Explaining Map-reading Performance Efficiency: Gender, Memory, and Geographic Information
Authors: Lloyd, Robert Earl; Bunch, Rick L.
Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 1 July 2008, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 171-202(32)
Abstract:This paper explains the performance of a map-reading task that required subjects to locate a state on a map of the United States after being given the state's name. Response times and accuracy were hypothesized to be a function of differences among the decision makers and among the states. The cognitive science literature suggests that variation in performance can be explained by the interaction of biological and environmental variables. Individual differences in gender, working memory capacity, and brain lateralization were hypothesized to affect performance of the spatial task. Results indicated gender could be a more informative variable than sex. Subjects, who identified with both feminine and masculine characteristics, had the fastest mean response times. Subjects, who did not identify with feminine or masculine characteristics, had the most accurate responses. Subjects who combined higher verbal and spatial working memory capacities had both the fastest and most accurate performances. The results supported other studies indicating a non-linear relationship relating sex, brain lateralization, and accuracy. Covariates related to gravity model variables were also significantly related to performance.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: July 1, 2008