Confidence boosts women's road skills

Confidence boosts women's road skills - Confidence is the underlying factor, which determines how well a woman can perform spatial tasks like parking and map-reading, a new study has suggested.

New research carried out by University of Warwick's psychology researcher Dr Zachary Estes, working with Dr Sydney Felker from the University of Georgia Health Centre, looked at women's ability to perform a standard 3D mental rotation task, while at the same time manipulating their confidence levels.

They found that when they made women feel more confident about themselves, their ability to perform the task improved.

Confidence boosts women's road skills
Confidence boosts women’s parking and map-reading skills! (Thinkstock photos/Getty Images)

"Prior research shows that women tend to do poorly on tasks that require spatial awareness," Dr Zachary Estes said.

"That's borne out in the common jokes we always hear about men being better at parking and map reading than women."

"But we wanted to see why that was so we manipulated people's confidence in our experiments with spatial tasks, and it does seem that confidence is a key factor in how well women perform at this kind of task."

The study revealed that that boosting a woman's confidence made her better at spatial tasks.

"Our research suggests that by making a woman feel better about herself, she'll become better at spatial tasks - which in the real world means tasks such as parking the car or reading a map."

"So a little bit of confidence-boosting may go a long way when it comes to reversing the car into a tight parking spot."

The researchers tested spatial ability through a series of four computer-based experiments on a total of 545 students at a university in the US. ( )

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