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ERIC Number: ED260358
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Mar-22
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Sex Differences in Direction Giving: A Study of Preference and Competence.
Ward, Shawn L.; And Others
Although it has been suggested that women are less likely than men to use cardinality in dealing with environmental space, there has been no direct empirical assessment of this claim. If women are less likely than men to use cardinality, it is not clear whether women lack the competence to use a coordinate system of reference or simply prefer another style of direction giving. To examine these issues, male (N=88) and female (N=88) college students' use of cardinal directions was compared when they gave directions spontaneously, and also after they were given instructions to use cardinality. Their use of cardinal directions was also compared when a map was perceptually present and when it had to be memorized. Subjects were assigned to one of three conditions (perception, memory, memory prompted), were shown two maps, and were asked to give directions from one location on the maps to another to an unseen third party. Transcripts of subjects' direction-giving were scored for cardinality, relational terms, mention of landmarks, mention of mileage, and omission and commission errors. The results indicated that when the use of cardinality was not requested, males in both the memory and perception (before prompting) conditions used more cardinal directions and mileage indicators than females and committed fewer omission and commission errors. More cardinal directions were given by both sexes after prompting to use cardinality. These data provide empricial support for the view that males are more likely than females to use cardinality in their direction-giving. (NRB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A