The relationship between spatial ability and environmental knowledge

Jane L. Pearson, Nicholas S. Ialongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


This study examined the relationships between four standardized measures of spatial ability-the Embedded Figures Test (EFT), the Mental Rotations Test (MRT), the Differential Aptitude Spatial Relations subtest (DAT), and the Building Memory Test (BMT)-and two measures of environmental knowledge. Three hundred and fifty-three college undergraduates were administered the EFT, MRT, DAT, BMT and two measures of environmental knowledge-a landmark location (LM) and route knowledge (RK) task. The two environmental knowledge tasks were based on a slide-simulated walk through an unfamiliar urban environment. A principal components analysis of the above six measures produced two factors; one consisting of the four spatial ability tests, and the other the two environmental knowledge tasks. The correlation between the two factors was 0·37, indicating that the spatial ability factor accounted for 13·69% of the variance in the environmental knowledge factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)299-304
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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