Gender differences in mental rotation in Oman and Germany

Petra Jansen*, Kashef Zayed, Ronja Osmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Gender differences in mental rotation often show that males are superior at this task. This study explored gender differences in two nations, which have disparities in their gender equality. While Germany represents a western liberal culture, Oman represents a conservative eastern culture. Students from Germany (119) and Oman (120) completed a mental rotation test, a cognitive processing speed test and a questionnaire of physical activity. The results show a significantly better mental rotation performance for the German students compared to Oman students and an overall gender difference across both cultures. Furthermore, German students outperformed Oman students in cognitive processing speed but there were no gender differences between the cultures. We conclude that mental rotation performance is related to nation, gender and cognitive processing speed. The results are discussed in the frame of how education systems developed in Germany and Oman.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)284-290
Number of pages7
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross cultural psychology
  • Gender differences
  • Mental rotation performance
  • Physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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