Raven’s test performance of sub-Saharan Africans: Average performance, psychometric properties, and the Flynn Effect

J.M. Wicherts, C.V. Dolan, J.S. Carlson, H.L.J. van der Maas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper presents a systematic review of published data on the performance of sub-Saharan Africans on Raven's Progressive Matrices. The specific goals were to estimate the average level of performance, to study the Flynn Effect in African samples, and to examine the psychometric meaning of Raven's test scores as measures of general intelligence. Convergent validity of the Raven's tests is found to be relatively poor, although reliability and predictive validity are comparable to western samples. Factor analyses indicate that the Raven's tests are relatively weak indicators of general intelligence among Africans, and often measure additional factors, besides general intelligence. The degree to which Raven's scores of Africans reflect levels of general intelligence is unknown. Average IQ of Africans is approximately 80 when compared to US norms. Raven's scores among African adults have shown secular increases over the years. It is concluded that the Flynn Effect has yet to take hold in sub-Saharan Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-151
Number of pages17
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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