Cognitive Abilities of Children on a Gray Seriation Test

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The importance of testing children’s color vision, particularly to identify color vision deficiencies at an early age, has long been agreed on by teachers and color vision researchers and healthcare workers. The classic color vision tests were not necessarily developed for children’s cognitive abilities, even though they are commonly used to assess children’s color vision. Although, in the past, psychologists have studied color seriation abilities of children, they have not necessarily chosen isoluminous stimuli, which would minimize brightness cues. This investigation was designed to assess the ability of children to seriate a gray series.


Tests were constructed in the form of the Farnsworth-Munsell style of arrangement test with constant intervals of metric lightness (CIE L*). Four intervals (ΔL* = 15, 10, 5, and 3) were used. The child was instructed to arrange the colors from darker to lighter (or vice versa).


Errors were not made on the ΔL* = 15 series. Only isolated errors were made on the ΔL* = 10 series. Errors were made on the ΔL* = 5 series that diminished with age to nil in the older groups. Errors were made on the ΔL* = 3 series at all ages studied, which also diminished with increasing age.


Children aged 5 to 12 have sufficiently grasped the concept of seriation. They are able to complete a series with ΔL* = 5, hence are capable of performing color arrangement tests with similar color differences such as the Lanthony New Color Test and the Farnsworth-Munsell D-15. Given the large number of errors made on ΔL* = 3 series, it may be concluded that children’s performance on the 100-hue test, at least to the age of 12 years, could be unduly influenced by non-color vision factors.

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