Cross-cultural differences in spatial abilities and solution strategies – An investigation in Cambodia and Germany
Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology
Cultural differences in performance and solution strategies on the Mental Rotations Test (MRT; Peters et al., 1995; Vandenberg & Kuse, 1978) and the Cube Comparison Test (CCT; Amthauer, Brocke, Liepmann, & Beauducel, 2001) were studied in 656 Cambodian and German students. Germans outperformed Cambodians on both the MRT (d = 1.57) and CCT (d = 0.99). The large differences could be explained by Cambodian participants being more prone to analytic strategies, whereas most Germans preferred a holistic strategy. Sex differences on the MRT in favor of males were found in both Cambodia (d = 0.37) and Germany (d = 0.87). On the CCT, sex differences with males outperforming females were only found for the German sample (d = 0.43). In both samples, more females preferred an analytic solution strategy, whereas more males tended to use a holistic strategy. We argue that the huge differences between nations can partly be attributed to differences in the mathematics curriculum.
Geiser, Christian and Janssen, Anne B., "Cross-cultural differences in spatial abilities and solution strategies – An investigation in Cambodia and Germany" (2012). Psychology Faculty Publications. Paper 1288.