How to improve spatial reasoning skills

how to improve spatial reasoning skills

Improve Your Spatial Intelligence

Oct 09,  · You can improve your spatial skills with training Targeted training can boost spatial intelligence in young adults Date: October 9, Source: University of Colorado at Boulder Summary. Apr 14,  · Develop the ability to constantly question. Seek the underlying assumptions behind arguments. Taking nothing for granted. Seeking evidence that backs up assertions and complains. Question their own positions.

Last Updated: April 23, References Approved. To create this article, 19 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. There are 26 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewedtimes. Learn more Having high reasoning skills can help in work, school, and interpersonal relationships.

There are a variety of ways to change your reasoning skills for the better. Engage in activities that encourage critical thought, work on altering what minerals are found in basalt thought patterns, and learn to recognize irrational thoughts.

Watch this premium video Upgrade to watch this premium video Get advice from an industry expert in this premium video. To improve your reasoning skills, play strategy games like chess and Scrabble. Journaling is another way to improve critical thinking skills since it involves reflection and exploration of your thoughts and feelings.

Finally, try new things to increase encourage critical thinking! Pick activities that are different from each other, like biking and crochet, for fun, challenging ways to stimulate your mind.

To learn how to improve your reasoning skills through exercise, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No.

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By using our site, you agree to our cookie policy. Cookie Settings. Learn why people trust wikiHow. Download Article Explore this Article parts. Tips and Warnings. Related Articles. Article Summary. Part 1 of Keep trying new things. A great way to improve reasoning skills is to keep trying new things. The mind is like any other muscle. It requires exercise and stimulation.

Make a point of trying out new hobbies and activities on a regular basis. Pick activities that are vastly different from one another. If you're already an outdoor enthusiast, instead of taking up hiking consider learning to crochet. How to improve spatial reasoning skills you're big into crafts and working with your hands, consider trying to do crossword puzzles or Sudoku in what is the box office collection of dhoom 3 spare how to improve spatial reasoning skills. Taking a pottery class or poetry class at a local community center can be a fun way to challenge your brain and encourage you to try new things.

Physical exercise actually has an effect on memory and thinking. Many studies indicate the parts of the brain responsible for thinking and reasoning are bigger in those who exercise regularly. Also, exercise reduces stress and anxiety and boosts mood, which can make it easier to concentrate and how to clean edenpure air filter. Strive to incorporate regular physical activity into your day-to-day routine.

This can lead to an improvement in critical thinking skills. While researchers are still unsure if one form of exercise is better than another, some research indicates aerobic exercise is most helpful to mental stimulation. Daily journaling can actually help improve critical thinking skills. In addition to helping you revisit your day, journaling encourages reflection and thought. Writing is an active endeavor.

It forces you to expand and explore your thoughts. Keeping a journal that details your day, your feelings, and anything you thought about throughout the day can make you a more introspective, aware person. This can lead to higher reasoning skills. Schedule regular journaling time into your day-to-day life as you would brushing your teeth, showering, and eating dinner.

It may be helpful to schedule journal time after an activity you're accustom to doing every day, as this will make it easier to remember to keep up with your journal.

Read fiction. Reading in general is great for improving critical thinking. However, fiction specifically can allow you to be more comfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. This can lead to more sophisticated thinking as well as more creativity. You may be better at, say, reasoning with those around you as you'll have a greater capacity for empathy.

Black and white thinking is also lessened through reading fiction. People who read fiction over time may have more sophisticated thought patterns as they're able to how to make water beads and accept the ambiguity in a variety of situations. Play games that require reasoning skills. There are a variety of games that require you to reason.

Strategic board games, games like chess, and word games all help reasoning skills. Look for board games that rely on more than just look. Explore in depth strategy games where decision making is a key part of the process. Schedule a regular game night with friends and aim to play games that require thought and attention.

Clue and Risk require critical thought. Games like Scrabble and Boggle teach you to analyze information quickly. Consider joining or starting a chess club. You can play certain card games alone online. Purchase a Rubik's Cube and spend time trying to solve it. Forcing yourself to create on a regular basis can improve reasoning skills. You don't necessarily have to be highly adept at a creative activity but forcing the mind to try new things can increase reasoning skills.

