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Document Type

Article

Abstract

Several meta-analyses have shown that males outperform
females in overall spatial ability, while females outperform males in
some verbal ability tests, but not in others. The present article
measures sex differences in two computerized tests, one thought
to reflect verbal reasoning and one thought to reflect dynamic
spatial performance. The sample comprised 1,593 university
graduates (794 females and 799 males). Results show that males
outperform females in both tests. However, sex differences in
verbal reasoning turn to be nonsignificant when sex differences in
dynamic spatial performance are statistically removed. The finding
is interpreted from the previously demonstrated fact that the verbal
reasoning test requ ires spatial processing. The result raises
doubts about the common practice of evaluating sex differences in
cognitive abilities from the tests' superficial characteristics or
information content. The interpretation of the observed findings
strongly requires the analysis of the tests' cognitive requirements.

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