Study shows women are better than men at giving directions

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Car Rental News - 24/05/2010


Last laugh is on the old chauvinists’ joke as women are shown to be superior at giving directions.

The joke is nearly as old as the hills (and the first trails to run through them): women are laughably inept at reading maps and giving directions. Now, a new study has thoroughly upset that old stereotype. Researchers have shown not only that women do a better job of giving route instructions than men do, but the superior performance is thanks to women giving the problem more thought.

Scientists found that women were both subjectively and quantifiably better than men at helping people get somewhere. In the study, 30 men and 30 women were observed while giving instructions in a petrol station. Researchers asked motorists a series of questions to ascertain their local knowledge and find out how to get to a local tourist attraction.

When asked to guess the distance to the local attraction, half of the women got the right answer whilst only a third of the men could do so. Furthermore, while attempting to provide directions to the local attraction, the women often gave the issue much more consideration. Twice as many women paused “significantly” compared to men. Women often considered the route out loud in a bid to give the best directions. In the end, a quarter of the women – three per cent more than the men - gave the right directions.

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