Study: Gender and multitasking

Posted at 7:52 AM, Jun 10, 2014

(CNN)– Some of us are better than others at doing multiple things at once but is it men or women that have an edge?

Many believe women are better suited at multitasking but recent studies shed some fascinating new light on whether that’s actually true.

In an article for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Tom Bartlett took look at past studies that examined whether men or women are better when it comes to juggling life’s tasks and found that the answer is really not clear at all.

Bartlett points to a study done last year that suggested women are better at some kinds of multitasking.

In that study, the researchers found that men slowed down when asked to manage multiple tasks more than the women slowed down.

But another study cited in the article, also done last year, tested men and women’s ability to watch and juggle many things on the computer and in that study the men were found to be more consistent.

Then, a 2012 study basically called it a draw between men and women.

In that study, researchers found both men and women had a hard time doing multiple word games at once and all had a much easier time doing one at a time.

So if it sounds like the jury is still out on whether men or women multitask better, you’re probably right.

Bartlett said we might think women are better at multitasking because women likely get more practice at it.

They are usually the ones managing the home and the kids, but that doesn’t mean they are necessarily better at it.

He concluded, “The one thing you can surmise from those and other studies is that multitasking tends to make everyone worse at everything.”