Alexander Boone's Gender in Navigation Research Gains National Attention

May 24, 2018

Alexander Boone's research entitled "Sex differences in navigation and strategy" published in Memory and Cognition this year has gained national attention, with references on Good Morning America and on popular news sites. Though it is always exciting for science to gain this level of attention, there is concern that Alex's results are being misrepresented. Some sources have used catchy headlines such as "Men are better navigators" and seem to push a sensationalized "battle of the sexes" approach when discussing this research. Rather than conveying the nuance of the implications of his findings, including the fact that gamers may be aided in VR navigation, some of these articles use a click-bait strategy of confirming men's superiority over women. Below are a few links to sources that provide a better summary of the sex differences in navigation paper if you are interested in a well-rounded understanding of this research. The authors of the study include Jared Gong, a former undergraduate student who received his B.A. in 2017 from the University of California Santa Barbara and Professor Mary Hegarty. Members of the lab are continuing to do research on navigation strategies in both virtual and real environments. Stay tuned for updates on this continuing field of research!