NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ847020
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 49
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Women Match Men when Learning a Spatial Skill
Spence, Ian; Yu, Jingjie Jessica; Feng, Jing; Marshman, Jeff
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v35 n4 p1097-1103 2009
Meta-analytic studies have concluded that although training improves spatial cognition in both sexes, the male advantage generally persists. However, because some studies run counter to this pattern, a closer examination of the anomaly is warranted. The authors investigated the acquisition of a basic skill (spatial selective attention) using a matched-pair two-wave longitudinal design. Participants were screened with the use of an attentional visual field task, with the objective of selecting and matching 10 male-female pairs, over a wide range (30% to 57% correct). Subsequently, 20 participants 17-23 years of age (selected from 43 screened) were trained for 10 hr (distributed over several sessions) by playing a first-person shooter video game. This genre is known to be highly effective in enhancing spatial skills. All 20 participants improved, with matched members of the male-female pairs achieving very similar gains, independent of starting level. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the learning trajectory of women is not inferior to that of men when acquiring a basic spatial skill. Training methods that develop basic spatial skills may be essential to achieve gender parity in both basic and complex spatial tasks. (Contains 3 figures and 1 footnote.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada