Patricia Hirsch, lead author of the study by Aachen University in Germany, says: ‘It is a widely held belief that women outperform men in multitasking situations, possibly because of an evolutionary advantage and extensive multitasking practice resulting from managing children, household, and jobs.
“In fact, two recent studies showed that the majority of participants was convinced that gender differences in multitasking existed and at least 80 per cent of them attributed better multitasking abilities to women than to men.
“Thus, our results do not confirm the widespread stereotype that women are better at multitasking than men at least in the popular sequential and concurrent multitasking settings used in the present study.
“The present findings strongly suggest that there are no substantial gender differences in multitasking performance across task-switching and dual-task paradigms, which predominantly measure cognitive control mechanisms such as working memory updating, the engagement and disengagement of task sets, and inhibition.”
So there you have it. Men, it’s time you stepped up! You’re just as capable – or incapable as the study suggests – at us at multitasking.