We examined gender differences in mental integration of images in visuospatial short-term memory. College students were asked to imagine the combined abstract shape that would be formed by integrating two separate shapes briefly shown on a computer screen. The shapes were presented in four conditions: (1) simultaneously at the center of the screen, (2) simultaneously side-by-side, (3) sequentially at the center, and (4) sequentially side-by-side. Men were faster than women in all four conditions, but were significantly more accurate than women only when the two separate shapes were presented simultaneously side-by-side or sequentially at the center of the screen. We suggest that gender differences in basic visuospatial processes such as image integration may help to explain well-established gender differences in more complex spatial tasks.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 1, 2005
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