Survey: UPJ parkers want reward now


Moriah Howell

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.”