Analysis of age differences in types of errors on the Raven's advanced progressive matrices

Renée L. Babcock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study examined adult age differences on the types of errors made on the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM). Data were compiled from three large studies in which participants completed the APM (total sample size = 818). To determine the type of errors that participants made, distractors for each problem of the APM were first coded as one of four error types: (a) incomplete correlate (IC), (b) wrong principle (WP), (c) confluence of ideas (CF), or (d) repetition (RP). Scores on each error type were determined for each participant individually and reflected deviation from selecting an error type by chance alone. Analyses compared three age groups (young, middle, and old) and three ability groups (low, medium, and high). Results suggested that adults of all ages made similar types of errors, but that adults of different ability levels made different types of errors. Age and ability differences were also examined on problems by the type of rule(s) required, as classified by Carpenter, Just, and Shell [Psychol. Rev. 97 (1990) 404]. Results suggested that there were some age and ability differences in the number of errors made on problems involving different types of rules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-503
Number of pages19
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2002


  • Age differences
  • Erros
  • Raven's advanced progressive matrices
  • Reasoning


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