Journal of Cognitive Psychology 29 (3):269-278 (2017)

Yacin Hamami
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
John Mumma
California State University, San Bernardino
Spatial relations are central to geometrical thinking. With respect to the classical elementary geometry of Euclid’s Elements, a distinction between co-exact, or qualitative, and exact, or metric, spatial relations has recently been advanced as fundamental. We tested the universality of intuitions of these relations in a group of Senegalese and Dutch participants. Participants performed an odd-one-out task with stimuli that in all but one case display a particular spatial relation between geometric objects. As the exact/co-exact distinction is closely related to Kosslyn’s categorical/coordinate distinction, a set of stimuli for testing all four types was used. Results suggest that intuitions of all spatial relations tested are universal. Yet, culture has an important effect on performance: Dutch participants outperformed Senegalese participants and stimulus layouts affect the categorical and coordinate processing in different ways for the two groups. Differences in level of education within the Senegalese participants did not affect performance.
Keywords Geometric diagrams  Euclid's Elements  Exact and co-exact spatial relations  Categorical and coordinate spatial relations  Cross-cultural study  Universal intuitions of geometry
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,355
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

On Euclidean Diagrams and Geometrical Knowledge.Tamires Dal Magro & Manuel J. García-Pérez - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):255.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Prolegomena to a Cognitive Investigation of Euclidean Diagrammatic Reasoning.Yacin Hamami & John Mumma - 2013 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 22 (4):421-448.
Geometry and Spatial Intuition: A Genetic Approach.Rene Jagnow - 2003 - Dissertation, Mcgill University (Canada)
Spatial Reasoning and Ontology: Parts, Wholes, and Locations.Achille C. Varzi - 2007 - In Marco Aiello, Ian E. Pratt-Hartmann & Johan van Benthem (eds.), Handbook of Spatial Logics. Springer Verlag. pp. 945-1038.


Added to PP index

Total views
18 ( #611,060 of 2,519,513 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #205,550 of 2,519,513 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes