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Sex differences in object location memory: Some further methodological considerations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Peter GallagherORCiD, Dr John Gray



Previously it has been reported that female performance on the recall of objects and their locations in a spatial array is superior to that of males. This may reflect underlying information-processing biases whereby males organize information in a self-referential manner while females adopt a more comprehensive approach. The known female advantage in verbal memory may, however, account for this sex difference. In an initial experiment we found no overall sex differences in object or object-location memory. The inclusion of a verbal distracter task revealed gender-congruent biases in performance. A final study examined some methodological issues associated with the design of item arrays. After controlling for differences in item distinctiveness, performance on object-location was found to be substantially influenced by the distance that items were displaced in the array. These findings demonstrate that certain methodological factors can significantly affect the attentional and mnemonic processes that operate when performing tasks of this nature and can negate underlying sex differences in performance. © 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gallagher P, Neave N, Hamilton C, Gray JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Learning and Individual Differences

Year: 2006

Volume: 16

Issue: 4

Pages: 277-290

ISSN (print): 1041-6080

ISSN (electronic): 1873-3425

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.lindif.2006.12.007


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