Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Confidence is key to women's spatial skills, study suggests

Date:
December 7, 2011
Source:
University of Warwick
Summary:
Boosting a woman’s confidence makes her better at spatial tasks, scientists have found, suggesting skills such as parking and map-reading could come more easily if a woman is feeling good about herself.

Boosting a woman's confidence makes her better at spatial tasks, University of Warwick scientists have found, suggesting skills such as parking and map-reading could come more easily if a woman is feeling good about herself.

Previous studies have established that women are slower and less accurate than men on a range of spatial tasks.

But new research carried out at the University of Warwick reveals that confidence levels play a key role in women's ability to perform spatial tasks.

University of Warwick psychology researcher Dr Zachary Estes, working with Dr Sydney Felker from the University of Georgia Health Center, 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.

The research paper, Confidence Mediates the Sex Difference in Mental Rotation Performance, is published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

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

"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.

"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.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Zachary Estes, Sydney Felker. Confidence Mediates the Sex Difference in Mental Rotation Performance. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 2011; DOI: 10.1007/s10508-011-9875-5

Cite This Page:

University of Warwick. "Confidence is key to women's spatial skills, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205102315.htm>.
University of Warwick. (2011, December 7). Confidence is key to women's spatial skills, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205102315.htm
University of Warwick. "Confidence is key to women's spatial skills, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111205102315.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Pregnancy Spacing Could Have Big Impact On Autism Risks

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) A new study says children born less than one year and more than five years after a sibling can have an increased risk for autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stopping School Violence

Stopping School Violence

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A trauma doctor steps out of the hospital and into the classroom to teach kids how to calmly solve conflicts, avoiding a trip to the ER. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Pineal Cysts: Debilitating Pain

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) A tiny cyst in the brain that can cause debilitating symptoms like chronic headaches and insomnia, and the doctor who performs the delicate surgery to remove them. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Burning Away Brain Tumors

Burning Away Brain Tumors

Ivanhoe (Oct. 1, 2014) Doctors are 'cooking' brain tumors. Hear how this new laser-heat procedure cuts down on recovery time. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins