Spearman’s hypothesis tested with Raven’s Progressive Matrices: A psychometric meta-analysis

Spearman’s hypothesis tested with Raven’s Progressive Matrices: A psychometric meta-analysis

Jasper Repko, master thesis, 2011.



There are four versions of the Raven’s: the Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM) for the ages of 6 years to adulthood; the Colored Progressive Matrices, an easier version of the test designed for children aged 5 through 12; the Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM), a harder version of the test designed for older adolescents and adults with higher ability; and the Standard Progressive Matrices Plus (SPM plus), an extended version of the SPM offering more discrimination among more able young adults.

The SPM consists of 60 diagrammatic puzzles, each with a missing part that the test taker attempts to identify from several options. The 60 puzzles are divided into five sets (A, B, C, D, and E) of 12 items each. To ensure sustained interest and freedom from fatigue, each problem is boldly presented, accurately drawn, and, as far as possible, pleasing to look at. No time limit is set and all testees are allowed to complete the test. As an untimed capacity test, and even as a 20-min speed or efficiency test, the SPM is usually regarded as a good measure of the nonverbal component of general intelligence rather than of culturally specific information. The total score is also a very good measure of g, the general factor of intelligence, at least within Western countries (Jensen, 1980).

The Colored Progressive Matrices (CPM) is designed for young children, elderly, and people with moderate or severe learning difficulties. The test consists of 36 items. The first 12 items are the same as the first 12 items from the SPM (set A); the following 12 items are specially designed for the CPM. The last 12 items are again items from the SPM, this time items 13-24 (set B). Most of the items are presented on a colored background in order to keep the attention of the participants. The last couple of items from the test are, however, presented in black and white. If the participants manage to complete the test without too much difficulty they can continue without any problems with sets C, D, and E of the SPM.

The APM is a more difficult version of the Raven Progressive Matrices. The advanced form of the Matrices contains 48 diagrammatic puzzles, presented as one set of 12 (set 1), and another of 36 (set 2). Set 1 serves as an introduction, and set 2 is used to test the participants and compare scores. Items are presented in black ink on a white background, and become increasingly difficult as progress is made through each set. These items are appropriate for adults and adolescents of above average intelligence. Whenever we refer to the APM in this paper, we refer to set 2 of the APM.

The SPM Plus is the extended version of the SPM and is meant to restore the discriminative ability of the test (Raven, 1998). The SPM Plus was introduced as a revised version of the SPM. It consists of new items, most of which have been equated to match the old items in difficulty, but some are more difficult than any that appear on the SPM.

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