How do you score Ravens Matrices

Identifying and solving problems - the success story of the Raven Progressive Matrices

Raven Progressive Matrices: Dr. John Raven presents his new work in his test publisher Pearson Assessment in Frankfurt

Dr. John Raven visits Pearson Assessment in Frankfurt


They have been around for over 70 years and their success is unbroken - John Carlyle Raven set new standards in the field of speech-free intelligence measurement with the Raven Progressive Matrices. Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices were first published in the UK in 1938 and are now used in over 100 countries. Dr. John Raven successfully continued the work of his father, John Carlyle Raven. In Germany, John Raven presented his recently published work "Uses and Abuses of Intelligence" to a few psychologist colleagues and visited the test publisher Pearson Clinical and Talent Assessment in Frankfurt, which has been successfully selling Ravens Progressive Matrices in German-speaking countries for many years.

Dr. John Raven to World War 2. “While other men were called to the front, my father was developing the matrix tests in the service of the British Army. In 1942 every conscript was tested with the Raven Progressive Matrices. " One of the great advantages of the test is the fact that it “works reliably even with people who cannot read or write,” says John Raven.

Dr. Ralf Horn, Managing Director of Pearson Assessment (Germany) refers in the conversation with Dr. John Raven on another important point for success in over 100 countries: “The matrix tests are free from cultural influences. They work in South Africa as well as in Asia. ”In a country like South Africa, where there are eleven official languages ​​and different cultures, this is a weighty argument. “You don't even have to speak the same language as the test user for this test. The test is practically self-explanatory, ”adds John Raven. Analyzes of selection processes in South Africa using the Raven Progressive Matrices have shown that there are no significant differences in test results between white and black applicants with the same performance. The test can therefore be used in almost the same way in most cultures and subcultures.

The Raven Progressive Matrices measure two mutually complementary components of general intelligence: on the one hand, the ability to think clearly and to draw meaningful conclusions from complex information ("ability to establish relationships") and, on the other hand, the ability to store information in memory and to reproduce at the right time ("ability to reproduce").
The progressive matrices can be used, among other things, as an instrument in the selection of (young) executives in order to assess the talent for logical thinking and correct reasoning. However, they are also suitable for use in academic and clinical issues.

Raven's matrix tests are currently available as classic paper-and-pencil tests. There are considerations to offer the Raven tests as an online procedure. John Raven is skeptical of this development. “It's a question of test security. It will be difficult to keep the test items secret. However, this is the responsibility of the test publisher or the person who publishes the test. I also consider the circumstances in which online tests are to be carried out to be important and difficult at the same time with regard to test security. "
Items that can find their way into the World Wide Web via an improper test application are certainly a problem. Applicants could use this source of information to prepare appropriately for selection procedures. “That is why we are working on a secure platform for online tests with regard to our procedures, which guarantees a valid evaluation and with which our tests can be carried out safely and reliably. In this context, secure access is particularly important to us only for registered and approved test users such as psychologists. These have the necessary fundamentals to be able to interpret the test results correctly, ”said Ralf Horn in an interview. John Raven sees such precise and secure measures for selection procedures as necessary in this area, since a problem for HR managers with regard to deciding on the right candidate is that “Applicants who have learned the answers could pass the first round of applicants , although under normal circumstances they would have already failed there. In the end, every job is actually about figuring out what to do, what should be done, where the problems are and how they can be solved. That's what the test actually measures. The ability to identify problems and solve them, ”explains John Raven.

In the 26 chapters of the book "Uses and Abuses of Intelligence", various studies by international authors deal with the problem of reliable psychological intelligence diagnostics that take into account all factors for determining the general level of intelligence. The studies in the book show that the psychological construct of the "ability to establish relationships" criticized by scientists is just as secure from a scientific point of view as the definition of "hardness" in mineralogy or according to Dr. John Raven: "The studies show that, as far as the Raven Progressive Matrices are concerned, overall cognitive ability is as real and measurable as the ability to jump high." The book makes it clear, for example, that many studies that state that educational support programs have a compensatory effect on “more” or “less” cognitively competent people are wrong.
“The problem with many intelligence tests is that they only ever capture a specific component of intelligence. Getting a complete picture of a candidate takes a lot of time and is expensive. In addition, many non-psychologists do not relate the test items to the daily work tasks of employees and do not use the tests despite their proven predictive validity, ”confirms Ralf Horn.

In this context, Dr. John Raven to go back to the basic philosophy behind the Raven Progressive Matrices: “The Raven Progressive Matrices are like real life: you have to identify the problem first. Sometimes the problem is not clear from the outset, maybe at first you only have an inkling of a problem. It is similar with the items in the matrix tests: you see a problem; something seems wrong; a part is missing; you experiment with the different solutions that are available and try to find the right item. If the first part doesn't fit, you just try the next and so on. But sometimes it can also happen that you don't even recognize the problem as such ... "

In addition to their use in daily practice, the Raven Progressive Matrices also play an important role in research. "The Raven Progressive Matrices are so valuable for users because they can rely on extensive and diverse background knowledge from around the world," explains Dr. Ralf Horn the advantage for practical use.
“In many new tests, this background information is missing or the items change over the years. This is not the case with the Raven Progressive Matrices. And that's one of the big advantages, ”says John Raven. “Our data goes back many years. Our tests show a large number of readings over a long period of time. This is not possible with other test methods due to their age. Based on the test results, we can make statements about the extent to which nutrition, upbringing and education, demographic developments and extended life expectancy influence a person's cognitive performance. In fact, with Raven's Progressive Matrices, we were able to prove that some factors have little influence on the test results. We found that age does not play a significant role when it comes to measuring intelligence. The decline in intelligence in old age is a myth. "
It used to be assumed that cognitive performance would gradually decline from the age of 25. Rather, the test results of the Raven Progressive Matrices show that this evidence is an artifact. The mental performance of older people remains almost identical to their results in younger years or in some cases even increases slightly. A significant decrease in intelligence compared to the age group of a test person is therefore to be understood rather as an alarm signal for an existing pathological process and requires a detailed diagnostic examination.

Finally, Dr. Ralf Horn: “For us as a test publisher, it is important that our customers see that we take care with our products. Our tests are designed to help people. It is important to us that our customers can rely on our procedures, on our research and development, and on the validity of the tests. This is the case, for example, with the extensive information material in the Raven Progressive Matrices. "

Ravens Progressive Matrices include the Standard Progressive Matrices, the Colored Progressive Matrices and the Advanced Progressive Matrices. Other known test methods are the Crichton Vocabulary Scales and the Mill Hill Vocabulary Scales.

(John and Jean Raven (2008). Uses and Abuses of Intelligence. Royal Fireworks Press. New York. ISBN 978-0-89824-3567)

Interview: Kerstin Barfknecht
This press release was published on openPR.
Pearson Clinical and Talent Assessment
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Kerstin Barfknecht
Baseler Strasse 35-37
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Tel .: 069 / 756146-15
Fax: 069 / 756146-10
Pearson Clinical & Talent Assessment (Germany) based in Frankfurt a. M. belongs to the international Pearson Assessment & Information Group. With renowned procedures such as the Kaufman tests, the Vineland Scales or the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, Pearson is one of the leading providers of test procedures for intelligence, personality and development diagnostics, for neuropsychological questions as well as for personnel selection and development in Germany and worldwide.


You can find more information about Pearson Clinical & Talent Assessment on the Internet at: www.pearsonassessment.de.

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