Memory & Cognition

, Volume 18, Issue 5, pp 546–550

Sex differences in visual-spatial ability: The role of performance factors

  • David Goldstein
  • Diane Haldane
  • Carolyn Mitchell
Article

DOI: 10.3758/BF03198487

Cite this article as:
Goldstein, D., Haldane, D. & Mitchell, C. Memory & Cognition (1990) 18: 546. doi:10.3758/BF03198487

Abstract

Two studies were designed to explore the role of performance factors as sources of the frequently noted higher male scores on visual-spatial ability tests. In the first study, the mental rotations test (MRT) was administered to male and female college students of equally high quantitative ability (based on SAT math scores). Although males had significantly more correct responses on the test than did females, their advantage was eliminated when the ratio of correct responses to items attempted was used as the dependent measure. In the second study, the same test was administered to new groups of male and female college students. In this sample, the males had significantly higher SAT math scores. The MRT was administered under standard, timed conditions and under untimed conditions. Both raw and ratio scores were calculated. With SAT math score as the covariate, analyses of covariance indicated that males demonstrated higher performance in the timed, raw-score condition but not in the untimedor in the ratio-score conditions. The theoretical and social policy implications of these studies are discussed.

Download to read the full article text

Copyright information

© Psychonomic Society, Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Goldstein
    • 1
  • Diane Haldane
    • 1
  • Carolyn Mitchell
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke University Talent Identification ProgramDuke UniversityDurham