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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Large-Scale vs Small-Scale Spatial Abilities: Development of a Broad Spatial Activities Questionnaire


There is growing evidence that spatial abilities can be improved through training, including participation in hobbies and everyday activities that involve spatial thinking. In order to better assess the contributions of everyday spatial activities to the development of spatial skills, we developed a new self-report questionnaire of spatial activities by adding updates and navigation activities to an existing questionnaire. A principal component analysis revealed five interpretable components which were compared to measures of perspective taking, mental rotation and two other self-report scales. Small but significant correlations were found between the ‘navigation’ component of the spatial activities questionnaire and a self-report measure of sense of direction, as well as self-reported childhood wayfinding experience. No sex difference was found on the ‘navigation’ component. This questionnaire is currently being used in a large study of spatial abilities.

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