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Do men or women have better

memories?
• Researchers suggest that they don’t
differ in their general ability to
memorize and recall information, but
they often find differences in the way
men and women process self-
relevant information.
Seidlitz & Diener study,
1998
• In this study males and females were asked to recall
several different kinds of information. The Participants
were first given 3 minutes to list as many positive and
negative events as they could recall from their last 3
previous years. The participants returned a year later
and were again given 3 minutes to recall events from
the same 3-year period. The participants also were
given a limited amount of time to recall positive and
negative events from the previous year, and from a
randomly selected 1-hour interval the previous week.
Finally, they were given a limited amount of time to
recall positive and negative events from American
history.
• Results showed that depending on what kind of
information the men and women were asked to
remember, resulted on who could recall information
better.
Implications from study
• Results from this suggest that men and
women differ in the way they process
self-relevant information.
• Researchers have identified two
differences in the way men and woman
organize info in memory that may
explain the observed differences in
recall
– First, the genders differ in the extent to
which self-relevant information is
associated with emotions.
– Second, men and women differ in the
extent to which information about
More research………
• Another line of research looks at the extent to which men
and women consider relationships when they organize self-
relevant information.
• Some psychologists argue that the way men and women
are raised in our society causes them to form different
cognitive representations of themselves.
– Men are said to develop independent self-construals, which
means men’s self-concepts are relatively unrelated to the
cognitive representations they have for other people.
– Women tend to develop interdependent self-construals. Their
self-concepts are highly related to the cognitive
representations they have of others and their relationships
with those people.
• The findings suggest that information about relationships is
more accessible for women than men. There is evidence
that men and women ten to form different cognitive
representations of themselves, and that these differences
explain some of the gender differences in what we