Are you and your husband arguing over past events again, like that wedding in Maine last summer – did your sister-in-law serve lobster or shrimp? Or both? You know it was lobster, but your husband insists it was shrimp.
Or have you noticed that your male significant other can’t ever find his keys or has trouble remembering people you’ve both met?
For next time, just print out this article and hang it on the fridge, because new research has found that women remember events better than men. Boo-ya. It’s called “episodic memory.”
Women for the win
Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden performed a meta-analysis of 617 studies of episodic memory conducted between 1973 and 2013, which included more than 1.2 million participants.
“The results show that there is a slight female advantage in episodic memory, and that advantage varies depending on which materials are to be remembered,” said lead study author Martin Asperholm, a doctoral student at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, in a release.
For example, women come out ahead in episodic memory when verbal processes are involved in creating memories; men, however, are good at remembering information that involved spatial processing.
“Generally, women perform better when it comes to remembering verbal information, such as words, sentences, texts, and objects, but also the location of objects, and movies,” said Agneta Herlitz, professor of psychology at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, and leader of the research group. “Men can better recall abstract images and remember their way back from one location to another. Furthermore, there is a female advantage when it comes to remembering faces and with sensory memories, such as smells.”
Recalling abstract images and being able to get you out of the woods is all well and good – you can ask “Where am I”? of a man – but if you want to know what happened, ask a woman.
The findings are published in the journal Psychological Bulletin.