Short Note on The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

In this article, we will discuss Short Note on The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS). So, let’s get started.

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

The Wechsler Intelligence Scales, which in addition to the WAIS include the Preschool-Primary Scale (WPPSI) for ages four to six-and-a-half and the
Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) for children from seven to sixteen, are the leading tests of general ability or intelligence in use today. In 1955 the WAIS replaced the earlier Wechsler-Bellevue Scale in its secure place in the basic battery of tests for adults used by many clinicians.

All of the Wechsler tests have the same basic structure. To sample a broad range of intellectual functions they consist of a number of subtests, which are administered in sequence. Within each test, items are of increasing difficulty. The WAIS includes six verbal tests, which together yield a Verbal IQ, and five performance tests which produce a
Performance IQ. The Full Scale IQ is based on all eleven. These point scores are converted to IQs in terms of the distribution of scores obtained for people of the same age. Thus, although the point scores decrease for older people, the IQ remains relatively constant over the life span for adults. Taking as denominator
the average point scores of the subjects’ age group, rather than making the mental-age conversion used by the Stanford-Binet and similar procedures, is a better procedure for assessing adult intelligence.”

The standardization samples were chosen with care, including in the initial studies over 1700 people, representing the American population along, dimensions of age, sex, rural-urban residence, race, occupation, and education, Reliability coefficients have been calculated and published for each of the tests sepe
rately and for the Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQs for a number of separate age groups. The Performance IQs had reliability coefficients (odd even) of 93 and 94: the Verbal IQ8, 96; and the Full Scale IQs yield coefficients of 92 in each age sample. Considerable validation data are available. At the first level content validity, of particular concem to Wechsler and most clinicians, is sup
ported by the range of functions assessed and their importance in studies of normal and disturbed cognition. Empirical findings on concurrent validity is provided by studies of occupational and educational groups and of mental retardates as well as other patient groups. The WAIS correlates well with the Stanford-Binet (about 80 in various groups) and other individual and group measures. The study of relations among subtests, factor analyses, and experimental studies of people differing in WAIS scores have all contributed to its construct validity.

The importance of the WAIS in clinical testing extends beyond its capacity to supply reliable and valid estimates of general intelligence. Not only the principal scores, but the ways they pattern and the performance of the subject on individual scales are of interpretative significance. The behavior of the patient in testing, qualitative characteristics of his test responses, and evidences of stylistic and
pathology-based impediments to functioning all enter importantly.

The understanding of adaptive cognitive functioning depends on discovering how not only whether patients can reach solutions for test problems (Scheerer, 1946). The WAIS is often included in a battery which otherwise includes mainly projective techniques and self-report measures. Compared, for example, to other “performance” measures such as the Rorschach and TAT, it emphasizes logical and reality-appropriate thought processes. The patient’s ability to function rationally
with neutral tasks, paralleling the demands of everyday life, is under study.

Thus, “A major role of the WAIS is to assess for the individual the characteristic and unique patterns of ego processes which he uses to integrate and adapt to reality demands” (Allison, Blatt, and Zimet, 1968, p. 22.) Within this ego-psychological framework, the interpretation of the WAIS was developed largely from the work
of Rapaport and his colleagues (e.g., Rapaport, Gill, and Schafer, 1945. (rev. ed.1968); Schafer, 1948; Mayman, Schafer, and Rapaport, 1951), who extend the interpretation of the scales given by Wechsler himself (1958).

* The Stanford-Binet defined IQ in terms of the equation: Mental Age + Chronological Age = Intelligence Quotient. It is beyond our present purpose to consider the theory and measurement of intelligence, around which an extensive and fascinating literature has grown. For a brief overview of the major issues, Tuddenham (1962) is recommended. Wechsler (1958) should be read for more detailed discussion of the rationale, development, and standardization of the WAIS. General texts, such as Cronbach (1970) and Anastasi (1968), discuss the WAIS and other measures of general ability within a broad context of psychometric research.

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