ERIC Number: ED222540
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Individual Differences in Spatial Memory: Thinking Backwards.
Weitzman, Donald O.
The study was designed to evaluate a hypothesis derived from recent trends in cognitive theory. The hypothesis concerned whether spatial environment information stored in memory is primarily analog or propositional. A related question concerned whether differences between analog and propositional processes underlie individual differences in the ability of adults to accurately represent and recall information about their spatial environment. Experiments were conducted to determine whether subjects differ with respect to emphasizing either analog or sequential processes in a test of spatial recall. The study indicated individual differences in performing spatial judgments were partially based on the differences in strategies people adopt in acquiring and utilizing spatial information. The results were consistent with the belief that some people are superior in maneuvering in their environment because they have survey knowledge of it and operate on that knowledge from memory. The first experiment indicated that when spatially unskilled subjects were provided explicit instructions to adopt an imagery strategy or were given a perceptual display of the task, their performance approximated the spatially skilled subjects. The imagery system seemed to be trainable. The implications of the experiments are that individual differences in strategy selection cannot be ignored in theories of spatial cognition. (DWH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Sequential Memory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (22nd, Philadelphia, PA, November 12-14, 1981).