London, Feb 15: Fidgeting helps men relax during job interviews, as it leads them to find it easier to tackle complex problems, a study has found.
However, it has the opposite effect for women, the Daily Mail reported.
The researchers, from the University of Roehampton, in south west London, said that these findings could significantly change the way that people approach interviews.
To look at whether hair flicks, lip bites, foot taps and other ticks and twitches relieve stress, the researchers put a group of men and women through mock job interviews.
Each volunteer was watched closely as they gave a five-minute presentation about why they were the best person for the job and did a complex mental arithmetic test.
Overall, the men fidgeted twice as much as the women.
They made far fewer mistakes in the mental arithmetic test and felt less stressed about the whole experience.
In fact, those who fidgeted the most got the most sums right.
In contrast, the women who couldn’t keep their hands and feet still made more than twice as many errors as the females who didn’t fidget. They also felt much more stressed.
Dr Stuart Semple, the study’s co-author, said that fidgeting may provide a temporary release of tension for men.
Women, however, may be more conscious of fidgeting. This could lead to them actively trying to suppress it – and so raise levels of stress.
He added that despite the finding, employers may still view men who fidget as being nervous.
The findings are published in the journal PLoS ONE. (ANI)