UK: While past studies suggest that women are slower and less accurate with spatial skills than men, scientists at the University of Warwick carried out a new research that reveals a women’s level of confidence plays a key role in their ability to perform spatial tasks, such as parking and map reading.
“Prior research shows that women tend to do poorly on tasks that require spatial awareness,” said Psychology researcher Dr. Zachary Estes. “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”
Dr. Estes and Dr. Sydney Felker from the University of Georgia Health Center observed 545 female students as they performed four standard 3D mental rotation task as scientist manipulated their confidence levels. The researchers found that when they made women feel more confident about themselves, their ability to perform the task improved.
The full study, Confidence Mediates the Sex Difference in Mental Rotation Performance can be found in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.