Try to play a musical instrument. Take up drawing. Write a poem. Compose a short song. Part 2 of Pay attention to the purpose behind your actions. Each time you make a decision throughout the day, there is some purpose behind it. Given the hectic demands of day-to-day life, people sometimes lose track of the purpose and goals behind their actions. Try to be aware of the inherent purposes driving you throughout the day.

Focus on larger goals what in plastic bottles are harmful work or school. Where do you want to be in five years? Two years? One year? How are you current actions serving this goal?

Do your actions make sense reasonably given your larger purpose? Answering these questions can help you improve your reasoning skills. Oftentimes, people get caught up in the idea something has to be done in a particular way or they have to follow a particular path. Actions then become unreasonable. Try to keep the end in mind when you take a certain action.

Identify your biases. Everyone has biases, whether they are aware of them or not. If you want to improve reasoning skills, try to identify your biases. A major bias is that people often only consider a situation or a problem from one point of view. When dealing with an issue at work, school, or home pause and ask yourself a few questions before taking action. Ask, "What do I believe about the situation? Why do I believe this? What assumptions might I be making about the thoughts and ideas of others?


Spatial intelligence is crucial for many tasks, yet it's often neglected at school. Can we improve visuo-spatial ability? Experiments indicate that we can. Here's what you need to know. Spatial intelligence, or visuo-spatial ability, has been defined "the ability to generate, retain, retrieve, and transform well-structured visual images" Lohman It's what we do when we visualize shapes in our "mind's eye. It's the mental feat that architects and engineers perform when they design buildings.

The capacity that permits a chemist to contemplate the three-dimensional structure of a molecule, or a surgeon to navigate the human body. It's what Michelangelo used when he visualized a future sculpture trapped inside a lump of stone. It's also the mode of thought we use to imagine different visual perspectives. Are these two shapes different? Or are they identical and merely oriented differently? This is a classic mental rotation test — one measure of visuospatial ability. Another spatial intelligence test presents a figure made of blocks, and asks the test taker to create an exact copy.

Such skills are only one aspect of a person's overall intelligence. But research suggests that spatial thinking is an important predictor of achievement in STEM, or science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Preschoolers who are better at visualizing spatial relationships develop stronger arithmetic abilities in primary school Zhang et al ; Gilligan et al ; Verdine et al ; Verdine et al Middle school students who are good at mental rotation are more likely to achieve in science classes Ganley et al Wai et al ; Uttal et al Teens with excellent spatial skills are also more likely to secure employment in the visual arts or business Wai et al And there is even evidence that early spatial ability predicts a young child's reading skills Franceschini et al So clearly spatial skills matter.

Is there anything we can do to boost visuo-spatial ability? There's a lot we can do, and if you can find a checklist of practical tips for enhancing spatial intelligence here. But how do we know it's possible? Let's take a closer look at the science of spatial training. People often assume that spatial intelligence is a biologically-determined cognitive trait, a gift you either have or don't.

This attitude may stem, in part, from observed sex differences. Numerous studies report that males possess superior mental rotation skills. There is also evidence that spatial ability is linked with the amount of testosterone a fetus encounters in the womb Puts et al ; Pintzka et al In a recent experiment on 42 women, researchers found they could temporarily boost mental rotation skills by giving volunteers a single, small dose of testosterone Pintzka et al But whether or not the sex difference in mental rotation is influenced by hormones, there is compelling evidence showing that people can enhance their spatial abilities with practice.

And the results can be dramatic Feng et al ; Wright et al ; DeLisi et al ; Cherney et al :. After a relatively brief training period ranging from hours to a few weeks , people of both sexes sharpen their skills.

So this suggests that we can improve spatial thinking through effort and practice. What does this practice actually look like? For an example of training that works, consider this study by Rebecca Wright and her colleagues At baseline, there were sex differences.

The women made more errors on the spatial rotation task. The men made more errors on the mental paper-folding task. But after 21 days of daily training practicing each type of task , everybody got better. And the error rates converged. Men and women were now equally good at both spatial tasks. Similar results have been reported in other experiments where adults were randomly assigned to practice spatial skills by playing certain action video games.

