Experiential Factors on Sex Differences in Mental Rotation

Document Type

Article - Merrimack Access Only

Publication Title

Perceptual and Motor Skills

Publication Date


Abstract/ Summary

Past research has shown that men score significantly higher than women on mental rotation tests. The present study examined the effects of a prior exposure to a mental rotation task, i.e., adapted Cube Comparison test, and to three dimensional objects, i.e., Legos™, on the performance on the Mental Rotation Test. 113 men and women were randomly divided into three conditions: control, exposure, or detailed instructions. On average, men outperformed women. Further analyses showed that sex differences were significant in the control condition but not in the other two, suggesting that a cuing effect may explain some of the robust sex differences in visuospatial tasks.