Date of Original Version

4-2015

Type

Thesis

Abstract or Description

This study aims to determine whether commercially available games claiming to expand spatial awareness actually increase understanding of mental rotation and whether collaborative learning techniques are beneficial to the learning of mental rotation in this context. To test these questions, 40 children from the CMU Children’s School were randomly assigned to work individually or collaboratively to complete either building block replication tasks or mental rotation block challenges. Four and five-year-old children participated in three training sessions, flanked by a pretest and posttest using the Children’s Mental Transformation Task. Results showed a significant increase in mental rotation ability overall, but the difference between groups was not significant. These results suggest that while the commercially-available mental rotation games do improve mental rotation ability, they are not significantly more effective than building replication tasks that pose fewer overt mental rotation demands. Additionally, individuals working collaboratively did not demonstrate greater improvement in mental rotation.

Comments

Advisor: Sharon Carver

Department of Psychology

Embargo Date

2015

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