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Confidence Improves Women’s Spatial Skills

Confidence Improves Womens Spatial SkillsNew 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

Woman driving car photo by shutterstock.

Confidence Improves Women’s Spatial Skills

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2018). Confidence Improves Women’s Spatial Skills. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 23, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Aug 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Aug 2018
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