Study: Men navigate more efficiently than women

An age old debate may finally be over. It turns out men may actually be better navigators.

Psychologists from the University of California at Santa Barbara studied the different navigation styles and strategies used by both men and women.

They had to try and make their way through a computer-generated maze.

The study showed men prefer to take shortcuts to reach their destination more quickly, while women tend to stick to routes they know.

However, researchers say men's love of video games might have swayed the results.

Alexander Boone of UC Santa Barbara was the lead author of a study. The research was published in Springer's journal Memory & Cognition.

"It is also possible that the sex difference in efficiency is due in part to facility with the interface or navigation in virtual environments, as men tend to spend more time playing video games," Boone said in a statement.

The researchers tested 68 participants in the first experiment and 72 in the second.

"As predicted from previous research, these experiments showed that men were more likely to take shortcuts and on average reached their goal location faster than women. In contrast, female participants were more likely to follow learned routes and wander," Boone said. "In both experiments, men were significantly more efficient than women, even after controlling for the effects of strategy."
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