It’s easy to couple the successful finance magnate with the submissive four-eyed nebbish, but a new study concludes that a knack for numbers means very little minus a little bravado to boot. According to the new study published in the journal individuals that are both proficient in mathematics and numerically confident earn an average of $94,000 dollars more a year than their fellow talented but diffident mathematicians.
“A lack of numeric confidence can essentially wipe out most of the advantage a person with good math skills may have,” commented Ellen Peters, who is a professor of psychology at The Ohio State University that helmed the latest study.
Peters and her team unpicked the correlation measured confidence shares with earnings via two experiments. The first employed the 4,572 people that participated in the Understanding America Study run by the University of Southern California. These initial participants were asked after various aspects of their financial standing: the depth of the credit card debt, loans, payday loans, etc., The respondents were then tasked with interacting with each other. The results motioned that numeric confidence plus objective math scores were correlated with higher earners across the board. Confidence served alge-bros in non-fiscal ways as well.
In the second experiment, 91 patients at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center who were suffering from lupus were examined against the researchers’ initial hypothesis. This go-round’ the authors supplanted the Understanding America Study with markers like proper drug dosage and prudent health insurance and provider choices. Like in the first experiment, these patients were encouraged to interact with one another after querying, only this time, numerical confidence was associated with decreased disease activity upon follow-up check-ups.
Of course, the only thing worse than high aptitude and low confidence is just the opposite, Peters continues, “If you have low ability and high confidence, you may end up making mistakes that you don’t recognize. You’re not asking for help because you think you don’t need it, so you end up in worse shape.”
Only 7% of the respondents that were confident and good at math reported “bad disease activity”, while 44% of participants that were confident but inept reported the same.