Date of Award

Spring 4-24-2014

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MS Experimental Psychology

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Amy Joh, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marianne Lloyd, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Amy Hunter, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kelly Goedert, Ph.D.

Keywords

Visuospatial, motor practice, mental practice, modeling practice, task difficulty, block design

Abstract

The importance of visuospatial skills for every day survival is highly evident. Practice is a mechanism by which visuospatial skills can be enhanced. The current study examined how general practice, different types of practice, and levels of task difficulty affect visuospatial performance. Seventy-eight undergraduate students participated in the Block Design Task (extracted from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale) in which they had to construct a design with the blocks based on a printed image. Prior to completing 40 test trials, participants received opportunities for motor (physical), mental (visualization), or modeling (observational) practice. Half of the trials contained easy designs, and the other half of trials contained difficult designs. Results indicate that participants benefitted from general practice across trials and that performance was dependent on task difficulty. However, there were no differences in performance due to type of practice. Overall, the results of this study implicate that practice aids in visuospatial performance, and that task difficulty is a mediating factor.

Included in

Psychology Commons

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