Haptic Abilities of Freshman Engineers as Measured by the Haptic Visual Discrimination Test
The Haptic Visual Discrimination Test (HVDT) is a standardized and quantitative test that requires skills in tactile sensitivity, spatial synthesis and the ability to integrate partial information about an object into a whole. In this test, the subject manipulates an object in one hand without seeing it, and then selects a corresponding object on an identification chart with their free hand. The test was developed of a period of eight years and tested on both normal and disability subjects, with test-retest reliability of the HVDT between .91 and .93. The HVDT was administered to a large sample of engineering students and the mean of the resulting scores was one standard deviation above the mean of the normal population. The high instance of haptic ability in these students, who also showed high visualization ability, suggests a potential need for haptic and tactile related instruction in addition to lectures and computer-based or virtual formats.