Social Skills Improve Spatial Abilities
Strong social skills have been linked to many things, but never with spatial abilities.
A new study suggests that people who have strong social skills are more prone to do good when it comes to spatial abilities. According to the researchers involved in the study, for people who know their way around social skills, it is easier to assume another’s person perspective on the whole world. Another thing found in the study was that there people also had strong spatial abilities. “The results were striking: There was a profound difference in this ability among people with better social skills and those with weaker ones,” said study leader Amy Shelton, Ph.D.
Shelton went on saying that the study gives some good insight on how people who suffer with Autism can be helped, given that they are the ones who lack social skills the most. For the study, Shelton and her group of researchers recruited 48 men and women, with ages ranging from 18 to 22 and they asked them to view a model of buildings made out of LEGOs. Throughout the study, seven figures were arrayed around the said building models. They viewed the images on a computer then, and were asked to state what figure could “see” that view of the buildings which had appeared on the computer screen. Then, the participants also had to complete a questionnaire related to 5 traits which are usually linked to autism, such as communication, imagination, social skills, attention to detail and perseveration. The questionnaires had the ability to assess the degree to which people’s intelligence showed these traits. The two traits that interested the researchers the most were communication and social skills, given that they are assigned to typical social behaviors.
The overall conclusion to which the researchers got was that those people who showed strong signs in matters of social skills and communication were also more able to have great spatial abilities, in comparison to those who did not show that strong signs. Furthermore, Shelton also said that the study also shows that people are not only good or bad, but we actually are more than that and that can be seen when we are interacting with other people. It seems that people with strong social skills are more able to put themselves in the place of other people and that is a very important finding of the study. Shelton concluded by saying that people who have great social skills are also better are giving directions. However, if these social skills are combined with empathy towards the other person, things can get even better.11