A 'mirror-tracing task' (or mirror-tracing test) is a psychological test used to measure a variety of functions such as learning, transfer of information from one brain hemisphere to the other, and other perceptual/motor skills. In the test, two hypotheses were formulated in a bid to understand the concept of spatial perception, transfer of abilities and gender differences. On the first hypothesis, Continuous exposure to the mirror-tracing test will lead to improved mirror tracing skill; we needed to look at the influence of practising on the mirror tracing skill. 243 subjects were continuously exposed to the test for seven days and the results were tabled. The gender differences in the degree of skill transferability were also examined. Both the male and female decreased their time in completing the activity as they became more exposed to the test. Their respective accuracy also improved with practising.
Mirror tracing is an experiment employed to evaluate different functions in psychology, as well as everything from personality to brain processing (O’Boyle et.al, 1995). Recently the test has been utilized to implement the idea of hemispheric superiority, that is the notion that one hemisphere is superior modified than another for spatial processing tasks. Researches designate the right hemisphere plays a leading role in processing line orientation and mental rotation of tactile figures (Zoccolotti, 2002). In one case study concerning one healthy female, experts embarked to discover the transfer of skills using mirror tracing to observe transfer outcomes of ipsilateral and contra lateral learning curves. In this instance, learning did happen and retention was noteworthy, dissimilar from preceding studies (Spence, 2009). Long-term retention of these skills, as seen in Marks's study, would indicate learning has taken place. Helode contrasted the aptitudes of male to female students, hypothesizing and that the male students would have better abilities owing to their superior exposure to visual spatial tasks. The male students did certainly show faster, more precise results in mirror tracing (Helode, 1984). The manipulation of gender, spatial insight, and the possibilities of learning happening as shown in the above studies provoked the experts to query whether exposure to and practice of the mirror tracing test would augment general spatial insight abilities for subjects as measured by the test.
In several mammalian species, it is acknowledged that males and females vary in place learning capability. The presentation by men and women is usually reported to also vary, in spite of a huge sum of variability and vagueness in gauging spatial abilities. Transversely the mirror tracing experiment, varying in endeavours to exploit spatial performance, it was constantly found males performed better than females across an assortment of measures. Since the 1970s, the thought that men are superior to women at spatial abilities has entered into most textbooks in psychology and behavioural neuroscience. Conversely, when one reconsiders the pertinent literature, it rapidly becomes perceptible that the sex disparities in performance in spatial tasks are little, dependable only during a fraction of maturity, or are not always found across studies [Ryan and Schehr, 1940]. There are numeral reasons for this. First, there is vagueness in what accurately makes up spatial ability. For example, the aptitude to trace images mentally, for many, is the gold criterion of spatial abilities [Marks, 1996]. Conversely, it is not obvious to others how this is a suitable test of spatial ability (Marks, 1996) Nonetheless, this conglomerate generalizes into widely accepted sex differences in way finding or orienting.
The phenomenon of practice effects has been addressed in this study, which sought to determine if practicing a mirror-tracing test before and after some practice using the opposite hand would yield a significantly different performance. In general, as a person becomes more exposed to a task, their performance at that task will improve. Theory holds that later attempts at this task will require less time for completion, and yield fewer mistakes than previous tries. To be analyzed in the outcome of this experiment is the learning curve produced in assessing the transferability of practice effects from one hand to the other, namely the number of errors a subject makes in his/her tracing tests, and the time it takes s/he to complete the test.
The aim of this report was to prove whether practice improved the mirror tracing skill. In addition, the report was also meant to examine whether there were gender differences in the degree of transferability of this skill. Therefore, having the two aims in mind, we were able to formulate two hypothesis to that effect.
Hypothesis 2: Men are superior to women in relation to the degree of transferability of mirror tracing skill
243 university students both on campus and online were served as subjects. The experimental group comprised 170 females along with 73 males. The average minimum age of the group was 18 years with the maximum being 51 years. The mean age was 21.84 years providing a standard deviation of 5.824.
Materials and Apparatus
Bagley’s Eye Lines software (1990) mirror tracing utility was employed, documenting a figure of errors, departing from the path (Standard deviation), and time necessitated to trace a five point star figure. Spatial perception was established via an amalgamation of thirteen arbitrarily selected brainteasers that is from tests 11, 12 and 16 of The Brain Game. Tests 11 and 16 crafted by David Turner and test 12 by Alfred Lewerenz. Calculators were consented to upon request.
