Volume I, 2001
Dr. Susana Urbina
This study investigates sex differences in mechanical abilities. Numerous research findings support the existence of sex differences in mechanical aptitude as well as in other abilities. Recent research suggests that there is a relationship between mechanical aptitude and certain nonverbal reasoning (e.g., visual-spatial) abilities. Due to the possible links between these constructs, sex differences in a nonverbal measure of general intellectual functioning, made up of five subtests, were also evaluated. Thus, the purpose of this study is twofold: to investigate sex differences in mechanical aptitude and nonverbal abilities, and to explore the construct validity of all the measures employed. Females and males were compared in terms of their performance on two mechanical aptitude tests and one test of nonverbal abilities. It was expected that, on average, men would do better on both of the mechanical aptitude tests. The construct validity of all the measures was investigated by correlating the scores on the various instruments and by comparing the results obtained with the expectations suggested by the empirical literature on sex differences. Thus far, all the major hypotheses have been confirmed. However, these results are based on a smaller sample than originally planned. Little research has been conducted examining the basis for the reported sex differences in mechanical aptitude. Mechanical aptitude tests are used extensively in selection procedures for mechanical jobs. A study investigating the validity of two of these measures and the differential performance of each sex group on them is quite timely because more women are seeking employment in areas that require mechanical abilities.
Ringby, Karolina E. Christensson, "Sex Differences in Mechanical Aptitude: An Investigation of Sex Differences in Mechanical Aptitude and Its Relation to Nonverbal Abilities" (2001). All Volumes (2001-2008). Paper 132.