Two factors, family handedness and college major, were investigated in order to identify the characteristics of women likely to excel on a mental rotation task. It was found that those likely to have the necessary combination of genetic potential and spatial experiences were right-handed women with nonright-handed relatives, majoring in math-science fields. Across three samples, this subgroup significantly outperformed all other groups of undergraduate women and did as well as undergraduate men on the Vandenberg Mental Rotation Test. This study provides new information on possible genetic and environmental factors influencing mental rotation ability in women.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience