The New York Times article that I’ve written about before, the one about the study showing that people who scored high on a test of spatial abilities had more success in the STEM fields than their equally academically gifted colleagues, was titled, “Study Finds Spatial Skill Is Early Sign of Creativity.”
I was thinking of this the other day when I visited an art museum with my own visual thinker, my 18-year-old daughter. As we entered each gallery, she would zero in on the most interesting piece of art in the room. Only after she had looked at it, would she read the placard.
I, the plodding verbal thinker, meanwhile, would read each placard first, then study each piece, methodically making my way around the room, skipping nothing.
Likewise, shopping with my daughter can be disorienting when you are not used to it. She is very fast. She steps into a store, takes a sweeping look around and either announces, “There’s nothing good in here” or goes straight to the one thing she likes.
At first, I used to protest, “You can’t possibly have seen everything!” Then, driving my daughter nuts, I would, in my methodical way, go through each rack.
But you know what? She was always right.
The other day, I investigated why my automatic garage door wasn’t opening. Someone else might have gone to the garage and had a look, played around with the device. But I pulled out the manual and read.
Which way is better?
That isn’t the right question to ask. Both have their value – but hers does seem a lot more fun.
(P.S. I still haven’t figured out why my garage door doesn’t work.)