Title page for ETD etd-12042009-020243


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Daly, Paul K.
URN etd-12042009-020243
Title Mental rotation with and without a concurrent task :moderating effects of visuospatial ability
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Crawford, Helen J. Committee Chair
Beaton, Robert J. Committee Member
Prestrude, Albert M. Committee Member
Keywords
  • Space perception
Date of Defense 1994-04-15
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
Men (N = 25) and women (N = 27} rated as either high or

low in visuospatial ability as assessed on a battery of

visuospatial tests (Card Rotations, Mental Rotations,

Minnesota Paper Form Board), performed a computer-administered

task requiring the mental rotation of abstract

geometric shapes presented sequentially, either alone or

with a concurrent task of repeating sets of six random

digits. Gender and skill-level effects were found. Men

were faster than women, and high visuospatial subjects were

faster than low. Individual performance did not

significantly differ between the single- and dual-task

conditions, either in terms of mean response time or rate of

mental rotation. This finding is counter to previous

studies (Corballis, 1986; Kail, 1991) that found subjects

performed slower overall in dual-task conditions, but did

not differ in terms of rotation rate. Differences in group

variability were also found; that is, women were more

variable in response time and error rates than men, and lows were more variable than highs. The gender differences are

interpreted in terms of variability; with the major finding

that for rotation rate, intercept, and errors, only within

the low visuospatial skill category did women perform poorer

than men. Furthermore, only women in the low visuospatial

skill group showed the classic mental rotation function of

increasing response time with increasing angular disparity.

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