Date of Award

January 2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Joseph Miller


Matrix reasoning tasks are popular measures of fluid and inductive reasoning ability. The impact of rule type, number of rules, grouping, overlapping elements, and unfamiliar shapes on matrix reasoning performance has been shown to make matrix tasks more difficult to solve. Alternatively, the relationship of features (the physical and visual dimensions of individual elements within a matrix) to matrix reasoning performance in an adult population has not been established. The current study aimed to test the impact of features (i.e., height, shape, width) on matrix reasoning performance in an undergraduate sample (N = 196) by systematically varying rules and features using three experimental matrix task sets. Results indicated a significant effect of feature on matrix reasoning performance (F(2,193) = 4.871, p = .009) when controlling for differences in inductive reasoning ability between experimental groups. Post-hoc analysis revealed significantly (p = .007) worse performance in the width/height feature combination as compared to the shape/height. Concluding, features have a differential impact on matrix reasoning performance, as some features may be more efficiently solved than others. Future studies using more complex scoring methods, assessment of working memory, and direct measurement of cortical functioning are warranted to clarify the impact of features on matrix reasoning performance.