Under the Hood

Do Women Remember Faces Better Than Men?

New research suggests that women are slightly better at remembering details compared to men, especially people’s faces. Women’s episodic memory even recalls past disagreements between couples better.

There are diverse types of memory skills that collectively allow the human race to thrive in the world. Episodic memories are one of them. A study published in the journal Psychological Bulletin indicated that women have better recollection skills on certain types of episodic memories compared to the opposite sex.

Doctoral student at the Karolinska Institute Martin Asperholm claimed the results of the study indicated that the female advantage depended on which materials women chose to remember. He added that women are better at recalling verbal information such as texts, objects, words and sentences.

Specifically, they tend to be better at remembering the speech, location of objects and the events that transpired in a movie. They were also found to be better at remembering faces and sensory images than men. Men, on the other hand, remember navigational data and abstract information more easily than women.

According to lead researcher Prof. Agneta Herlitz, women are also better at remembering the smells of things. Since the data they collected manifested significant differences between the sexes in terms of memory, the same holds true for the distinctions of their daily lives.

The researchers, however, noted that there is a need for further research to properly measure the extent of episodic memories that women and men recall. More information is needed to determine the correlation of different life experiences of women from men and how their distinct ways contribute to their memory abilities.

According to the Encyclopedia of Neuroscience, episodic memories are consciously recollected memories correlative to the person’s personally experienced events. One illustration given was how women were better at remembering disagreements between couples. Women can easily recall why they were upset during that argument while men sometimes barely remember that the disagreement even took place.

Other factors that influence a person’s cognitive ability to remember episodic memories include age-related cognitive decline and those related to preclinical dementia, reported Medical News Today. Furthermore, a study published in the US National Library of Medicine also indicated that lifestyle choices also affect memory function, such as smoking and long sleep duration.

Remembering faces A woman compares a child's digital photo with her grandmother's face. Gerd Altmann/Pixabay

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