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Study finds no substantial gender differences in multitasking performance

August 16, 2019

Women and men perform equally when required to switch attention between tasks or perform two tasks simultaneously, according to a new study in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Patricia Hirsch of Aachen University in Germany and colleagues. The finding adds to a growing literature that contradicts the widely held belief that women multitask better than men.

Multitasking—performing several independent tasks within a short time—requires rapidly and frequently switching attention from one task to another, increasing the cognitive demand, compared to completing single tasks in sequence. Despite scant evidence for gender differences, the popular perception is overwhelmingly that women are better at multitasking than men.

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