Here’s a simple question that’s bound to piss people off: what happens when a man opens a door for a man?
Well, a new study published in Social Influence has the answer to that question. A male research assistant stood outside of a university building, sometimes holding the door for an oncoming person, sometimes going through an adjacent door, causing the oncoming person to have to hold the door for themselves. Once inside, the unwitting participants were approached by a female research assistant and asked a series of questions about their self-esteem. 122 women were tested, as were ninety-nine men.
Men who had the door held for them scored lower on the self-esteem test than men who did their own door holding. For women, it made no difference—their self-esteem remained the same.
Of course, it would’ve been interesting if the researchers had also tried swapping the genders of their research assistants—perhaps there might’ve been a change in the results. We suspect that the men in question might have seen the door holding as an attempt to piss them off rather than be helpful—but we aren’t experts. Either way, our big takeaway is that we’ve found yet another way to subtly compete with guys we don’t know.