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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe primary rationale for the study was to empirically test a conceptual model that identifies the relationship between wayfinding, spatial, and scholastic abilities. Wayfinding and spatial abilities were assessed in 120 University of Arizona introductory psychology students ranging in age from 17 to 36 years. Participants completed a lengthy test battery of wayfinding and spatial abilities tasks. Tasks included the computer-generated arena task, the computer-generated maze task, a Background Information Questionnaire, the Taxi Cab Task, the performance subtests from the WAIS-III, the Rey-Osterrieth Complex Figure Test, and the Object Relations Task. A structural equations model showed that spatial abilities predict wayfinding ability (β = .68, p < .05) and that scholastic aptitude predicts spatial abilities (β = .45, p < .05), but not wayfinding ability (β = -.27, ns). The data more than adequately fit the theory-driven conceptual model (CFI = .971; χ² = 36.794; p < 30). In addition, several first-order factors of spatial abilities proved reliable and highly correlated to their indicators (i.e., the WAIS-III performance subtests). Findings from this study suggest that a theory-driven conceptual model provides useful predictive information about the relationship between wayfinding and spatial abilities factors. Moreover, the evidence supports, and hopefully inspires, advocacy for an interdisciplinary approach to studying the relationship between wayfinding and conceptually related cognitive processes.
Degree ProgramGraduate College