Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)




Arden N. Frandsen


In this study it was hypothesized that the ability to mentally solve II story type" problems, those presented in the form of sentences, is significantly related to one's spatial reasoning ability and that a weakness in this ability, when tested by the "story type" problems, could be compensated for by training in and utilization of overt "paper and pencil" manipulations.

To test the hypothesis, three measures were used. These were the DAT Verbal Reasoning test--used to control the factor of verbal reasoning, the DAT Space Relations test--used to measure spatial reasoning ability, and two forms of a test composed of "story type" problems--used to measure problem-solving ability.

A large group of college students (146) were first tested on the DAT tests and then 18 pairs were selected which were matched as nearly as possible on verbal reasoning abilities while keeping their spatial reasoning abilities as diverse as possible. The 18 pairs were then tested and retested on the problem-solving tests with half of the pairs receiving problem-solving instructions prior to the retest.

Statistical analysis of the results confirmed the hypothesis in that it revealed a substantial positive correlation between spatial reasoning ability and the ability to solve "story type" problems. Also, an analysis of the results showed, to a significant degree, that a weakness in spatial reasoning ability, when used to solve the type of problems considered, can be compensated for by using "paper and pencil" manipulations involving graphic procedures.