Friday, May 15, 2009

Are women moodier than men?

I just did an interview with Jean Chatzky on Oprah Radio. Jean gives financial advice but we talked about many more topics from Welcome To Your Brain: whether we really use 10 percent of our brains (no), ways to improve your willpower, and much more.

Jean was particularly interested in the popular belief that women are moodier than men. As Sandra and I have written, this is a myth. Psychologists have given men and women beepers and then asked them to write down their mood whenever the beeper went off. They found that men's and women's moods were just as variable. No difference!

However, both men and women tend to remember women's mood swings better. So if people are asked to remember how moody they or their partners were in the previous week, more mood swings are reported for women than men. It's apparently a matter of perception and recollection - both men and women remember the women's moods.

It is true that mood disorders, including depression and anxiety, are about twice as common in women than in men. No one is really sure why, though it could be a matter of stress. But that's for another post...


Unknown said...

I enjoyed the book quite a bit. Just wrote a mini review about it.

Dan said...

A possibility could be that women as a group might be more inclined to express their feelings, making others, as well as themselves, more aware of their present mood. Which would make both parties more inclined to remember it later on.
Just a thought.