I gave two paper presentations recently at the BSRLM day conference in Brighton. Abstracts and slides are below.
Bokhove, Christian* & Redhead, Ed
University of Southampton
Training mental rotation skills to improve spatial ability
Prior research indicates that spatial skills, for example in the form of Mental Rotation Skills (MRS), are a strong
predictor for mathematics achievement. Nevertheless, findings are mixed whether this is more the case for other
spatial tasks or, as others have stated, numerical and arithmetical performance. In addition, other studies have
shown that MRS can be trained and that they are a good predictor of another spatial skill: route learning and
wayfinding skills. This paper presentation explores these assumptions and reports of an experiment with 43
undergraduate psychology students from a Russell Group university in the south of England. Participants were
randomly assigned to two conditions. Both groups made pre-and post-tests on wayfinding in a maze. In-between
the intervention group trained with an MRS tool the first author designed in the MC-squared platform, which was
based on a standardized MRS task (Ganis & Kievit, 2015). The control group did filler tasks by completing crossword puzzles. Collective ly, the 43 students made 43×48=2064 assessment items for MRS, and 2×43=86 mazes. Although the treatment group showed a decrease in time needed to do the maze task, while the control group saw an increase, these changes were not significant. Limitations are discussed.