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Sex differences in imagery and reading

Naturevolume 253pages438440 (1975) | Download Citation



STANDARD texts on differential psychology often discuss briefly the existence of sex differences in the ability to perform various cognitive tasks1–3. A rough generalisation is that females perform better than males on verbal tasks (for example, verbal fluency, articulation, spelling), whilst males are superior on visuospatial tasks (for example, maze learning or form-board tasks), although exceptions are plentiful. In view of the emphasis in contemporary cognitive psychology on the pervasiveness of verbal coding in a variety of cognitive tasks, and also current interest in such visuospatial abilities as visual imagery or mental rotation, it seems surprising that no attention has been paid to the possible existence of sex differences.

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  1. 1

    Anastasi, A., Differential Psychology (3rd ed.) (Macmillan, Basingstoke, 1958).

  2. 2

    Maccoby, E., (ed.) The Development of Sex Differences (Tavistock, 1967).

  3. 3

    Terman, L. M., and Tyler, L. E., Manual of Child Psychology (edit. by Carmichael, L.) (2nd ed.) (Wiley, New York and London, 1954).

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    Gainer, W. L., Calif. J. educ. Res. 13, 9, (1962).

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    Norman, R. D., J. Consult. Psych., 17, 411 (1953).

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    De Soto, C., London, M., and Handel, S., J. Pers. Soc. Psych., 2, 513 (1965).

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    Monty, R. A., Taub, H. A., and Laughery, K. R., J. exp. Psych., 69, 224 (1965).

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    McGlone, J., and Kertesz, A., Cortex, 9, 313 (1973).

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    Corcoran, D. W. J., Nature, 210, 658 (1966).

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    Rubenstein, H., Lewis, S. S., and Rubenstein, N. A., J. verb. Learn verb. Behav., 10, 645 (1971).

  11. 11

    Buffery, A. W. H., and Gray, J. A., in Gender Differences (edit. by Ounsted, C., and Taylor, D. C.) (Churchill, 1972).

  12. 12

    Dawson, J. L. M., Internat. J. Psych., 2, 115 and 171 (1967).

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  1. Department of Psychology, University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, UK



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