Sex Roles

, Volume 30, Issue 11–12, pp 765–779 | Cite as

Gender differences in way-finding strategies: Relationship to spatial ability and spatial anxiety

  • Carol A. Lawton


Differences between women and men in the self-reported use of two different way-finding strategies were examined in a sample of primarily white middle to lower middle class college undergraduates. Women were more likely to report using a route strategy (attending to instructions on how to get from place to place), whereas men were more likely to report using an orientation strategy (maintaining a sense of their own position in relation to environmental reference points). Women also reported higher levels of spatial anxiety, or anxiety about environmental navigation, than did men. The orientation strategy was found to be positively correlated with spatial perception ability and negatively correlated with spatial anxiety.


Gender Difference Social Psychology Reference Point Middle Class Spatial Ability 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol A. Lawton
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Indiana University—Purdue University Fort WayneUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychological SciencesIPFWFort Wayne

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