Survey: UPJ parkers want reward now


How drivers park, such as these parked at the student lot along Highfield Ave., may reflect likelihood of economic success.

Emily Colella, Contributing Writer

A study performed by international business professor Shaomin Li, Old Dominon University, shows major differences between the parking habits of United States and Chinese people. 

It was hypothesized that a population of people who tend to back in to  parking spaces are in better economic standing and show more signs of economic growth than a population that pulls into parking spaces.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Li compares the results from the countries studied:

“In China, 88 percent of cars are parked reverse. In our country, it’s less than 6 percent. 6 percent versus 88 – there’s got to be something that we need to explain.”

Li theorizes the ability to delay gratification plays a role.

Those who are able to delay gratification– like pulling out of a parking space rather than pulling in— tend to be more successful than those who do not have the ability to delay gratification.

Other factors may play a role. For example, Americans generally have larger vehicles. Backing into a tight spot may be more difficult than backing out into traffic.

Americans also could be in more of a hurry to get where they are going than Chinese.

The same logic can be applied to a smaller population.

How does Pitt-Johnstown measure up?

In a sample taken from the Pitt-Johnstown upperclassmen lots, the percentage of backed-in vehicles was 3.5. In a sample taken from the freshmen lots, the percentage of backed-in vehicles was 1.7.

This may say a few things about Pitt-Johnstown students: Pitt-Johnstown students may tend to be less economically successful than most Americans and they tend to show less economic growth.

The study could be flawed in a few ways.

“I back into parking spaces when backing out would be especially difficult,” said sophomore student Nick Digiorgio, “and I pull in when I’m in a hurry or when backing out won’t be a problem.

I think the study shows more about state of mind than economic standing.”