Men and women may be equal when it comes to logic, but when it comes to the illogical mess that is assembling Ikea furniture, it seems as though all bets are off.
Researchers at the University of Tromso in Norway decided to put the age-old battle of the sexes to the test to find out whether men or women had a tougher time assembling an Ikea product.
In the study, researchers asked 40 men and 40 women to piece together an Ikea kitchen cart by themselves. Some of those participants received a lifeline in the form of an instruction manual, while others only had a drawing of what the final product should look like.
When participants were faced with a manual, the results were surprisingly even, with both genders taking roughly 23 minutes on average to build the cart (22.48 minutes for men, 24.8 minutes for women). When the manual was taken away, however, it was man’s time to shine.
According to the study, it only took men an average of one-minute longer to piece together the unit without a manual (23.65 minutes), while the women’s average jumped to 28 minutes. It’s also important to note that everyone was cut off at the 30 minute mark (probably to keep tempers in check), which means there could have been a even larger discrepancy between the two sexes.
Not only that, but by the end of the study it was determined that women were also more like to have left off huge pieces off their carts (e.g. a shelf or a railing).
The theory goes that men tend to be better at spatial tasks, with tons of research in the past indicating that they tend to score higher on tests that ask them to rotate objects in their head.
The real bottom line here is that you should always hold onto those instruction manuals. As “komplicated” as those little bubble men make the task out to be sometimes, science says they actually do make our lives easier.