The effects of animated practice on mental rotation tests

Russell Winsor Smith, University of Nevada, Las Vegas


Mental rotation tests have been used to study the underlying process of mental imagery. In an attempt to better understand the nature of mental rotation, this study looked at the effects of practice with using animated feedback. A group with animated feedback, a group with non-animated feedback, and a control group were compared using a pretest-posttest design. The combined practice groups performed significantly better than the control group on both reaction time and accuracy. However, there were no significant differences between the animated and the non-animated groups. The animated group did perform significantly better on the posttest than the control group. There were no significant differences between the non-animated group and the control group. This study contributes to the understanding of the process of mental rotation and provides evidence suggesting that practice with animated feedback can significantly improve scores on tests of mental rotation.