A developmental study of the processes underlying solution of Ravens progressive matrices



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In order to gain a better understanding of developmental changes in performance on the Raven Progressive Matrices Test, two component processing skills underlying solution of Raven's matrices were identified and predictions concerning relative speed of processing were evaluated in order to assess the utility of the proposed model. Fifth graders, eighth graders, and adults viewed completed matrices which systematically varied in complexity. Reaction times to judge whether the matrices were correct or incorrect were measured. The results confirmed that the hypothesized component processes are aspects of successful Raven Progressive Matrices Test performance. In addition, two specific developmental hypotheses were tested. The results confirmed that there were increases with age in the speed of the identified processes. The results failed to support the prediction that children would be differentially slowed by increases in complexity. The data are used to discuss the potential utility of an approach to the study of intelligence testing which integrates concepts from cognitive psychology developmental psychology, and differential psychology.