Strategies in spatial reasoning

Clark Presson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


In 3 experiments, 68 college students' strategies were studied in 2 logically related problems in spatial reasoning. The problems involved imagining the result of either an array rotating relative to a fixed viewer or a viewer rotating relative to a fixed array. Results show that Ss did not treat these logically equivalent problems in psychologically equivalent ways. The 2 problems differed in overall difficulty (both error level and latencies) and error patterns. Data suggest that Ss used literal, concrete strategies to solve the problems. For viewer rotation, Ss had trouble when the questions required a more abstract frame of reference. For array rotation, Ss could manipulate only one element at a time. This raises a question about the nature of the functional "unit" of spatial transformation. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-251
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 1982


  • array rotation vs viewer rotation, spatial reasoning, college students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language


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