Taylor, N. (2008, June 30). Ravens Standard and Advanced Progressive Matrices among Adults in South Africa. WebPsychEmpiricist. Retrieved June 30, 2008 from http://wpe.info/papers_table.html.
Due to the multicultural nature of the South African population and the fact that the country boasts 11 official languages, Ravens Standard (SPM) and Advanced (APM) Progressive Matrices are often used in organisational contexts as measures of cognitive ability. The emergence of the Employment Equity Act (55 of 1998) created a hesitance in the commercial sector with regard to the use of psychological assessments, as the Act clearly stipulates that psychometric assessments may not be used unless they have proven reliability and validity, are not biased against any employee, and can be fairly applied to any employee or group. The non-verbal nature of the SPM and APM lends them to the assumption of fairness, as language ability is excluded from the measurement of cognitive ability. However, questions have arisen as to whether these assessments measure the same construct in different groups, and whether the test is biased against individuals classed as previously disadvantaged through the apartheid system. The present study was undertaken in order to investigate whether Ravens Standard and Advanced Progressive Matrices function similarly for Black and White working adults in the South African context. Item response theory, as conceptualised by the Rasch model (Rasch, 1960) was used to investigate whether or not the tests measure cognitive ability in the two groups in a similar way, and whether or not there is any evidence for bias in either the SPM or APM. Results show there is no such bias.