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SPATIAL ABILITY AND EXPERTS OF NEEDLEWORK CRAFTS: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY

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Date Issued:
2011
Abstract/Description:
Spatial ability has been a topic of much research and debate over the past few decades. Yet, there are gaps in the current literature. Spatial ability refers to the aptitude of an individual to mentally rotate objects, visualize spaces, and recognize patterns (Linn & Petersen, 1985). A highly spatial task that is not addressed in research literature is crafting. Crafting may refer to knitting, crocheting, sewing, and other hobbies that include manipulations of materials. These crafts are spatially oriented, because they necessitate mental rotation, pattern recognition, and 3-D visualization to create an object. While research tends to favor males on certain spatial tests (Voyer, Voyer, & Bryden, 1995), research on the relationship between expertise and spatial ability has concentrated on traditionally male dominated domains, such as architecture and video games (Salthouse & Mitchell, 1990; Sims & Mayer, 2002). The traditionally female domain of needlework crafting expertise has not been studied empirically. First, a literature review is presented to give an overview of previous spatial ability research. The paper then describes the needlework crafts of sewing, knitting, and crocheting, including their historical significance and the spatial processes involved. A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that more expertise in needlework crafts will correlate with better performance on spatial ability tests. Three hundred and four adult women (ages 18-77) completed the study. Participant experience level was determined by self-perceived level of crafting expertise. Participants performed three spatial ability tests from the ETS Factor Reference Kit (Ekstrom et al., 1976): Paper Folding, Surface Development, and Card Rotations. Results indicated that age was correlated negatively with performance in all spatial tests. Only age was significant in the Card Rotations Test. In the Surface Development Test, self-perceived Sewing Expertise was significant in predicting participants' test scores. For the Paper Folding Test, Knitting and Crocheting Expertise were significant, suggesting expertise may mitigate age effects.
Title: SPATIAL ABILITY AND EXPERTS OF NEEDLEWORK CRAFTS: AN EXPLORATORY STUDY.
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Name(s): Bailey, Shannon, Author
Sims, Valerie, Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2011
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Spatial ability has been a topic of much research and debate over the past few decades. Yet, there are gaps in the current literature. Spatial ability refers to the aptitude of an individual to mentally rotate objects, visualize spaces, and recognize patterns (Linn & Petersen, 1985). A highly spatial task that is not addressed in research literature is crafting. Crafting may refer to knitting, crocheting, sewing, and other hobbies that include manipulations of materials. These crafts are spatially oriented, because they necessitate mental rotation, pattern recognition, and 3-D visualization to create an object. While research tends to favor males on certain spatial tests (Voyer, Voyer, & Bryden, 1995), research on the relationship between expertise and spatial ability has concentrated on traditionally male dominated domains, such as architecture and video games (Salthouse & Mitchell, 1990; Sims & Mayer, 2002). The traditionally female domain of needlework crafting expertise has not been studied empirically. First, a literature review is presented to give an overview of previous spatial ability research. The paper then describes the needlework crafts of sewing, knitting, and crocheting, including their historical significance and the spatial processes involved. A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that more expertise in needlework crafts will correlate with better performance on spatial ability tests. Three hundred and four adult women (ages 18-77) completed the study. Participant experience level was determined by self-perceived level of crafting expertise. Participants performed three spatial ability tests from the ETS Factor Reference Kit (Ekstrom et al., 1976): Paper Folding, Surface Development, and Card Rotations. Results indicated that age was correlated negatively with performance in all spatial tests. Only age was significant in the Card Rotations Test. In the Surface Development Test, self-perceived Sewing Expertise was significant in predicting participants' test scores. For the Paper Folding Test, Knitting and Crocheting Expertise were significant, suggesting expertise may mitigate age effects.
Identifier: CFH0004106 (IID), ucf:44881 (fedora)
Note(s): 2011-12-01
B.S.
Sciences, Dept. of Psychology
Bachelors
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): spatial ability
expertise
crafts
needlework
sew
knit
crochet
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFH0004106
Restrictions on Access: campus 2012-12-01
Host Institution: UCF

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