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Katherine Olson, Emily Wickelgren; Gender differences in event recognition of videogame baseball pitches. Journal of Vision 2007;7(9):490. doi: 10.1167/7.9.490.
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Past studies have found gender differences for cognitive spatial tasks. Prior research by Shechter (1991) found that gender differences exist in the contribution to visual apparent-motion correspondence of the distance-disparity cue and the interaction between the processing of the cues. Only a few studies have focused on the perceptual aspect of gender differences. Kaiser (1985) found that men chose the correct trajectory path far more often than women both in a motion condition and in a no-motion condition. Shepard and Metzler (1988) found that men perform higher on these spatial tasks than women. Wickelgren (submitted) found that males were more accurate in identifying computer generated oscillating events of varying trajectory forms than females. To see if this difference is observed in more real world situations, we chose to look at men and women's visual ability to perceive and identify different video game baseball pitches. Based on past research, we believed that men would show higher accuracy than women.
Fifteen undergraduate men and fifteen undergraduate women participated in one session of ten blocks of 25 trials. On each trial, the computer randomly displayed one of five pitches. Afterward, the participant was asked to identify the pitch. After each identification, they were given feedback on their accuracy and told which pitch they had just viewed.
The results suggest that men were significantly more accurate than women in overall accuracy. We also examined only the participants who had experience playing baseball video games. Again, we found that men were significantly more accurate in their identifications than women. These findings suggest that the gender differences observed in Wickelgren's (submitted) study may generalize to other more real world situations. Further studies on identification of actual pitches are in progress.
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