Multi-tasking is a skill to carry out more than one task at a time. Listening to someone and making notes can be considered as one of the most basic examples of multitasking.
Multi-tasking, especially in today's era is a much needed, valued, and appreciated skill because of its sheer nature. If carried out properly, it is efficient and saves you some time.
It is since the dawn of civilization that women were always expected to or supposed to complete many responsibilities and take care of more than one thing at once.
If we go back only one century back, everything from getting up first in the morning to making meals, washing clothes, cleaning the house, bearing the kids, everything was done by a woman.
In today's century, things, expectations, and situations might have been changed a little but the skill of multitasking remains the same; Maybe women have been passed or better yet blessed, on this skill from ancestors.
A 21st-century woman today, also does no less. A woman can be seen acing and maintaining the roles of a housewife, a mother, an employee, and well so much more simultaneously.
We can see it even at our homes, I am sure, that once in a while we would look up to our moms and wonder how do they do so much? How are they able to carry out so much work at once; it’s always surprising.
WHAT DO RESEARCHES HAVE TO SAY?
For research to investigate human multitasking, a simple experimental design called the Psychological Refractory Period Effect was administered on the subjects.
Here people were asked to make separate responses to each of the two stimuli which were presented to them close together in time. The most general finding showed slow responses by people in the second-appearing stimulus.
Other researchers in the area of multitasking while keeping the phenomena of cognitive load in multimedia learning, as the major focus concluded that it is indeed difficult If not possible, to learn new information while multitasking.
Researches even suggest that the human brain can be trained to multitask, that is to simply say we can acquire the skill of multitasking if we want to.
This can perhaps point towards that reason why women are multitaskers because maybe without even their conscious knowledge, they are being trained in the skill of multitasking since their childhood. They are being taught how to handle various responsibilities of life at once.
A new brain connectivity study from Penn Medicine, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found differences in men and women’s neural wiring that points towards particular sex playing a role in multitasking skills.
"[On] average, men are more likely better at learning and performing a single task at hand, like cycling or navigating directions, whereas women have superior memory and social cognition skills, making them more equipped for multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group.”
It is important to note that this study contains no such evidence of any superiority in multitasking in women.
Another theory states that the evolution of men’s and women’s cognitive abilities was is differently based due to the hunter-gatherer tasks they performed in the present.
Silver and Eals in 1992 created a hypothesis which they derived from the Hunter-Gatherer Hypothesis. According to them, natural selection has favoured hunting-related skills which resulted in a difference in task performance for genders.
Men used to focus on one task- Hunting; while women played the role of gathering and also took care of children at home.
Though there is no rigid labour division today or some strong evidence as such which proves that women are better than men in multitasking or that it is inherently present in them, yet the natural selection that took place in primitive societies is thought to have made modern females superior multitaskers.
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