Note:  Address for correspondence: Martin Heil, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich-Heine-University, 40225 Dilsseldorf, Germany. Email: [email protected]
Abstract: Gender differences in a psychometrical and in a chronometrical mental rotation test and in a standardized math test were investigated with a sample size of 109 boys and girls aged 7 or 8 years. The results revealed gender differences in all accuracy-based measures, i.e., in the paper-pencil mental rotation test, in the math test, and in the error rate of the chronometrical test. In line with the literature for adults, however, no gender difference was found in the speed of mental rotation itself. Moreover, no evidence for a speed-accuracy tradeoff was found. Thus, gender differences in tasks of math and visual-spatial cognition are present well before puberty but they seem to be restricted to accuracy-based measures.
Keywords: gender differences, math performance, visual-spatial cognition, mental rotation