Children's solution strategies and mental rotation: evidence for a developmental shift.

R. A. Rosser, S. Stevens, P. Glider, J. Mazzeo, S. Lane

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We examined children's ability to anticipate the appearance of transformed multicomponents using visual stimuli with variations of a mental rotation task. We hypothesized that (a) performance would depend on the presence, location, and spatial relationship of specific stimulus features, and that (b) younger children would use a single component to make their predictions, whereas older children would be more likely to use multiple components. In Study 1, 40 first-, and fifth-grade subjects were presented with 32 rotation problems consisting of varied stimulus characteristics; subjects selected the correct option from a field where foils were indicative of the strategy used. Analyses of variance and log linear analyses revealed the hypothesized stimulus effect differentially associated with the children's ages. In Study 2, sixty 5-, 7-, and 9-year olds confronted 64 mental rotation problems with multicomponent stimuli and a construction task. Results and implications confirmed those of Study 1.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-204
Number of pages22
JournalGenetic, social, and general psychology monographs
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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