Publication Date


Advisor(s) - Committee Chair

Sally Kuhlenschmidt, John Bruni, Richard Miller

Degree Program

Department of Psychology

Degree Type

Master of Arts


A review of the research on spatial problem solving indicates that spatial problems can be solved using verbal or spatial strategies. Research on block designs further indicate that increased solving speed is correlated with increased left-handed use in right-handers. However, the effect of strategy teaching on hand involvement has not been explored. The present study selected 38 right-hand dominant college students low in spatial ability (Total Standard Score ≤ 95) using the matrices Analogies Test (Naglieri, 1985). Subjects were randomly assigned to a spatial, verbal, or no (control) strategy condition. After completing the pretest consisting of seven block designs based on Grote and Salmon (1986), subjects spent 20 minutes on strategy training and practice on 67 two-dimensional spatial figures taken from the Dental Aptitude Test (Rudman, 1988). The same block designs used during the pretest were used in the posttest. Results indicate no significant differences in performance between the control and the treatment groups. However, within-group analyses suggest that teaching either a spatial or verbal strategy may help subjects to improve in speed at least for the easier block designs.



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