Article written

  • on 03.03.2010
  • at 03:31 PM
  • by Rick VanSant

and Women are from Venus… 0


Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have provided a bit more information in the continuing discussion of brain differences between men and women.  Books like MEN ARE FROM MARS- WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS or THE FEMALE BRAIN have long detailed behavioral differences, but the biological basis for these behaviors has been elusive.
This study of 32 men and women shows that under moderate stress, “Men responded with increased blood flow to the right prefrontal cortex, responsible for “fight or flight.” Women had increased blood flow to the limbic system, which is also associated with a more nurturing and friendly response.”
The research also showed that the changes to the blood flow in women’s brains lasted much longer than men. Perhaps this gives a biological cause for the observation that women tend to remember emotional episodes for much longer than men?
While interesting, what does this have to do with technology design and use? Given the using technology is inherently stressful for some people, especially when confronted with a problem, one place to apply this information in is the customer service arena. Based on this, men are more likely to engage in solving the problem in a “fight” mode (i.e., problem solving) and will have worked the problem much more extensively before calling technical support. Women on the other hand are likely to be emotionally engaged in their problem with their computers and will need a customer service representative that is alert and empathetic to the emotional implications of having to face this somewhat stressful situation. In this case it is possible that solving the problem wiill need to be secondary to establishing an empathetic (not sympathetic!) connection before moving on to the actual problem. Maybe the company will loose a little in efficiency, but remember that women are more likely to remember the experience, bad or good, for longer.

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