Reference : Sex differences in spatial cognition: A critical test of the "hunter-gatherer" theory.
Scientific congresses, symposiums and conference proceedings : Unpublished conference
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Theoretical & cognitive psychology
Sex differences in spatial cognition: A critical test of the "hunter-gatherer" theory.
Reuter, Robert mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS) >]
XII conference of the European Society for Cognitive Psychology,
from 05-09-2001 to 08-09-2001
[en] evolutionary psychology ; sex differences ; hunter-gather theory
[en] The present study tested two predictions of the “hunter-gatherer” theory of sex differences in spatial cognition. According to this theory, men and women have faced different evolutionary pressures on their spatial capacities (Ridley 1994). On average, males are hence expected to exhibit better navigational capacities than females (Martin 1998), while females can be assumed to exhibit better incidental object location memory capacities than males (Silverman & Eals 1992, Eals & Silverman 1994). Our study directly addressed this alleged pattern of sexual dimorphism in spatial abilities using (1) a spatial navigation task involving the exploration of a computer-based 3D virtual environment developed by Martin (1998); and (2) an exact replication of the object location memory task developed by Eals et al. (1994), involving pseudo-objects in order to reduce contamination by verbal encoding strategies. Results replicated the well-established male advantage in spatial navigation, while showing an unexpected female disadvantage in incidental object location memory. Further research is thus needed to explore the assumed female advantage in object location memory.

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