New research suggests women may not need a GPS, rather just a healthy dose of confidence to help improve their spatial skills.
University of Warwick scientists discovered boosting a woman’s confidence makes her better at spatial tasks. Researchers found that skills such as parking and map-reading are easier for a woman if she is feeling good about herself.
Experts say that previous studies have established that women are slower and less accurate than men on a range of 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.
Their study is published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.
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.”
Source: University of Warwick