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ERIC Number: EJ895167
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0160-2896
Combining Automatic Item Generation and Experimental Designs to Investigate the Contribution of Cognitive Components to the Gender Difference in Mental Rotation
Arendasy, Martin E.; Sommer, Markus; Gittler, Georg
Intelligence, v38 n5 p506-512 Sep-Oct 2010
Marked gender differences in three-dimensional mental rotation have been broadly reported in the literature in the last few decades. Various theoretical models and accounts were used to explain the observed differences. Within the framework of linking item design features of mental rotation tasks to cognitive component processes associated with them we combined automatic item generation, (quasi-)experimental research designs and think aloud protocols to test several hypotheses: in study 1 the main focus was on gender differences regarding (1) encoding- and mental transformation strategies and (2) the ability to maintain a stable mental representation while transforming it. The results indicated that females are more prone to either lose track or to lose their internal mental representations during transformation process. Furthermore, they also tended to use more error-prone mental transformation strategies. The second study focused on the evaluation of the hypotheses that the observed gender difference can be accounted for by individual differences in the ability to extract the depth information conveyed in the illustrations of the object. Based on previous studies we gradually manipulated the salience of depth cues in a psychometric experiment. The results partially confirmed our initial hypotheses: depending on the degree of salience of the depth information females either benefitted more, or to an equal extent than males from our experimental manipulations. The implications of the results of both studies are discussed. (Contains 1 figure.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A