Perspective Taking Ability Test (PTA-Test)

Recent research of Prof. Maria Kozhevnikov (Department of Psychology, George Mason University, VA) has shown that there are two distinct abilities: mental rotation (an ability to imagine rotation of objects from a fixed perspective) and perspective taking (an ability to imagine a reoriented-self) [pdf]. The second skill (perspective-taking) is the skill, which is important for navigating in space.

Up until now, the existing tests did not dissociate successfully between mental rotation and perspective-taking abilities, since most existing tests could be solved by using mental rotation as well as perspective taking strategy. As a result, all the existing commercially-available spatial tests measure mostly mental rotation ability (e.g., the ability to imagine rotating objects from a fixed perspective), which is a different ability not related to navigational skills.


We have developed the Computerized Perspective-Taking Ability (CPTA) test to measure spatial orientation ability. This new test was successfully validated and copyrighted jointly by MM Virtual Design, LLC and Rutgers University (see PTA test features). The results suggest that while solving this test, people in fact encode the objects shown on the display with respect to a body-centered coordinate system. It was also shown that while this test predicts reliably the spatial navigational abilities, mental rotation tests do not.

Our new Computerized Perspective-Taking Ability Test is the first valid measure of spatial orientation ability and could be successfully used for research as well as for training purposes and personnel selection in the professions that require high navigational abilities (e.g., astronauts, pilots, drivers).


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