Faculty Research and Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 1999


A study is reported of gender differences in a haptic version of three Piagetian tests that assess understanding of Euclidian space. A raised-line drawing kit was used both for subject responses and for production of stimuli. To test understanding of the horizontal, subjects felt pictures of a jar at four tilts and were asked to draw the water line. Two methods were used to examine understanding of the vertical. First, subjects drew a hanging electrical cord and light bulb, attached to the ceiling of a bus, parked on hills of four different angles. Subsequently, subjects drew telephone poles (represented by a single line) on hills of four different angles. In the jar task, males and females showed comparable performance, both groups showing large errors. Judgments of the vertical were very similar for males and females in the bus task, but errors diminished considerably for both genders when subjects drew telephone poles on hills. It is suggested that better judgments of the vertical in the pole task probably derive from the use of body-centered spatial reference information.

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Psychology Commons