Sex Roles

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 345–353

Sex-typing and spatial ability: The association between masculinity and success on piaget's water-level task

  • Wesley Jamison
  • Margaret L. Signorella

DOI: 10.1007/BF00287356

Cite this article as:
Jamison, W. & Signorella, M.L. Sex Roles (1980) 6: 345. doi:10.1007/BF00287356


A sample of 58 college women and 43 college men were tested on Piaget's water-level task and asked to complete the Bem Sex Role Inventory. The instructions for the water-level task were varied so as to emphasize or deemphasize the scientific laboratory character of the task. Subjects were classified by sex, sex-role orientation (masculine, androgynous, feminine), task description condition, and water-level performance. A log-linear analysis of the resulting 2×3×2×2 multidimensional contingency table revealed significant main effects for both sex of subject and sex-role orientation. Males and those males and females with masculine sex-role orientations were more likely to succeed with the water-level task than females and those with feminine sex-role orientations. The effect of sex role on water-level performance emerged most clearly among highly sex-typed individuals and the effect of sex was significant only among those with androgynous sex-role orientations.

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wesley Jamison
    • 1
  • Margaret L. Signorella
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyEastern Michigan UniversityYpsilanti
  2. 2.The Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA