Computer experience and gender differences in undergraduate mental rotation performance

Richard De Lisi, Diane M. Cammarano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Gender differences in mental rotation and computer experiences were investigated. Undergraduates, 27 men and 83 women, completed a brief self-report inventory of computer experiences and were pretested on the Vandenberg Test of Mental Rotation (VTMR). Students then participated in two 30-min sessions, spaced 1 week apart, in which they played a computer game. One half played a game that required mental rotation of geometric figures ('Blockout'), the other half played a card game that did not involve mental rotation ('Solitaire'). After the second computer game session, students retook the VTMR. A gender difference favoring men over women was obtained on the pretest VTMR. On the posttest VTMR, women in each group and men who played Blockout outperformed men who played Solitaire. Differences in self-reported computer use and efficacy were associated with differences on the VTMR. Success on Blockout was correlated with success on the VTMR. Computer experiences, including game playing, are a factor in VTMR performance differences among undergraduates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)351-361
Number of pages11
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)

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