Generally speaking, you take a woman, and you stick her in a room with a whole bunch of other men and women, okay? Now, this woman cannot do math. We take the same group of women that were stuck with both men and women and put them in a room (just the women), all of a sudden their world changes and they actually remember things and perform just as well as men.
All of this means that there are contextual differences in how men and women are similar (in performance, behavior, and thinking), but more so not the same at all.
The things that drive us to our fears or the things that make us angry and hurt and all that kind of stuff are so different between men and women. So, the fact is, women are so much better in some ways than men are, in memory.
So what are some of the differences?
Research out this week reveals the latest.
Women are better than men at remembering the appearance of others, a new study shows.
The gender difference in appearance memory was not great, but it shows another area where women are superior to men in interpersonal sensitivity, said Terrence Horgan, lead author of the study and research fellow in psychology at Ohio State University.
“Women have an advantage when it comes to remembering things like the physical features, clothing and postures of other people,” Horgan said. “This advantage might be due to women being slightly more people-oriented than men are.”
The study also found that both men and women did better at remembering the appearance of women than they did remembering how men looked.
Horgan conducted the study with Marianne Schmid Mast and Judith Hall of Northeastern University, and Jason Carter of the State University of New York at New Paltz. Their results were published in a recent issue of the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.
The advantage for women showed up under different conditions, Horgan said. He did five separate studies testing appearance memory.
In two studies, participants were told beforehand that they were going to be tested about their memory of the people they viewed. In these studies, college students (77 and 111 in the respective studies) viewed videotapes and slides of people talking about themselves or interacting with others. After viewing the tapes or slides, participants were asked various questions to test their memory. They were asked about things such as eye color, whether a person was wearing a ring or other jewelry, the pattern of a person’s sweater, and if a person had his or her arms crossed.
In one study, there was no difference between men and women in their appearance memory. However, this was the only one of the five studies that did not show an advantage to women, so Horgan believes the overall results favor women.
The other three studies were substantially different in two ways: the participants interacted with each other one-to-one instead of viewing slides or videotapes, and they weren’t told in advance that they would be tested for appearance memory. These studies involved 120 college students.
The participants were grouped into pairs and asked to role-play a situation in which they both worked at an art gallery. After the role-playing exercise, they were taken to separate rooms where they were questioned about the appearance of their partner. They were asked to describe their partner’s hair, clothing, and other striking features. The researchers then scored each person’s description to determine how accurate they were.
In all of these three studies, women were more accurate than men in describing their partners. In addition, participants of both genders were more accurate in their descriptions when their partners were women than when the partners were men.
So why are women more memorable than men…? Turn the page…