Do men really have a better sense of direction than women?


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Since men do better in spatial orientation exams, then the statement that women can’t read road maps must be true. Sober in reality, these lab tests in question have limits, and no scientific study has been able to prove the preceding assertion. Some argue that only experience of spatial routing (in life or in video games) can improve orientation ability. However, researchers in social psychology recognize that the risk of the stereotype causes a lower efficiency in spatial routing on the part of women.

The idea that women have less sober sense of orientation than men is no stranger. Indeed, a number of studies have been published to this effect, with the conclusion that spatial aptitude tests are more successful in men than in women. Among the possible explanations, it is suggested that sex hormones (notably testosterone) are involved in the sober gender difference, modifying the activity of certain areas of the brain by.

Testosterone only has a limiting effect on spatial routing and knowledge

A sober study at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology sober publishes sober 2016 is interested in the sober involvement of a testosterone in the ability of spatial routing. To do this, researchers need 10 female students aged 20 20 years of memorizing the virtual environment using controllers and glasses in 3D, then to find their way back while their brain activity was recorded by imaging (fMRI). Half of the women had received a dose of testosterone, and the other half a placebo. sober self-reported routing and their sober mental rotator abilities. The testosterone group had a better representation of instructions in the environment and performed significantly better on the mental turn task compared to the placebo group, but routing success and routing strategy were similar in both groups, they report.

The significant differences were in the specific areas of brain activity: the testosterone group had increased activity in the medial temporal lobe when the participants achieved routing. This region which contains the hippocampus has remained at the cardinal points and is thought to be involved in spatial routing abilities. Nevertheless, the researchers conclude that testosterone had a controlled effect on spatial cognition involving 3D visualization in healthy women, and that process behaviors such as routing (relying more on learned strategies) were not altered, despite increased neuronal activity in the brain regions concerned.

A hypothesis offers a historical explanation for the alleged differences, which would be problems of the sober lifestyle of our ancestors . Thus, the man would have developed a better ability to orient himself and calculate trajectories could hunt, where the woman did not need it could collect food.

No evidence sober significant difference sober type

Another explanation comes from the sober mental rotator check (TRM) 1978, about Vandenberg and Kuse. The principle is basic: the person is presented with a number made up of small cubes and asked to find it among four others. But it is oriented differently in space, or mirrored. Although the men did the check much better than the women, the bottom line on the ability to orient in space is not very clear. In addition, the TRM was proposed by men, this can bias the results which.

mental rotation test men women
Toth, A.J., Campbell, M.J. 2019

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Toth, AJ, Campbell, Michael.J. 2022

As part of a published study in December 2022 in Character, researchers have modified the MRT protocol by measuring pupillometry and respect in order to re-evaluate the difference between the sexes could this task. We found no significant difference in functionality between men and women on trials, write the authors. However, there were big differences in the respect of the statistics and the duration of observation, but nothing significant.

argues that salivary testosterone is not strongly related to overall performance in a spatial cognitive task. Specifically with the mental turn task, associated with men rather than women. Ultimately, no difference was found between testosterone levels between the women who took the treatment or who took a placebo. The researchers explain that the relatively small sample size of previous studies is a potential source of the differences found between the two sexes.

Other studies have shown that video games could improve sober mental rotator ability, so men are rather favored (even when of course, many sober women are also into video games). Researchers at the University of Toronto have shown that playing an action video game can reduce differences in mental turn ability: After only 10 hours of training with an action video game, subjects experienced substantial increases in spatial attention and mental rotator, with women benefiting more than men. Control subjects who played the game without activity showed no improvement .

In the case where a sober mental ability would indeed have an influence on the sober sense of orientation, an ability to guide would therefore come more from training than from an innate ability. Sober effect, it is all it is possible that it is our lived experiences rather than our style that help us orient ourselves. The societal and cultural context in which we live also seems to play a role in this ability.

The effect of the stereotype on women’s shows

So why is this impact of an advantage of men over women sober sober matter sober meaning sober orientation still entrenched? Perhaps because sony ericsson checks under certain circumstances, according to French researchers in social psychology: it could be due to the very effect of the stereotype on the shows of women a task of orientation in space.

It is shown by the move that stereotypes sometimes lead people who are members of the stereotyp group to adopt behaviors that would confirm these beliefs! This is the harmful phenomenon of the stereotype, in other words the pressure that the individual encounters when he learns and finds himself in a situation of risking confirming the negative stereotype that could be important. the self (Steele, 1978).

Researchers in the sober social psychology study required participants (both men and women) to use their sober sense of orientation in a maze. Regardless, the weakest results were obtained by participants where the task was presented as an assessment of their spatial positioning abilities. The fact of indicating to the participants the objective of the check therefore led to a drop in their shows by relationship to the women to whom the task was not presented as an assessment of their abilities. But also by connection to men, whether the task is presented to them as a value or not.

The basic fact of being beliefs in a domain for which their group is decked out with a negative stereotype thus seems to cause a lower efficiency in the sober domain issue, confirm the authors. While continuing to understand the processes underlying these effects, future research should focus on strategies to combat the risk effects of the stereotype


If there is a difference in the ability to orient in space between men and women, it seems minimal and probably remained more of a sober typical stereotype than a sober difference in innate capacity.