The effects of gender stereotype activation by priming on performance in a spatial task were investigated among a mixed adult sample (including students) of 161 men and women (mean age = 31.90) from Austria (Europe). They were assigned to one of four experimental groups according to gender and stereotype activation condition. After a male or female gender stereotype activating task, participants worked on a test assessing mental rotation (three-dimensional cube test, Gittler 1990). A significant main effect of priming on the performance in the mental rotation task emerged. Cohen’s d showed a pronounced gender difference emerging only in the female priming condition (d = .59), whereas it disappeared in the male priming condition (d = .01).
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We would like to thank Melanie Fiegl, Michaela Kacvincka, Sandra Peyerl, Nicole Pritz and Sandra Raffetseder for their help with the data collection and two anonymous reviewers for their thoughtful comments.
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Ortner, T.M., Sieverding, M. Where are the Gender Differences? Male Priming Boosts Spatial Skills in Women. Sex Roles 59, 274–281 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-008-9448-9
- Gender priming
- Gender differences
- Spatial skills
- Mental rotation
- Test fairness