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Cubes or Pellets in Mental-Rotation Tests: Effects on Gender Differences and on the Performance in a Subsequent Math Test

Institute of Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau, 56070 Koblenz, Germany
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Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10010012
Received: 1 November 2019 / Revised: 16 December 2019 / Accepted: 19 December 2019 / Published: 23 December 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue XVI European Congress of Psychology)
In mental rotation, males consistently outperform females in performance and confidence. Both can affect math anxiety. In the present study, 107 undergraduate students (85 female) solved a mental-rotation test either with cube (C-MRT) or pellet (P-MRT) figures as stimulus material, then reported their confidence in their ability in the test, and solved a math test. Males performed better than females in both test versions: In the C-MRT, with a large effect, and in the P-MRT, with a small effect, and reported higher scores in their confidence. In math test performance, males scored higher than females when they solved the math test after the C-MRT but not after the P-MRT. The interactions of gender and stimulus material were not significant. Correlations between confidence and math test performance were large for males and not significant for females. Stereotype threat and lift effects are discussed as possible reasons for the varying effects of the stimulus material on the MRT performance of male and female participants. View Full-Text
Keywords: mental rotation; gender differences; stimulus material; confidence; math test; gender stereotypes mental rotation; gender differences; stimulus material; confidence; math test; gender stereotypes
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Rahe, M.; Quaiser-Pohl, C. Cubes or Pellets in Mental-Rotation Tests: Effects on Gender Differences and on the Performance in a Subsequent Math Test. Behav. Sci. 2020, 10, 12.

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