Gender, Spatial Abilities, and Wayfinding

  • Carol A. Lawton

Gender, Spatial Abilities, and Wayfinding

Spatial abilities refer to the cognitive processes involved in locating targets in space, perceiving distance and directional relationships, and mentally transforming objects with respect to their position or orientation in space. These abilities are used in everyday activities (e.g., finding one’s way home after driving an unfamiliar route) and in occupations that require design and planning in two- and three-dimensional space (e.g., engineering, architecture). Spatial abilities are of interest to gender researchers because they show the clearest evidence of gender differences in cognition; in fact, few other types of cognition show anything more than minimal gender differences (Hyde, 2005). Gender differences are larger for some spatial abilities than for others, but, with one exception, men perform better on average than do women. Before examining these differences in detail, it is important to establish why we should care about the...


Mental Rotation Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Spatial Ability Stereotype Threat Spatial Task 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carol A. Lawton
    • 1
  1. 1.Indiana University-Purdue UniversityFort WayneUSA

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