It is commonly thought that strong spatial ability enhances mathematics performance and that associations between spatial ability and mathematics may be in part responsible for the gender gap in math performance. We investigated whether this spatial/math link is unique by examining the associations between mental rotation and both math and English/Language Arts (ELA) achievement using three similar samples of upper elementary students and three different measures of mental rotation. In each study, we found that the association between mathematics and mental rotation is no different than the association between ELA and mental rotation. We discuss how additions of prior achievement measures modify these associations and examine gender moderators, for which we find little support.
Learning and Individual Differences – Elsevier
Published: Feb 1, 2018
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