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10-09-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 6/2016

Psychological Research 6/2016

Sex differences in chronometric mental rotation with human bodies

Tijdschrift:
Psychological Research > Uitgave 6/2016
Auteurs:
Daniel Voyer, Petra Jansen

Abstract

The present experiment investigated sex differences across stimulus types in a chronometric mental rotation task. The working hypothesis was that human bodies as stimuli would reduce the magnitude of sex differences compared to cubes as stimuli, from the embodied cognition perspective. One hundred and twenty participants, 60 men and 60 women solved chronometric mental rotation items with Shepard–Metzler cube figures, head-cubes, and human bodies, all designed so that they were similar in shape. Two figures of a given stimulus type were presented on the screen and participants had to judge if both items were mirrored or non-mirrored. Results showed better mental rotation performance with human bodies than with other types of stimuli for both sexes, although the effect of stimulus type was more pronounced in men than in women. Furthermore, regardless of stimulus type, men were more accurate than women. Altogether, the results suggest that sex differences are not reduced when human bodies are used as stimuli in a chronometric task. Implications for accounts of sex differences in mental rotations are discussed.

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