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The indicators for Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices Intelligence Test

What are the indicators for Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices Intelligence Test?

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Raven’s progressive matrices is a nonverbal test of reasoning abilities, which is one constituent of classic conceptions of general intelligence or cognitive ability (e.g., Spearman’s g, Spearman, 1927; Raven, 1936). In this paper-and-pencil test, participants (typically in group and/or educational settings) are provided with a matrix of multiple shapes in which one element is missing and then one that is completely blank. Matrices are presented in series of six to eight and the standard test contains two sets of 12 matrices. Participants are then required to determine the correct location of the missing element based on the pattern demonstrated in the previous six to eight items. The coloured progressive matrices, designed for individuals with cognitive impairment, the elderly and children between the ages of five and 11, contain coloured backdrops to promote visual stimulation and contain a supplementary set of matrices (Ab) to identify cognitive development and intellectual maturation in these groups. The Raven’s coloured progressive matrices are used as an indicative of general intelligence, executive control and this individual stage of development and maturation (Rosano et al., 2012). However, research has shown that indicators for higher performance on this test also include a more economically developed nationality (Brouwers, Van de Vijver & Van Hemert, 2009), higher education level (Brouwers et al., 2009), more, and earlier, reading experience (Cunningham & Stanovich, 1997), higher standards of educational facilitates (Anum, 2014), the absence of poverty (Anum, 2014) and greater functional and executive control (Rosano et al., 2012). Indicators of outcomes on this assessment are likely not limited to just these factors, though this is what current evidence has shown thus far. As with any assessment of intelligence, various factors impact performance and must be taken into consideration when interpreting results.


Anum, A., 2014. A standardisation study of the Raven's Coloured Progressive Matrices in Ghana. Ife Psychologia, 22(2), pp. 27-35.

Brouwers, S.A., Van de Vijver, F.J. and Van Hemert, D.A., 2009. Variation in Raven's Progressive Matrices scores across time and place. Learning and Individual Differences, 19(3), pp. 330-338.

Cunningham, A.E. and Stanovich, K.E., 1997. Early reading acquisition and its relation to reading experience and ability 10 years later. Developmental Psychology, 33(6), pp. 934-945.

Raven, J. C. (1936). Mental tests used in genetic studies: the performance of related individuals on tests mainly educative and mainly reproductive. Master’s thesis presented to the University of London.

Rosano, C., Studenski, S.A., Aizenstein, H.J., Boudreau, R.M., Longstreth, W.T. and Newman, A.B., 2012. Slower gait, slower information processing and smaller prefrontal area in older adults. Age and Ageing, 41(1), pp. 58-64.

Spearman, C. E. (1927). The abilities of man. London: Macmillian.