Sex Differences in Effects of Testing Medium and Response Format on a Visuospatial Task

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Perceptual and Motor Skills

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Sex differences on visuospatial tests are among the most reliably replicated. It is unclear to what extent these performance differences reflect underlying differences in skills or testing factors. To assess whether testing medium and response format affect visuospatial sex differences, performances of introductory psychology students (100 men, 104 women) were examined on a visuospatial task presented in paper-and-pencil and tablet computer forms. Both sexes performed beter when tested on paper, although men outperformed women. The introduction of an open-ended component to the visuospatial task eliminated sex differences when prior spatial experiences were controlled, but men outperformed women when prior spatial experiences were not considered. In general, the open-ended version and computerized format of the test diminished performance, suggesting that response format and medium are testing factors that influence visuospatial abilities.