During the study, Professor Keith Laws, a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire, who led the research, and colleagues found that when women and men work on a number of simple tasks - such as searching for a key or doing easy maths problems - at the same time, the women significantly outperformed the men.
Scientists believe that the results show that females are better able to reflect upon a problem, while continuing to juggle their other commitments, than men.
"But there didn't appear to be any empirical evidence for this. It was all based upon folklore and hearsay when I looked through the scientific literature," Laws added.
As part of the study, Laws gave 50 male and 50 female students eight minutes to perform three tasks at the same time: carrying out simple maths problems, finding restaurants on a map and sketching a strategy for how they would search for a lost key in an imaginary field.
As they performed the tasks, the volunteers also received a phone call that they could either chose to answer or not. If they did answer, they were given an additional general knowledge test while they continued to carry out their other activities.
While women were able to perform well in all four activities at once, men performed, on average, worse when it came to planning to search for the key.
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