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Testing reasoning ability with handheld computers, notebooks, and paper and pencil

European Journal of Psychological AssessmentReference. Schroeders, U. & Wilhelm, O. (2010). Testing reasoning ability with handheld computers, notebooks, and paper and pencil. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 26, 284–292. doi:10.10271015-5759/a000038

Abstract. Electronic devices can be used to enhance or improve cognitive ability testing. We compared three reasoning-ability measures delivered on handheld computers, notebooks, and paper-and-pencil to test whether or not the same underlying abilities were measured irrespective of the test medium. Rational item-generative principles were used to generate parallel item samples for a verbal, a numerical, and a figural reasoning test, respectively. All participants, 157 high school students, completed the three measures on each test medium. Competing measurement models were tested with confirmatory factor analyses. Results show that 2 test-medium factors for tests administrated via notebooks and handheld computers, respectively, had small to negligible loadings, and that the correlation between these factors was not substantial. Overall, test medium was not a critical source of individual differences. Perceptual and motor skills are discussed as potential causes for test-medium factors.