Aston University research has revealed that women are better at remembering to perform and fulfil future tasks and plans.
In the study, a 100 men and women were given memory tasks over two minute periods, 15 minutes and 24 hours. The women participating in the test were found to excel at remembering to perform tasks that involved doing, rather than saying, something. They were also better than men at remembering activities linked to events rather than to a specific time.
Dr Liana Palermo, who led the investigation, also found that both genders struggled to remember events in the distant future.
Dr Palermo, a Marie Curie Research Fellow in the School of Life and Health Sciences, said: “In addition to work responsibilities, women have generally had more responsibilities at home too. As a consequence of this social role, in daily life women might perform tasks involving prospective memory and planning skills more than men, thus enhancing their performance in remembering to remember.”
Activities as simple as remembering to buy milk or put clothes in a washing machine were cited by Dr Palermo as examples of women’s ability to remember to undertake tasks. She added that men might be able to improve their memories by taking a more active domestic role.
It is believed that gender differences in memory may be down to hormones or even the structure of the brain. The brain’s memory hub shrinks in men, but not in women, between the age of 20 and 40.
For further media information, please contact Naheeda Akhtar, University Communications on 0121 204 5004