Open a door for a man and you diminish his self-esteem and self-belief

Posted on February 18, 2014

Photo: flickr

How does a man feel if another man opens a door for him? The researchers Megan McCarty and Janice Kelly conducted a field study to find out.

Male research assistants waited near two university building entrances and looked out for men and women approaching. On some trials the research assistant went through a door adjacent to the arriving person (so that the person had to open the door for themselves). On other trials, the research assistant leaped into action, held open the door for the approaching person, then stepped aside for them to enter first. Once inside, the targeted men and women were approached by a female assistant bearing a clipboard. She asked them questions about their self-esteem and self-efficacy (measured by their agreement with statements like "I feel that I have a number of good qualities" and "I can learn almost anything if I set my mind to it"). In total 221 people were tested this way (122 women).

Men who had the door held open for them scored lower on self-esteem and self-efficacy than men who didn't have the door held open for them. Women's self-esteem and self-efficacy scores were no different regardless of whether a man held a door open for them or not.

Click on the link below to read the full article

Category(s):Self-Confidence, Self-Esteem

Source material from British Psychological Society