The subjects were initially provided with a spatial ability test, test A, that consisted of an amalgamation of the David Turner and Alfred Lewerenz tests listed above. Two evenly complex versions (tests A and B) were generated to lessen the irritant variable of exposure. Test A was relayed in a silent room prior to the initiation of the mirror trials. Each subject executed the task of mirror tracing one time, carrying out five tracings. The tracing was done with the subjects’ characteristic computer mouse hand. Subsequent to the five trials the second test, test B, was given out. The dependant variable in this experiment was the ability of each test subject to navigate the star shape’s innards. The independent variable was the subject’s hand. Each subject was tested in the same manner as the others. Data were collected in seconds and number of errors on a spreadsheet. The data were analyzed through calculation of all subjects’ average performance with regard to both time and errors, and performing a statistical analysis that revealed one- and two-tailed p-value test results, after graphing this data, Results were charted and graphed in terms of accuracy and speed.
The time taken to complete the task decreases with more practise for both the male and female subjects. The female practise time commences with a time mean of 112.8293 on practise two while for male is 130.1631 and decreases gradually to a time of 80.3585 and 83.1908 respectively.
The mean of errors committed by the subjects significantly reduces with time (practise). Since it started with a mean of 30.4850 in the female subjects and 29.0833 in the male subjects to 17.2484 and 18.3857 respectively in the practise day six.
The rate at which the female subjects complete the task is faster than the male counter parts, that is of day one the female have an average of 155.9722 whereas the male have one of 183.7635. However, the days pass by the male counterparts become faster in that the last day the men have an average of 79.1148 compared to 81.7507. The difference in SD is also bigger in the men than the female subjects is.
It is shown that the male counterparts are more accurate than the female subjects are. On the first day the female showed accuracy in the light of 41.2619 and the last day to the tune of 15.6707 compared to the male of 38.7639 and 15.0141 respectively.
A 'mirror-tracing task' (or mirror-tracing test) is a psychological test used to measure a variety of functions such as learning, transfer of information from one brain hemisphere to the other, and other perceptual/motor skills. In the test, two hypotheses were formulated in a bid to understand the concept of spatial perception, transfer of abilities and gender differences. On the first hypothesis, Continuous exposure to the mirror-tracing test will lead to improved mirror tracing skill; we needed to look at the influence of practising on the mirror tracing skill. The 243 subjects were continuously exposed to the test for seven days the results were tabled as seen in table one. Both the male and female decreased their time in completing the activity as they became more exposed to the test. Their respective accuracy also improved with practising. Therefore, the hypothesis was proven. This was consistent with Zoccolotti (2002) research where they investigated the efficiency of practice in augmenting the rate of skill acquisition during a motor chore. The chore was to toss, through flexing the elbow, a Ping-Pong ball held in a cup on a forearm support to an aim. The muscles were observed electromyographically to establish any changes happening throughout skill attainment. The investigational faction's accuracy enhanced considerably. Other alterations incorporated a decrease in time since the commencement of muscle action to peak action and an augment in the time passed from the commencement of agonist constriction to the start of antagonist constriction. These results proposed that practice might be a vital tool in aiding the gaining of a novel motor skill.
The second hypothesis was Men are superior to women in relation to the degree of transferability of mirror tracing skill. This hypothesis could not be proven completely. There were several issues including huge standard deviations regarding this part of the experiment. According to table three, the female were faster than the male on the first day but the case was vice versa on the last day. In terms of accuracy, it is more evident that the male accuracy increased and was higher than the female. Therefore, concerning accuracy the hypothesis was proven. However, it was partially proven in completely seen the speed test was not accurate enough. Further tests should be conducted to prove this hypothesis more.
Beagley, W.K. (1990). (Computer Program). Alma, MI: Alma College
Helode, R. D. (1984). Mirror-tracing and type of education. Scientia Paedagogica Experimentalis, 20 (2), 189-199.
Marks, Ray. (1996). Ipsilateral and contralateral skill acquisition following random practice of unilateral mirror-drawing. Perceptual & Motor Skills, 83 (3 pt 1), 715-722.
O’Boyle, M.W., Hoff, E.J., & Gill, H.S. (1995). “The influence of mirror reversals on male and female performance spatial tasks: A componential look”. Personality & Individual Differences, 18(6), 693-699.
Ryan, T.A., & Schehr, G. (1940). “General practice in mirror tracing”. The American Journal of Psychology, 53(4), 593-599.
Spence, I., Yu, j. J., Feng, J., Marshman, J. (2009). Women match men when learning a spatial skill. Journal of experimental psychology: Learning, memory and cognition, 35 (4), 1097 – 1103.
Zoccolotti, P., Passafiume, D., & Pizzamiglio, L.(2002) Hemispheric asymmetries in a tactile thought task for normal subjects. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 50, 467-471.