ERIC Number: ED218351
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1981-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Ability Differences and Cognitive Mapping Skill.
Thorndyke, Perry W.; Goldin, Sarah E.
Individual difference variables that are potentially related to cognitive mapping skills were examined, and good and poor cognitive mappers were compared in terms of those variables. Good and poor cognitive mappers were identified on the basis of the accuracy of their spatial knowledge about their own community. Four categories of individual difference variables that could plausibly be related to cognitive mapping skills were identified: spatial abilities, visual/verbal processing style, motivation, and experience. Paper-and-pencil aptitude tests from the French Kit of Factor-Referenced Cognitive Tests and self-report questionnaire items were administered to groups of good mappers and poor mappers. Comparisons indicated that only spatial abilities reliably distinguished good from poor mappers. Good cognitive mappers showed greater visualization ability, spatial orientation ability, visual memory, and field independence. Other measures revealed no between-group differences. It is concluded that spatial ability is a major correlate of cognitive mapping skill and that spatial ability tests can be used to select personnel for tasks requiring navigation, orientation, and spatial judgment skills. (Author/PN)
Descriptors: Ability Identification, Adults, Aptitude Tests, Armed Forces, Cognitive Processes, Cognitive Style, Cognitive Tests, Map Skills, Spatial Ability, Visualization
Publications Department, The Rand Corporation, 1700 Main St., Santa Monica, CA 90406 ($7.50).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Army Research Inst. for the Behavioral and Social Sciences, Alexandria, VA.
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.