by Elton Gomes
Psychologists have developed a new intelligence test that they claim is an excellent assessor of “fluid intelligence.”
The test was developed by psychologists at UC Riverside and UC Irvine. It has been named as the University of California Matrix Reasoning Task (or UCMRT) and measures abstract problem-solving ability.
What is the test?
The UCMRT is a user-friendly test that measures abstract problem-solving ability and works on tablets and other mobile devices. The test is known to take roughly 10 minutes to complete.
What do the study’s results indicate
The findings of the study have been published in the journal titled Behavior Research Methods. In the study, the researchers tested the UCMRT on 713 undergraduate students at UC Riverside and UC Irvine. The researchers have said that the test is a reliable and valid measure of nonverbal problem solving that predicts academic proficiency and measures “fluid intelligence”.
The UCMRT draws paralles to Raven’s Advanced Progressive Matrices (APM), which is a widely used standardized test to gauge reasoning ability among undergraduate students. Similar to the APM, the UCMRT differentiates among people at the high end of intellectual ability. The UCMRT offers three alternate versions, which means that the same user can use the test three times.
“Performance on UCMRT correlated with a math test, college GPA, as well as college admissions test scores,” said Anja Pahor, a postdoctoral researcher who designed UCMRT’s problems and works at both UC campuses, according to a statement.
What is fluid intelligence
Fluid intelligence generally refers to the ability to think logically and solve problems in new situations. The use of fluid intelligence is not connected to the usage of preexisting knowledge.
Why is this important
Speaking about the UCMRT, Pahor lists its advantages. She said in an official release, “Perhaps the greatest advantage of UCMRT is its short administration time. Further, it is self-administrable, allowing for remote testing. Log files instantly provide the number of problems solved correctly, incorrectly, or skipped, which is easily understandable for researchers, clinicians, and users. Unlike standard paper and pencil tests, UCMRT provides insight into problem-solving patterns and reaction times.”
“UCMRT predicts standardized test scores better than Raven’s APM,” said co-author Aaron Seitz, a professor of psychology, director of the Brain Game Center at UCR, and Pahor’s mentor.
Pahor further said that the UCMRT has only 23 problems for users to solve, and yet it delivers measurements that are as good as those obtained from APM.
UCI’s Susanne Jaeggi said that the UCMRT has been designed in such a way that it allows for inclusion of variants, including young children to older adults. “The way we set up and designed UCMRT allows the inclusion of variants that can be used for populations across the lifespan from young children to older adults. The problems we designed are visually appealing, making it easy to motivate participants to complete the task. Furthermore, there are minimal verbal instructions and participants can figure out what to do by completing the practice problems,” Jaeggi said in an official release.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
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