It will come as no surprise to any man who has waited for his wife to choose what to wear for a night out.
But scientists have now proved that women are the less decisive
While, of course, the tendency
is not always a helpful one, the study found that men are more likely to leap to ‘black-or-white’ judgments.
Women, on the other hand, tend to be open minded and ‘see more shades of grey’.
In the study, more than 100 people were asked whether each of 50 objects fitted partially, fully or not at all into categories.
Women were 23 per cent more likely to select the ‘partial’ option.
Their ‘indecisive’ responses were to questions likely to stimulate debate, such as ‘Is paint a tool?’ or ‘Is a tomato a fruit?’
Most men were happy to decide, for example, that a tomato is either a fruit or not, while women say it can ‘sort of’ belong in the fruit category.
Researcher Dr Zachary Estes, of Warwick University, said: ‘Of course, simply because we have found a significant sex difference in how men and women categorise does not mean that one method is intrinsically
better than the other.
‘For instance, male doctors may be more likely to quickly and confidently diagnose a set of symptoms as a disease.
‘Although this brings great advantages in treating diseases early, it obviously has massive disadvantages if the diagnosis is actually wrong. In many cases, a more open approach to categorising or diagnosing would be more effective.’
In a conclusion that may explain why Lord Sugar is so at ease with his role choosing which candidate to fire on his show The Apprentice, Dr Estes added: ‘Men, it would seem, are more suited to occupational
environments that require decisive action whereas women are better at jobs where a considered approach is most important.’
Dr Estes said the gender difference is also consistent with women’s use of tentative
He said: ‘In general, women tend to use more tentative language such as hedge
s, for example ‘sort of’ and disclaimer
s like I’m not sure.’