Men 'better at multitasking than women'
Working mothers may have to juggle more tasks than their hubbies, but the long-held belief that women are better than men at multitasking is a myth, new research suggests.
"On the contrary, the results of our study show that men are better at multitasking than women," the Daily Mail quoted Timo Maentylae, a psychology professor at Stockholm University as saying.
According to the Swedish study, men are sometimes better than women at handling multiple tasks simultaneously, but the performance gap is correlated to the female menstrual cycle.
Maentylae found that the ability to combine several different tasks at once was also linked to spatial ability that 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.
"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," he said.
The participants of the study - 160 men and women between 20 and 43 years of age - were instructed to keep track of three digital "clocks," or counters, displaying 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 that featured common Swedish names, pressing the mouse button when one of the names was repeated.
The study is to be published in US peer-reviewed journal Psychological Science.