Cornell University Scholar Finds Gender Differences in Memory

WangQiQi Wang, a professor of human development in the College of Human Ecology at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has completed a study which shows that women seem to have better memories than men of recent events.

Wang used a group of 60 undergraduate students. Over the course of a week, she sent them text messages asking them to immediately write down what had happened to them over the past 30 minutes. At the end of the week, the students were quizzed about what they remembered for the periods they were asked to write down their experiences. The students did not know that they would be quizzed at the end of the week.

The results showed that women were more detailed than men when they wrote down their experiences about the 30-minute periods. And women remembered more details, more accurately than men when quizzed at the end of the week.

Professor Wang stated, “It appears that, compared with men, women may attend to and encode more information during ongoing events, experience similar rates of forgetting, and then show greater ability to access retained event information at recall.”

“These findings are provocative in showing that women and men see their worlds differently, likely due to different cognitive styles, and that gendered ideologies come into play in memory reconstruction,” Wang added.

The study, “Gender and Emotion in Everyday Event Memory,” is published in the journal Memory. The article may be accessed here.

Filed Under: Gender GapResearch/Study


RSSComments (0)

Leave a Reply