If you think men are better at navigating directions, you may be right, according to a study published in Memory & Cognition.
Lead researcher Alexander Boone found that when "navigating in known environments, men prefer to take shortcuts to reach their destination more quickly, while women tend to use routes they know." Boone concluded that that men were "significantly" more efficient than women at reaching their destinations.
The results came after two experiments. The first tested 68 people on how well they were able to complete a computerized maze after learning it for a bit. Participants were also queried on their methodologies for navigation, their implied belief about their ability to handle directions and how often they play video games.
The second experiment used different versions of the maze—one with background landmarks and one without. While the men routinely took shortcuts to reach their targets faster, on average, than women, who were more prone to following learned routes.
The study importantly notes that some women were just as efficient and effective as the top male participants. "Overall, our research indicates that the sex difference in navigation efficiency is large, and is partly related to navigation strategy," said Boone.