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Battle of the sexes: who's better at assembling IKEA furniture?

A customer shops at the newly opened IKEA store.
A customer shops at the newly opened IKEA store.

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A recent study from the University of Tromso in Norway found that men are better than women when it comes to assembling IKEA furniture.

The study asked 40 men and 40 women, all around the same age, to  put together an IKEA kitchen cart on their own. Some had the instruction manuals, some didn't; in both scenarios the women outperformed their male counterparts.

The researchers were quick to point out that while their study doesn't symbolize a shift in the idea of gendered brains, it does beg some questions: how did this trend occur? Does it indicate that men have been expected to build things and can thus build them better? Or does it suggest a more profound cognitive difference?


Jorgen Edvin Westgren, co-author of the study and a psychology student from the Arctic University of Norway

Daphna Joel, lead author of the new study, “Sex beyond the genitalia: The human brain mosaic,” published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a professor of psychological sciences at the University of Tel Aviv in Israel