Adults' Demonstration of Underlying Euclidean Concepts in Relation to Task Context

Lynn Susan Liben, Susan L. Golbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In studies in which Piagetian water-level (horizontality) and plumb-line (verticality) tasks are administered to young adults, females are typically less successful than males. Women may, however, have the underlying spatial competence to use horizontal and vertical axes, but may be less likely to activate this competence because they lack adequate knowledge of the relevant physical phenomena. To evaluate this possibility, 80 male and 80 female college students were given horizontality and verticality tasks in which knowledge of the physical phenomena was, or was not, relevant. Sex differences were evident only when knowledge of the physical phenomena was needed. These data support a performance rather than a competence interpretation of adult women's difficulties in the standard Piagetian tasks. Developmental and educational implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-490
Number of pages4
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Volume22
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 1986

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Physical Phenomena
Mental Competency
Sex Characteristics
young adult
Young Adult
Students
water
interpretation
Water
lack
performance
student

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

Cite this

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Adults' Demonstration of Underlying Euclidean Concepts in Relation to Task Context. / Liben, Lynn Susan; Golbeck, Susan L.

In: Developmental psychology, Vol. 22, No. 4, 01.07.1986, p. 487-490.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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