Articles from The Mediator

Under Pressure: Women Better Decision-Makers

When the going gets tough, it seems women may be better at making decisions than men.

Researchers at USC and Duke University have found that in normal situations, men and women are equally good at making decisions about risk. But when stress is added, men and women part ways.

Male and female research subjects participated in different activities involving gambles, or risk.

Across a series of gambles, when men were more stressed they took more risks then did women. They focused on big wins, even when they were costly and less likely.

A Netherlands neurobiologist says the difference is because of cortisol, a stress hormone. Men tend to take more risks when they experience a spike in cortisol. But women with a slight increase in cortisol actually seem to improve decision-making under pressure.

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