High Spatial versus Low Acquired Knowledge

Vogel's (1986) sample of female college students with learning disabilities did show a more substantial 6-point difference when comparing Spatial Ability to Acquired Knowledge. Of the samples in Table 9.1, large discrepancies of about 15 or more points favoring Spatial Ability over Acquired Knowledge were observed for all LD samples except Salvia et al.'s (1987) college students, who performed equally on the two categories. Among samples tested on the WAIS or on both the WAIS and WAIS-R, Spatial > Acquired Knowledge differences of at least 10 points were found for McCue et al.'s (1986) adults with learning disabilities, Cordoni et al.'s (1981) college students with learning disabilities, Acker-man et al.'s (1987) males, and Ackerman et al.'s females. However, Blalock's (1987) adults with learning disabilities, many with college backgrounds, joined Salvia et al.'s college students with learning disabilities in demonstrating a trivial Spatial-Acquired Knowledge difference. Note, however, that Salvia et al.'s (1987) college control group evidenced an 8-point superiority in Acquired Knowledge over Spatial Ability; other comparison samples had small (3- to 6-point) differences in favor of Spatial Ability.

Overall, a deficiency in Acquired Knowledge is to be anticipated for adolescents and adults with learning disabilities, with the occasional exception of those in college. The median discrepancy in favor of Spatial Ability was 11 points for nine LD samples, compared to 4.5 points for four comparison groups.

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