Family Figure Matching Test: What It Is And How To Use It

Family Figure Matching Test

Impulsivity is a characteristic present in various disorders, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In this article We will talk about the Family Figure Matching Testa test to evaluate the reflexivity-impulsivity cognitive style in children and adolescents.

Kagan was the one who started talking about the reflexivity-impulsivity style in 1965. The test is based on the errors made by the subject and the response latency (time it takes to respond). Let’s know all its details and what it is used for.

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Familiar Figure Matching Test: characteristics

The Matching Familiar Figures Test or MFFT (Matching Familiar Figures Test) was developed by ED Cairns and J. Cammock, although Kagan was the first to speak in 1965 of the cognitive style of reflexivity-impulsivity. The MFFT evaluate this style in children and adolescents.

The reflective-impulsive style is a continuum with two opposite poles at its ends: reflection and impulsivity. Between the two poles, the number of errors made by the subject will oscillate (ranging from imprecision to accuracy) as well as response latencies (from fast to slow).

What does the test consist of?

The Familiar Figure Matching Test is a perceptual matching test. It is made up of 12 items or essays. Each one is characterized by the simultaneous presence of a model drawing familiar to the child (for example glasses, bear,…) and six different options of it.

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The comparison stimuli are different from each other and from the model only in small details. Only one option is the same as the model. The subject must choose the one that is identical to the one in the drawing (You have six chances for each item). In case of error, the correct answer is indicated to the subject and they move on to the next item.

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What is recorded?

During the administration of the test, the following are recorded: the average response latency time and the precision of the responses (number of errors made). So, a short response latency pattern, along with a high error rate, is indicative of impulsivity.

Thus, the variables that serve to operationalize the reflexivity-impulsivity style are those mentioned: the number of errors and response latency in tasks with uncertainty.

Technical characteristics

The scope of the test is children from 6 to 12 years old. It is for individual application, lasting between 15 and 20 minutes.. It is scaled in samples differentiated by sex and age. The material to use is a notebook with the elements, a note sheet, pencil and stopwatch.

There are authors who question the reliability and lack of appropriate standards for adolescents. In addition to the original form, there is a longer one, with 20 items (MFFT 20), also developed by Cairns and Cammock.

Reflexivity-impulsivity style

As we have seen, the Familiar Figure Matching Test is intended to evaluate this cognitive style, defined by Kagan in the 1960s.

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According to Kagan, this style refers to the characteristic way in which a child approaches tasks defined by uncertainty, that is, by the presence of several response alternatives among which one is the correct one. Let’s see what each pole of this style consists of:

1. Reflective style

The person with a reflective style, You will spend more time answering and make fewer errors.

2. Impulsive style

The impulsive style is characterized by a low response latency (they take a short time to respond), and a high number of errors.

Types of subjects

On the other hand, according to Servera (1992), a third of the subjects that make up the sample used in reflexivity-impulsivity research are made up of two types of subjects (who also form opposite poles):

1. Efficient subjects

They are subjects who invest little time in the task and who make few errors.

2. Inefficient

They spend a lot of time answering and still they make many mistakes.

Areas you explore

In addition to the cognitive styles discussed at a general level, at a more specific level the Family Figure Matching Test explores analysis of visual patterns and the subject’s attention to detailsin addition to the inhibition of impulsive responses.

Bibliographic references:

  • Soprano, A. (2003). Evaluation of executive functions in children. Journal of Neurology, 37(1), 44-50.
  • Cairns, E., & Cammock, J. (2005). Known Figure Matching Test Manual-20. Applied Psychology Publications. TEA Editions: Madrid