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Early spatial reasoning predicts later creativity and innovation

Posted by on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 in Fall 2013, Fall 2013, Issue, Research News.

David Lubinski (Vanderbilt)

Exceptional spatial ability at age 13 predicts creative and scholarly achievements more than 30 years later, according to results from a longitudinal study led by David Lubinski, professor of psychology.

The study provides evidence that early spatial ability—the skill required to mentally manipulate 2D and 3D objects—predicts the development of new knowledge, and especially innovation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics domains, above and beyond more traditional measures of mathematical and verbal ability.

Co-authors of the study include Camilla Benbow, Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development; James Steiger, professor of psychology and human development; and Harrison Kell, postdoctoral fellow. The research is supported by the John Templeton Foundation. Results were published in Psychological Science.

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