One key study found that undergraduates improved visual attention and mental rotation skills after only 10 hours of playing a 3-D, first-person shooter action video game. Overall, women made the biggest gains, and they maintained them 5 months later Feng et al Researchers have also trained children to improve their spatial intelligence. David Tzuriel and Gila Egozi tested the mental rotation abilities of first graders average age, 6.

At the beginning of the study, boys outperformed girls. But after only 8 weekly sessions, the girls in the spatial skills training program had caught up. The gender difference was gone. Another experimental study found that brief spatial training can boost a child's performance in mathematics Cheng and Mix After a single, minute session of practice with mental rotation puzzles, kids ages earned higher scores on a math test compared with control-group peers.

In addition, a growing body of research suggests kids can improve their spatial abilities by engaging in structured block play -- the sort of play where children recreate physical structures by following a model or blueprint. In one study, Sharlene Newman and her colleagues assigned 28 children aged 8 to one of two training groups.

Before and after training, the researchers scanned the children's brains using fMRI technology while the kids solved mental rotation tasks. How did task performance and brain activity change after training?

Unlike children in the "Scrabble" control group, kids who'd participated in the structured block play sessions showed statistically significant improvements in reaction time and accuracy. They also showed changes in brain activity between the first and second brain scans. Post-training, they showed more activity in brain regions linked with spatial processing and spatial working memory Newman et al So we have good evidence that practice boosts spatial skills, which may explain why construction play is linked with childhood spatial ability.

But that's not all. It appears that kids also benefit from conversation. People often find it easier to think about a concept when they have a word for it. And of course kids often pay closer attention to something if we engage them in a discussion about it. So can we help kids by engaging them in meaningful conversations about spatial relationships? First, there are clear links between spatial intelligence and spatial vocabulary. In one study, preschoolers who knew more spatial words like between, above, below, and near were better at reproducing spatial designs with blocks Verdine et al This was true even after controlling for a child's overall vocabulary, suggesting that specifically spatial terms help kids think in 3-D.

Second, there's evidence that kids perform better on spatial tasks when we supply them with helpful words. For instance, consider this experiment by Jeffrey Loewenstein and Dedre Gentner:. In full view of the child, an adult hides a special card "the winner" on a shelf of the white bookcase, and then explains where she put it in one of two ways:. Next, the child closes his eyes while the adult hides another card in the blue bookcase.

It's a simple test of analogical mapping. But surprisingly, most 3-year-olds had trouble getting it right when the adult merely pointed and said "I put the winner here. By contrast, kids performed significantly better when they got the directions that included spatial language. And what about long-term cognitive development?

Shannon Pruden and her colleagues addressed this question by tracking 52 toddlers from the age of 14 months. In a series of sessions, the researchers watched families at play, and measured the how many spatial words parents used with their children.

They also recorded the number of spatial words that the kids spoke, words like circle, triangle, tall, empty, line, end, and little. Then, when the children were 54 months old, the researchers gave them several nonverbal tests of spatial intelligence, including an early childhood equivalent of the spatial rotation task.

The effect wasn't huge, and the study didn't control for genetics. Parents and children may share genes that make them both more likely to use spatial talk and to perform well on tests of spatial intelligence. But the researchers did control for overall parental language input, so it wasn't merely that kids especially talkative parents developed better spatial skills.

The type of talk mattered, which makes sense: A rich vocabulary of spatial terms might encourage kids to pay more attention to the spatial information they encounter. And this enhanced attention should help kids learn. Does every child get this same environmental advantage? Clearly not. For instance, in a second study conducted by Pruden and Susan Levine, the researchers documented a sex bias in the way that parents talked to their babies.

Boys heard more spatial talk than girls did, and this bias seemed to have a impact later on, when the kids were 3 to 4 years old. To the degree that girls used less spatial vocabulary at this age, the effect was "fully mediated by parents' earlier spatial language use" Pruden and Levine That might sound discouraging. Are we denying children the opportunity to grow because we're under the influence of cultural biases -- biases we might not even be aware of?

But the situation is far from hopeless. Research suggests we can change our ways with a conscious effort. For example, experiments show that simply reminding parents of the importance of spatial language prompts them to produce more spatial language and guidance to their children Boriello and Liben So we've got good reason to think that we can help children develop better spatial skills by cultivating our conversational skills.

Seize everyday opportunities to talk about spatial relationships. And remember:.

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