Classroom noise upsets girls the most

Nov 29, 2005

Scientists at Sweden's Gavle College have determined classroom noise disturbs girls more than it does boys.

Lead researcher Eva Boman, an environmental psychologist, led two studies in which the ability to comprehend a text in the presence of noise was measured. One study involved 32 boys and 32 girls ages 13 and 14, while 129 children ages 11 and 12 were tested in the second study.

In both instances, half of the pupils worked in silence and the others were subjected to verbal noise.

The results showed the girls' episodic memory ability, relating to what took place and when, was reduced more than that of the boys. Boman said she was surprised by the results since it has been well documented that girls generally perform better at school than boys.

"Women and girls ... also have better episodic memories," she told The Local, which publishes Swedish news in English. "We thought that girls would benefit from this and be affected less than boys."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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