Assessment of Visuospatial Abilities Using Complex Cognitive Tasks.
Final rept. 1 Jun 83-1 Apr 84,
OLD DOMINION UNIV NORFOLK VA DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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Two studies were conducted in separate areas concerned with visuospatial abilities. The first study was designed to examine the effects of type of instruction verbal versus graphic and sex of subject on the acquisition of procedural knowledge in a spatial task. The spatial task employed was a computerized maze learning task, with trials to criterion and errors to criterion serving as dependent variables. Results indicated that graphic instructions led to fewer errors and trials to criterion than did verbal instructions. However, the performance of males was not superior to that of females, and the hypothesized interaction involving type of instruction and sex of subject was not found. Correlations between psychometric measures of cognitive abilities and measures of maze learning were easily interpreted for learning under graphic instructions but were difficult to interpret for learning under verbal instructions. These findings suggested the need for additional research focusing on a replicating the current results, b delineating the factors underlying individuals learning effectiveness under different types of instructions, and c examining individuals awareness of the relationship between learning effectiveness and type of instruction in visuospatial tasks. The second study was designed to determine the relationship between performance on traditional paper-and-pencil tests of spatial abilities and performance on a task required macrospatial cognitive skills. Keywords include Visuospatial abilities cognitive abilities maze learning macrospatial cognition.