Friday, July 23, 2010

Gv (visual-spatial) abilities are important: STEM related research

Despite the finding that Gv tests on major individually administered IQ tests consistently fail to demonstrate strong correlations with standardized achievement tests, clinical experience and other research continues to indicate that strong Gv abilities are related to performance in complex higher-level areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  We in applied IQ test development just need to develop better measures of these specific Gv abilities or recognize that our current dependent achievement test variables fail to tap these domains of expertise.  More from Lubinski on this topic.

Lubinski, D. (2010). Spatial ability and STEM: A sleeping giant for talent identification and development.
Personality and Individual Differences, 49(4), 344-351. (click here to read more)

Spatial ability is a powerful systematic source of individual differences that has been neglected in complex learning and work settings; it has also been neglected in modeling the development of expertise and creative accomplishments. Nevertheless, over 50 years of longitudinal research documents the important role that spatial ability plays in educational and occupational settings wherein sophisticated reasoning with figures, patterns, and shapes is essential. Given the contemporary push for developing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) talent in the information age, an opportunity is available to highlight the psychological significance of spatial ability. Doing so is likely to inform research on aptitude-by-treatment interactions and Underwood’s (1975) idea to utilize individual differences as a crucible for theory construction. Incorporating spatial ability in talent identification procedures for advanced learning opportunities uncovers an under-utilized pool of talent for meeting the complex needs of an ever-growing technological world; furthermore, selecting students for advanced learning opportunities in STEM without considering spatial ability might be iatrogenic.
Article Outline

1. Spatial ability and STEM: decades of longitudinal research
2. Intellectually precocious youth
3. Discussion
4. Broader Psychological Implications

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