain conversation in the same time...and someone said something about men's multitasking? Really? :)
12:58 October 31, 2012 by cybernoid
Excellent example of what's wrong with most publicised statistics. People will never question sample size, geographical location, social status. Also age plays a tremendous role and is a strong link to cognitive ability. There's a significant base difference between a 20- and a 43-year old person. And indeed 160 people isn't even statistics.

Source: Life observations, with a strong will to understand people.
Today's headlines
Almedalen 2015
LIVE: Sweden's political power forum - Day Four
Sweden Democrat leader Jimmie Åkesson. Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

LIVE: Sweden's political power forum - Day Four

Sweden's record immigration is the big issue on the agenda at the country's huge annual politics conference on Wednesday, with the nationalist Sweden Democrats set to dominate the agenda. READ  

The Local List
Nine exciting activities on Sweden's Gotland
Visby, Gotland. Photo: Rodrigo Rivas/Imagebank Sweden

Nine exciting activities on Sweden's Gotland

Gotland is in the national spotlight each summer during Sweden's annual politics forum, Almedalen. But here's why it is also one of the nation's favourite tourist spots. READ  

Lisa Holm murder
Suspect freed in Lisa Holm murder case

Suspect freed in Lisa Holm murder case

UPDATED: One of the men police have been holding on suspicion of murdering missing teenager Lisa Holm has been released, but his older brother remains in police custody. READ  

Almedalen 2015
BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Three
Christian Democrat leader Ebba Busch Thor at Almedalen. Photo: TT

BLOG: Sweden's political power forum - Day Three

Sweden's youngest political leader in history, Ebba Busch Thor has called for a crackdown on homegrown terrorists and lower taxes at Almedalen, the biggest week in Swedish politics. READ  

Almedalen 2015 with the Nordic Council
'The Baltic Sea means everything to us'
Jørgen S. Søndergaard (Greenland), Annika Olsen (Faroe Islands), and Veronica Thörnroos (Åland Islands

'The Baltic Sea means everything to us'

The "Nordic way" receives a lot of praise around the world, not least when it comes to sustainability. The Local went in search of the Nordics’ secret, and we were surprised by what emerged. READ  

Video
US herring video is 'an insult to Sweden'
Screengrab: BuzzFeed Video/YouTube

US herring video is 'an insult to Sweden'

A fermented herring expert has expressed outrage at a BuzzFeed video in which Americans turn up their noses at the Swedish delicacy. Their comments, he says, are an “insult to the Swedish people and Swedish culture”. READ  

Saab signs deal worth billions for Swedish subs
What the new submarines could look like. Photo: Saab AB

Saab signs deal worth billions for Swedish subs

UPDATED: A deal between Swedish defence giant Saab and Sweden's military for two submarines worth 8.6 billion kronor ($1.04 billion) is set to boost jobs in the Nordic country, chief executive Håkan Buskhe said on Tuesday. READ  

Swede wins $18m in Wall Street harassment case
A Swedish woman sued her Wall Street boss. Photo: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

Swede wins $18m in Wall Street harassment case

A New York court has ordered a Wall Street mogul to pay $18 million (nearly 150 million kronor) to a Swedish woman who sued her boss for sexual harassment. READ  

Vanished Swedish teen calls mum from Syria
A photo from Nusra Front's Twitter feed in March 2015. Photo: TT

Vanished Swedish teen calls mum from Syria

UPDATED: A 15-year-old girl from southern Sweden who has been missing since last month, has phoned her family to say she’s in Homs in Syria, Swedish media are reporting. READ  

Almedalen 2015 with the Swedish Institute
Why is Sweden still working with Russia?
Panelists discuss the importance of cooperating with Russia. Photo: The Local

Why is Sweden still working with Russia?

Relations between Russia and the EU might be tense, but Sweden is working hard to build connections - from the ground up. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Property of the week: Visby, Gotland
National
Sweden set for sunniest week of year
Gallery
People-watching: June 26th-28th
Features
The Local's essential guide to who's who in Swedish politics
National
More Swedish military exercises as Russia aggression fears grow
Blog updates

26 June

Editor’s blog, June 26th (The Local Sweden) »

"Greetings from Stockholm, We’re about to transport our newsroom to the idyllic Swedish island of Gotland for..." READ »

 

23 June

Defending Our Interests … And Our Allies (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"This is an important week for European security, with decisions affecting Europe’s unstable Southern and Eastern..." READ »

 
 
 
National
What's on in Sweden this week
Travel
Why Swedish camp sites are set for a bumper summer
National
Swedish summer's really on its way (at least according to forecasters)
Gallery
People-watching: June 24th
National
Why are southern Swedes angry about becoming 'Danish' again?
Society
Lifestyle: When to catch your favourite features on The Local
National
Is Sweden one of the world's most peaceful nations?
Sponsored Article
Harstena: Travelling to Sweden's secret islands
National
One in ten Swedish cats homeless
Sponsored Article
'I constantly evolve my Swedishness'
Gallery
Property of the week: Värmdö, Stockholm
Society
Would you eat this Swedish pizza?
National
Swedish royals' dream honeymoon
National
Swedish hospital opens first centre for male rape victims
Gallery
People-watching: June 20th-21st
Photo: TT
Lifestyle
Midsummer: The Local's guide to Sweden's craziest festival
Sponsored Article
Murder, myth and magic: Travelling to the birthplace of Sweden
Gallery
People-watching: June 17th
Sponsored Article
Gallery: Life in Sweden's secret archipelago
Society
Seven alternative names for Sweden's Prince Nicolas Paul Gustaf
National
FBI returns stolen Swedish books
National
Want to smell like Zlatan?
National
Royal joy over birth of new prince
Gallery
Property of the week: Brantevik, Simrishamn
National
How racy graffiti inspired a teacher's high school sex class
Gallery
People-watching: June 12th-14th
National
As it happened: Prince Carl Philip marries Sofia Hellqvist
Technology
Is Stockholm the world's creative capital?
National
Timeline: Julian Assange case
Sponsored Article
KTH President: ‘Sweden’s success is because of its size’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: New royal couple Prince Carl Philip and Sofia Hellqvist
Features
Ten Swedish festivals to discover
Features
Ten reasons Stockholm is definitely way cooler than Copenhagen
National
VIDEO: Watch Swedish man rescue baby elk from cold creek
National
VIDEO: Have you seen this jet ski blunder at a Malmö hotel opening?
Gallery
People-watching: June 10th
National
Swedish airports launch cheeky safe sex toilet campaign
Gallery
IN PICTURES: June summer snaps
Politics
Rainbow flag compared to swastika by 'sorry' Swedish councillor
Sponsored Article
Why expat women are choosing Swedish natural birth control
National
Animal group barking over this colourful Swedish pooch
Society
Would you pay to go dwarf-tossing?
Gallery
Östergötland: Pilgrimage to the heart of historic Sweden
Lifestyle
In need of some summer loving? Here's how to date in Sweden
Bupa
Sponsored Article
Healthcare: Nine questions every expat should ask
Sponsored Article
The millionaire teacher who leads by tough love
Sponsored Article
How to change the world: Malmö to Mogadishu
Sponsored Article
'No one tells expats about unemployment benefits'
Sponsored Article
What it's like to be a student in Malmö
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

3,224
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se