Gender Differences in Spatial Task Performance as a Function of Speed or Accuracy Orientation

Gender Differences in Spatial Task Performance as a Function of Speed or Accuracy Orientation Performance differences in spatial abilities as a function of gender may be modified by practice and relevant background experiences, as well as by directions given in laboratory situations. We examined whether a focus on speed or accuracy influenced performance in various spatial domains, using several different scoring techniques. Men and women from a small, predominantly White private college completed tasks of spatial perception, spatial visualization, and mental rotation under one of three conditions: speed-emphasis, accuracy-emphasis, or control. Participants also provided information concerning experiences pertinent to spatial ability. Results revealed relative parity between men and women on tasks of spatial visualization and spatial perception; speed/accuracy orientation did not alter these findings. Men outperformed women on mental rotation, but only when scored in a strict manner and when explicitly told to focus on accuracy, but not when directional emphasis was absent or geared toward speed. Self-reported background in math, sports, and the arts was unrelated to performance. The results are discussed in terms of women's efficacy beliefs about performing tasks explicitly designated as spatial in nature. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Gender Differences in Spatial Task Performance as a Function of Speed or Accuracy Orientation

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 by Plenum Publishing Corporation
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1023/A:1026699310308
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Performance differences in spatial abilities as a function of gender may be modified by practice and relevant background experiences, as well as by directions given in laboratory situations. We examined whether a focus on speed or accuracy influenced performance in various spatial domains, using several different scoring techniques. Men and women from a small, predominantly White private college completed tasks of spatial perception, spatial visualization, and mental rotation under one of three conditions: speed-emphasis, accuracy-emphasis, or control. Participants also provided information concerning experiences pertinent to spatial ability. Results revealed relative parity between men and women on tasks of spatial visualization and spatial perception; speed/accuracy orientation did not alter these findings. Men outperformed women on mental rotation, but only when scored in a strict manner and when explicitly told to focus on accuracy, but not when directional emphasis was absent or geared toward speed. Self-reported background in math, sports, and the arts was unrelated to performance. The results are discussed in terms of women's efficacy beliefs about performing tasks explicitly designated as spatial in nature.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References

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