Sex differential item functioning in the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices: Evidence for bias

  • Abad F
  • Colom R
  • Rebollo I
 et al. 
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Abstract

There are no sex differences in general intelligence or g. The Progressive Matrices (PM) Test is one of the best estimates of g. Males outperform females in the PM Test. Colom and García-López (2002) demonstrated that the information content has a role in the estimates of sex differences in general intelligence. The PM test is based on abstract figures and males outperform females in spatial tests. The present study administered the Advanced Progressive Matrices Test (APM) to a sample of 1970 applicants to a private University (1069 males and 901 females). It is predicted that there are several items biased against female performance, by virtue of their visuo-spatial nature. A double methodology is used. First, confirmatory factor analysis techniques are used to contrast one and two factor solutions. Second, Differential Item Functioning (DIF) methods are used to investigate sex DIF in the APM. The results show that although there are several biased items, the male advantage still remains. However, the assumptions of the DIF analysis could help to explain the observed results. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Advanced Progressive Matrices Test
  • Differential Item Functioning
  • General intelligence
  • Sex differences

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Authors

  • Francisco J. Abad

  • Roberto Colom

  • Irene Rebollo

  • Sergio Escorial

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