Alexandria Digital Research Library

Sex Differences in Mental Rotation Tasks

Author:
Boone, Alexander Paul
Degree Grantor:
University of California, Santa Barbara. Psychological & Brain Sciences
Degree Supervisor:
Mary Hegarty
Place of Publication:
[Santa Barbara, Calif.]
Publisher:
University of California, Santa Barbara
Creation Date:
2015
Issued Date:
2015
Topics:
Cognitive psychology
Keywords:
Sex differences
Mental rotation
Genres:
Dissertations, Academic and Online resources
Dissertation:
M.A.--University of California, Santa Barbara, 2015
Description:

The Mental Rotations Test (Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978) consistently produces large sex differences favoring males (Voyer, Voyer, & Bryden, 1995). This test requires participants to select two of four answer choices that are rotations of a probe stimulus. Incorrect choices (i.e., foils) are either mirror reflections of the probe or structurally different. In contrast, in the original mental rotation task (Shepard & Metzler, 1971) participants judge whether two stimuli are the same but rotated or different by mirror reflection. It was hypothesized that the large sex difference in the Mental Rotations Test emerges as a result of males noticing and capitalizing on the orientation independent features of structurally different foils. Two experiments indicated greater accuracy and faster reaction times for structurally different compared to mirror trials for both sexes. A significant male advantage in accuracy was found for both trial types. Males and females did not differ in reaction time for either trial type. Although no evidence was found to suggest that differences in capitalizing on an orientation independent strategy accounts for the large sex difference, results suggest that the mental rotation process is not the only source of the sex difference in these tasks.

Physical Description:
1 online resource (58 pages)
Format:
Text
Collection(s):
UCSB electronic theses and dissertations
ARK:
ark:/48907/f38050sg
ISBN:
9781339083872
Catalog System Number:
990045715410203776
Rights:
Inc.icon only.dark In Copyright
Copyright Holder:
Alexander Boone
File Description
Access: Public access
Boone_ucsb_0035N_12598.pdf pdf (Portable Document Format)