Individual factors like gender and familiarity can affect the kind of environmental representation that a person acquires during spatial navigation. Men seem to prefer relying on map-like survey representations, while women prefer using sequential route representations. Moreover, a good familiarity with the environment allows more complete environmental representations. This study was aimed at investigating gender differences in two different object-position learning tasks (i.e., Almeria Boxes Tasks) assuming a route or a survey perspective also considering the role of environmental familiarity. Two groups of participants had to learn the position of boxes placed in a virtual room. Participants had several trials, so that familiarity with the environment could increase. In both tasks, the effects of gender and familiarity were found, and only in the route perspective did an interaction effect emerge. This suggests that gender differences can be found regardless of the perspective taken, with men outperforming women in navigational tasks. However, in the route task, gender differences appeared only at the initial phase of learning, when the environment was unexplored, and disap-peared when familiarity with the environment increased. This is consistent with studies showing that familiarity can mitigate gender differences in spatial tasks, especially in more complex ones.

The role of gender and familiarity in a modified version of the almeria boxes room spatial task

Bocchi A.;Palmiero M.;Piccardi L.
2021

Abstract

Individual factors like gender and familiarity can affect the kind of environmental representation that a person acquires during spatial navigation. Men seem to prefer relying on map-like survey representations, while women prefer using sequential route representations. Moreover, a good familiarity with the environment allows more complete environmental representations. This study was aimed at investigating gender differences in two different object-position learning tasks (i.e., Almeria Boxes Tasks) assuming a route or a survey perspective also considering the role of environmental familiarity. Two groups of participants had to learn the position of boxes placed in a virtual room. Participants had several trials, so that familiarity with the environment could increase. In both tasks, the effects of gender and familiarity were found, and only in the route perspective did an interaction effect emerge. This suggests that gender differences can be found regardless of the perspective taken, with men outperforming women in navigational tasks. However, in the route task, gender differences appeared only at the initial phase of learning, when the environment was unexplored, and disap-peared when familiarity with the environment increased. This is consistent with studies showing that familiarity can mitigate gender differences in spatial tasks, especially in more complex ones.
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
2021 - The role of gender and familiarity in a modified version of the Almeria Boxes Room Spatial Task.pdf

accesso aperto

Descrizione: Articolo
Tipologia: Documento in Versione Editoriale
Licenza: Creative commons
Dimensione 1.68 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
1.68 MB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/178676
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 0
  • Scopus 2
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 2
social impact