I have been teaching 3D design for a while, and i have noticed that a small group has decidedly hard time coping with rotation of the virtual camera. Unfortunately designing in 3D on a screen requires you to do quite a lot of mental rotation. Instead would like to setup a test to see if a VR setup would alleviate the problem on a individual level.

Now i am aware of this near duplicate, that says men score better. But its not entirely fair in this case, as many of the problem cases are male. In either case i am looking for what improvement can get done on a personal level by optimizing the tools to the user, notwithstanding the general trend of the masses.

How do begin to designing the test for measurement of improvement?

  • $\begingroup$ If this is way too broad any suggestions of how to narrow it down is welcome. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 26, 2019 at 21:41
  • $\begingroup$ It does not seem your 'duplicate' is a duplicate at all. Rather, it informs you about known differences in mental rotations based on sex. The answer to the other question indicates these differences can be observed both on paper and in VR. (Making this knowledge explicit in this question would improve it.) From your final question it seems like you are not interested in differences based on sex at all, but some other potential hypothesis (which you seemingly have not formed yet). You need to postulate a hypothesis before you can set up an experiment (what AliceD also highlights in his answer). $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 10:58
  • $\begingroup$ Furthermore, the observed difference in sex are statistical differences, and there are always exceptions to the rule. Thus, this says nothing about this study being 'fair' or 'unfair' in relation to your observations. And, other factors might be at play. $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ @StevenJeuris Isint it clear that my hyphothesis is that its easier to do the thinking in VR? I mean i do say alleviate the problem. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 16:23
  • $\begingroup$ 'thinking'? 🙂 No, that was not clear, and furthermore is overly broad. Given your reference to mental rotations, I thought that was what you were interested in specifically. If you are not certain what to focus on, might I suggest a qualitative within subjects study where participants compare and comment on both methods (normal vs. VR)? $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Commented Feb 28, 2019 at 17:39

1 Answer 1


How do [I] design [a] test for measurement of [3D rotation] improvement?

The way to start is to define what you wish to measure.

  • What needs to be mentally rotated?
  • Why does it need mental rotation?
  • What goal needs to be reached by the task?
  • Are the tasks a matter of correct or incorrect, or is it a graded measure?

Only then can you start thinking about the question proper, namely how performance can be measured.


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