The improvement of spatial capacities poses a challenge to science and education. Mental rotation is an important component of this intellectual potential. In this study, we examined the effect of an intervention program on the performance of a mental-rotation task and the transfer of learning to a visualization test. As gender differences in spatial abilities are decreasing, we expected that the intervention would be equally beneficial for boys and girls. The sample was made up of 218 participants (108 boys and 110 girls), mean age of 14 years. A 2 × 2 (intervention × sex) factorial design was employed. Treatment consisted of task performance on 12 mental-rotation worksheets during a 2-month interval, with pre- and posttreatment evaluations of the criterion variables. Data were analyzed with descriptive and inferential statistical techniques, which showed that the treatment produced the expected effects. Relevant consequences for education and research are discussed.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 28, 2004
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