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Title: Psychometrics, visuospatial abilities, and cognitive archaeology
Authors: Bruner, Emiliano
Silva-Gago, María
Fedato, Annapaola
Martín-Loeches, Manuel
Colom, Roberto
Keywords: Attention;Cognition;Cognitive tests;Human evolution;Perception;Prehistory;Visuospatial integration
Issue Date: 2023
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Cognitive Archaeology, Body Cognition, and the Evolution of Visuospatial Perception, 2023, p. 279-304
Abstract: Psychometrics deals with the design and analysis of tests that are able to quantify individual differences in mental abilities. Statistics on the scores obtained from these tests are used to investigate the factors underlying the structure of cognitive diversity. Narrow and broad abilities are hierarchically organized, according to their degree of correlation and overlap. In this sense, general intelligence (g) can be interpreted, in a functional and statistical sense, as the capacity to integrate and coordinate distinct cognitive aspects. Research on spatial ability is largely based on visual processes that require mental simulation in tasks associated with rotation, folding, perspective, or other imaging skills. To date, less attention has been dedicated to body perception and spatial sensing, although current evidence in cognitive sciences suggests that these aspects are key features for general reasoning, decision-making, self-construction, awareness, and consciousness. Psychometrics can be employed in cognitive archaeology, to investigate those abilities involved in behaviors associated with the archaeological record, and relevant to human evolution. Psychometric tests can be used to explore heuristically the cognitive patterns behind a specific task, to compare groups, or to evaluate specific cognitive hypotheses. In this field, integrating this information with current theories in psychology and with the experimental evidence from cognitive sciences may help to move on from raw speculation to more quantitative and testable approaches.
ISBN: 978-0-323-99193-3
DOI: 10.1016/B978-0-323-99193-3.00005-2
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Type: Book chapter
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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