Intellectual Abilities

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Intelligence is considered to be the culmination of cognitive abilities. The testing of intelligence involves assessments of attention, reasoning, memory, language, perception, and construction. Intelligence tests should provide an overview of cognitive function integrity. Most tests of intelligence do not adequately assess all cognitive abilities, however.


These tests are the current gold standard in intelligence testing and include the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale- Revised (WAIS-R), Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III), and Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-Revised (WPPSI-R). y , y , y Each Wechsler test is used for different age ranges: the WPPSI-R test is for ages 3 years to 7 years and 3 months; the WISC- III test is for ages 6 years to 16 years 11 months; and the WAIS-R test is for ages 16 years to 74 years 11 months. Because the different Wechsler tests are similar in construction, interpretation, and psychometric concerns (standardization, norms, reliability), only the WAIS-R will be discussed.

In keeping with the idea that intelligence is the culmination of cognitive function, the WAIS-R is composed of different subtests, each assessing different cognitive functions (iiiTable27:1 ). Because of this, you will find the various subtests listed under different subheadings in this chapter. In addition, since the WAIS-R assesses many different cognitive functions, it is often the framework for neuropsychological assessment, and provides an overview of the integrity of cognitive abilities. Results for subtest performance often guide further (and more extensive) testing of selected functions.

The WAIS-R provides three summary measures: Verbal IQ, Performance IQ, and a Full Scale IQ. The IQ score represents an age-adjusted scaling of an individual's intellectual performance. This provides a standard measure that can be compared across individual patients or within a given patient over chronological age. Due to the extensive norms for the WAIS-R (discussed above) these measures may be generalized to the population of the United States. The Wechsler tests have been translated into many different languages, and adequate norms exist for most of these modifications. The characteristics of the standardization


Verbal Scales (Verbal IQ)


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