The formal disciplinary value of advanced mathematical study: a focus on spatial skills

2017-06-30T11:17:41Z (GMT) by Sara M. Humphries
This thesis comprises two main studies which sort to investigate the effect that the study of advanced mathematics had on performance on spatial tasks. The first cross-sectional study tested both pre- and post-advanced study students and found an advantage for the mathematicians in a general spatial ability, but no clear evidence of an education level/group interaction. The second longitudinal study tested students at two time points, before and after a year of advanced study. Again, the mathematicians showed higher spatial skills at both time points, but there was no interaction between time and group. Bayesian analyses of the data revealed moderate to strong evidence for the null hypothesis: that there was no formal discipline value of studying advanced mathematics in terms of an effect on spatial skills.