Sex differences in object location memory: Some further methodological considerations

Peter Gallagher, Nick Neave, Colin Hamilton, John Gray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)277-290
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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