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This isn't intended to be disparaging and any sexist remarks will be rated unhelpful, but in your experience of either being one, or via those you know, would you say it's true that men can only do one thing (properly?) at a time?

Supplement from 01/20/2009 01:12pm:
Looks like I might have worded this poorly, perhaps I should have said only give their attention to accomplish one thing...

Not sure that's much better actually.

asked in Men, biology, doing stuff

siasl74 answers:

Depends on the things - last night, while assembling some kitchen units, my wife attempted to engage me in conversation about something like cushions (or similar) and I completely switched off (I was trying to interpret rather peculiarly drawn assembly instructions at the time).

Similarly, I prefer to have not many windows open on the computer, even though I do run on two screens. I prefer to complete a task before moving on to the next - swapping around leads to inefficiency and mistakes, in my experience, no matter which sex is doing it.

So, based on my experience, for the most part blokes can only concentrate on one thing at a time - however they may find that doing stuff that does not require concentration easy to add to the pile of things being done.

(one might be tempted to remark upon what that one thing that blokes can concentrate on actually is, but I might get modded)

Supplement from 01/20/2009 01:19pm:

To your supplement, yes. Men don't concentrate well on more than one thing at a time.

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wumpus answers:

I do prefer to concentrate on one thing at once.

If it is something that requires much brain power, I get quite stroppy if I get repeated interruptions.
Unfortunately this is exactly what my partner specialises in, and I sometimes need to tell her not to interrupt me for a bit.

That's not necessarily the same as DOING one thing at once. Some jobs don't require much brain power, and I can do them while thinking about something else.

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xoloriib answers:

It's true that most men do not multitask - they dont usually learn how to. It is possible to learn how though. In my job as a mail sorter I had to learn how to do more than one thing at a time. On the computer I usually have two or three browsers open with six tabs open on each and windows explorer open as well.

There are some things where even if you have learned to multitask you can still only concentrate on one function at a time : they are mostly connected with arousal / distraction. This is sometimes called thinking with the whatever instead of the brain.

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Poindexter answers:

Some men can chew gum and fart at the same time. According to Henry Kissinger.

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Messerwisser answers:

I must admit that while reading your question i had problems with cooking dinner, painting the ceiling and cleaning the floor at the same time. I had to take a pause for the ironing.
And my wife makes it much better.

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osbertonbowls answers:

I suppose it all started amongst the earliest humans on the planet, the men went out to hunt and needed to have a single-minded approach to their job , to kill or be some carnivore's dinner - whilst Mrs Cave-man stayed at home and had to keep the cave tidy, keep the fire going, keep the kids happy and well fed, and prepare for hubby's homecoming with the goodies.
Thus it was, and thus it remains.

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duffield1 answers:

I'm not sure that it is - for me, my best thinking time is when I am in the car, so I am both driving (with all due diligence) and then considering complex issues, too. Or driving and trying to decode harmonies from whatever I've got in the CD player so I can sing along.

What I am very good at is focusing - I can't watch TV and have a conversation at the same time, but this is perhaps bourne out of having to tune out from Mrs Duff talking to her mother on the phone by the side of me.

I can co-ordinate other activities in the home, so I can do the cleaning whilst organising all the laundry through the washer and dryer, too, but really, I suppose I'm not doing two things at the same time - my primary job is getting stuff washed and dried, and the cleaning is done in the gaps in between.

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rasputin1309 answers:

This does not depend on the gender of the person but on their abilities.

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macavity answers:

Nobody can actually multi task what one does is do several jobs at different points in time but the brain can plan the order in which to do the various parts of the job so seemingly one feels one is doing more than one job at a time but it is not possible to do them at the same time as there will be a lapse of time even if you use both hands and to do different jobs

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Russel.West answers:

I'm drinking (hot choc) and typing and thinking about a witty answer at the same time - oops, spilled choc on keyboard - ok so one out of three isn't bad!!!

Supplement from 01/26/2009 11:08pm:

Ask a man to think about a close elderly relation during lovemaking and it becomes apparent he is only capable of doing one thing at a time (usualy in this case using his mind) - unless he is a pervert!

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