If you've rolled your eyes as a guy ditched the pictograms and went straight to assembling that PAX, you might owe him an apology. A Norwegian study tested men and women's abilities to assemble IKEA furniture, with and without instructions, and here's what they found out:
The study consisted of 40 men and 40 women, all in their 20s, assembling an IKEA kitchen cart. Half of them were given instructions, while the other half just received an image of the finished cart.
While the assembly times were the same across genders for those with the instructions, the disparity amongst the group with just the final image were greater. Men on average assembled the cart in 20 percent less time, and with fewer mistakes overall (and more minor ones). In fact, their job was on par with those men who had the instructions.
- IKEA test: Sometimes men really don't need directions | Providence Journal