A new study finds holding the door open for a man may dampen his self-esteem.
That’s the conclusion of recently published research, which suggests holding a door open while you let another man enter first can lower his self-esteem and self-confidence.
Research out of Purdue University found that men who had the door held open for them by another man experienced lower self-esteem.
Psychologists Megan McCarty and Janice Kelly positioned a male researcher walking towards a set of double doors at a campus building. When a student approached the doors, the researcher either stepped ahead and opened the door for them, or fell into line with them and reached for the adjacent door so that the two doors opened at the same time. Inside the building, a female researcher approached the 196 subjects with a short questionnaire measuring their self-esteem.
Researchers found that male students who had just had the door opened for them felt less self-confident and had lower self-esteem. (Women were unaffected by the door-holding condition.)
In a paper published in the December 2013 online issue of Social Influence, the researchers suggest that the gesture of opening a door for a man may unintentionally send the message that they are “inferior or too dependent,” or feminized in some way.
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