Multi-tasking: Gender, and the confidence of age

October 26, 2016, 4:54 PM GMT+0

Women are in fact more likely than men to be multi-taskers, and older Americans are more confident in their ability to multi-task

Multi-tasking is an increasingly necessary skill in today's world of smartphones and endless streams of information. This need to be able to handle multiple things at once appears to give women a slight edge, as research indicates that women's brains tend to be slightly better at multitasking than men.

YouGov's latest research shows that nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) describe themselves as multi-taskers. Women (69%) are noticeably more likely than men (58%) to describe themselves as such, with a third of men saying that they are someone who focuses on one thing at a time.

Women (68%) are slightly more confident than men (61%) in their ability to do two things well at the same time. The biggest difference on self-perception of multi-tasking competence is based on age, as the oldest Americans are significantly more likely than the youngest Americans to be confident in their ability to multi-task. 72% of over-65s say that they can do two things well at the same time, compared to 53% of under-30s. 11% of under-30s say that if they have to do two things at once, neither task will be performed well.

Part of this may be a result of greater focusing abilities. 50% of under-30s say that they are very or somewhat easily distracted, compared to 33% of over-65s.

Full survey results available here.