Current Psychology

, Volume 34, Issue 2, pp 466–476 | Cite as

Factors Influencing Mental-Rotation with Action-based Gender-Stereotyped Objects—The Role of Fine Motor Skills

  • Petra Jansen
  • Claudia Quaiser-Pohl
  • Sarah Neuburger
  • Vera Ruthsatz


The present study investigated the influence of manual dexterity and gender on mental-rotation performance with action-based stereotyped items. Twenty five girls and 25 boys of fourth grade solved a chronometric mental-rotation test with action-based gender stereotyped items. Furthermore, manual dexterity was measured. Results showed that instead of gender, manual dexterity and the stereotyped nature of the action-based items influenced mental-rotation performance. A correlation analysis suggests that this result holds true for boys but not for girls. Overall, findings confirm the relation between perception and action, which both develop early in life. Results are discussed with regard to the kind of mental transformation that is required (object based vs. egocentric) and the effect of gestures on mental-rotation performance.


Action-based stimuli Stereotype Primary school aged children Mental-rotation performance Gender differences 



We would like to thank André Buchner and Sophie Bernreiter for helping during data acquisition, and Dr. Jennifer Lehmann for programming the experiment. Furthermore, we thank the two participating primary schools.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petra Jansen
    • 1
  • Claudia Quaiser-Pohl
    • 2
  • Sarah Neuburger
    • 2
  • Vera Ruthsatz
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of Sport ScienceUniversity of RegensburgRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of Koblenz-LandauKoblenzGermany

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