The Use of the Vandenberg and Kuse Mental Rotation Test in Children

Journal of Individual Differences (Impact Factor: 1.22). 01/2012; 33(1):62-67. DOI: 10.1027/1614-0001/a000063


Previous studies found that children are able to perform mental rotation (MR) tasks with a gender difference from the age of 4. More recently, gender differences in MR were also reported in infancy. However, different kinds of paradigms and stimuli were used. The present study investigates whether the Vandenberg and Kuse Mental Rotation Test (VMRT; Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978) as well as another similar 2-dimensional stimuli test may be used with elementary and middle-school children, and whether gender differences are evidenced. Results show that boys outperform girls in the middle-school group only. Elementary school children encountered difficulties solving both the VMRT and 2D MR tests. The data confirmed recent results showing that gender differences in the VMRT performance were found at age 10. We further concluded that the VMRT and 2D MR tests may not be well-designed for elementary-school children. Further investigations should focus on gender differences in MR for children younger than 9 years old as well as on the underlying causes of such difference, using other experimental paradigms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)

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