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If the instructions of a group intelligence test are misunderstood, are the results of that test invalid?

If the instructions of a group intelligence test are misunderstood, are the results of that test invalid?


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For example, a researcher is investigating synonyms and prepares a test. A participant undertaking the test incorrectly interprets the instructions, and understands the test to relate to antonyms rather than synonyms.

Does this then make the test results invalid?


Kelley (1927) constructed test validity as:

The problem of validity is that of whether a test really measures what it purports to measure, while the question of reliability is that of how accurately a test measures the thing which it does measure.

In the example provided, the test purports to measure some aspect of synonyms. The test actually (due to the misinterpretation) measures antonyms. Therefore, in the example provided, the test is not valid. If it were to argued that it was a valid test of synonyms, then you would also have to admit that it was not reliable and/or accurate.

Kelley's construction of validity remains in common use and adequate for the example provided. For a more complete view of validity, see Boag (2015).

References

Kelley, T. L. (1927). Interpretation of educational measurements. World Book. https://hdl.handle.net/2027/uc1.$b239527

Boag, S. (2015). Personality assessment,'construct validity', and the significance of theory. Personality and Individual Differences, 84, 36-44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.12.039


If the instructions of a group intelligence test are misunderstood, are the results of that test invalid? - Psychology

Originally prepared by: Greg Machek (fall 2003)

Revised: Summer 2006 Outline (back to top)

Final Thought Brief History of the Measurement of Intelligence (back to outline)

The pursuit of an efficient and accurate way to compare cognitive abilities in humans is not new. As long ago as 2200 B.C., Chinese emperors used large-scale "aptitude" testing for the selection of civil servants, and stories such as that of the Wild Boy of Averyon, in the 18th century, have captured our imagination regarding the relative difference between "normal" and "abnormal&rdquo intellectual growth. By the end of the 19th century, the foundation was laid for how we assess intelligence today. For example, Sir Francis Galton sought to predict individuals&rsquo intellectual capacity through tests of sensory discrimination and motor coordination. Although his belief that such capacities were necessarily correlated with intelligence was eventually determined to be unfounded, he ushered in an age of individual psychology and the pursuit of measuring intelligence by quantifying traits assumed to be correlated.

Shortly thereafter, Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon published what could be considered the precursor of most modern-day intelligence measures. Although their main purpose at the time was to diagnose mental retardation, the basic characteristics of their assessment are still used in today's intelligence tests. For example, the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scales (1905) presented items in order of difficulty, and took into consideration the typical developmental abilities of children at various ages. The test also had fairly standardized instructions for how it was to be administered.

Characteristics of Individually Administered IQ Tests (back to outline)

Intelligence tests are also sometimes called &ldquopotential-based assessments&rdquo because they provide an educated guess as to how well an individual may be expected to perform in school. In fact, there is much statistical data evidencing the power of such tests to predict future scholastic achievement. Discussions about this data can often be confusing due to the technical wording and procedures that these tests use. It may help to briefly explain some basic characteristics common to most, if not all, potential-based assessments.
Standardization
Most potential-based assessments are standardized. Standardized tests have a straightforward set of criteria that the examiner must follow. These criteria dictate the way that the test is administered as well as scored the wording of questions, what responses are acceptable, etc. The goal of standardization is to control all of the elements involved in the testing process with the exception of the child's responses. The standardization can even extend to instructions about the testing environment, such as where the test should take place and who can be present.
Many potential-based tests are also norm-referenced. When a standardized test is normed, it means that it was initially administered to a large number of children, usually in the thousands. Ideally, this norm group is characteristic of the children who ultimately will be taking the standardized instrument. When looking at results from such a test, there exists a degree of confidence in comparing an individual&rsquos scores to the scores of other people of the same age. In this way it is possible to say how well a person performed relative to his peers.
Scores
It is also useful to understand the way in which scores from common standardized measures are represented. On a norm-referenced test, scores show where an individual&rsquos results fall in relation to all other results obtained. Standardized measures are designed so that the scores of the norm group, which is selected so that it has people of all types of abilities, are distributed like a bell or normal curve. The curve is largest in the middle because most people perform somewhere near the average. The distribution is much smaller to the left and the right, signifying that fewer students have exceptionally low or high scores. Standardized tests use standard scores to report results. IQ tests use the number 100 to designate average scores and tend to use a smaller range of numbers to represent the total range of possible scores on the measure.
Fortunately, almost all scores are also given with their corresponding percentile ranks. This simplifies matters. For example, if you are told that a student obtains a score that falls at the 50th percentile, it means that his score is the same as the average score for all of the same-aged peers that also took that test. Hypothetically, percentiles tell you where an individual&rsquos score ranks relative to other people who took the test. If a person&rsquos score falls at the 99th percentile, it can be said that she would score as well or better than 99 out of 100 of her same-aged peers on that particular measure. Percentiles are unevenly distributed in the normal curve owing to the larger number of scores that are closer to the mean (average). Standard scores, however, are evenly spaced.

The latest versions of the two most widely used tests are the Stanford-Binet-5 (SB5) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children&mdashFourth Edition® (WISC-IV®). Table 1 shows a list of some of the more commonly used intelligence measures. Note that some of these are "nonverbal" instruments. These tests rely on little or no verbal expression and are useful for a number of populations, such as non-native speakers, children with poor expressive abilities, or students with loss.

Age Range

Description

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Fifth Edition (SBIS-V)

An update of the SB-IV. In addition to providing a Full Scale score, it assesses Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory as well as the ability to compare verbal and nonverbal performance.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV)

An update of the WISC-III, this test yields a Full Scale score and scores for Verbal Comprehension, Working Memory, Perceptual Reasoning, and Processing speed.

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities

This test gives a measure of general intellectual ability, as well as looking at working memory and executive function skills.

Cognitive Assessment System (CAS)

Based on the &ldquoPASS&rdquo theory, this test measures &lsquoPlanning, &lsquoAttention, &lsquoSimultaneous, and &lsquoSuccessive cognitive processes.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

An IQ test for older children and adults, the WAIS provides a Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale score, as well as scores for verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working memory, and processing speed.

Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (CTONI)

Designed to assess children who may be disadvantaged by traditional tests that put a premium on language skills, the CTONI is made up of six subtests that measure different nonverbal intellectual abilities.

Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT)

Designed to assess children who may be disadvantaged by traditional tests that put a premium on language skills, this test is entirely nonverbal in administration and response style.

Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC)

This test measures simultaneous and sequential processing skills, and has subscales that measure academic achievement as well.

Following is information that will help parents understand the process children go through when taking such tests.

Not an Ordinary "Test"
Since IQ tests do not directly assess the same things that are taught in the classroom, it is difficult to "study" for them. Instead, preparation should probably consist of a good night's rest. In addition, it is sometimes necessary to put a child at ease as to the expectations of the session. Since children usually think of tests as something that they can do "well" or "poorly" on, it may be appropriate to explain that the test they will be taking is different. IQ tests can be described as ones that aren't concerned with "passing" and "failing." It should be explained that the test aims to get a better understanding of a child's unique abilities in a wide variety of areas.

Tasks Involved
In order to get a fuller understanding a child's abilities, intelligence tests require him to perform a number of tasks that vary widely in what they are asking. For example, one task, often referred to as a subtest, may ask the child to answer questions about everyday knowledge. Another subtest may ask him or her to construct specific patterns of colored beads or blocks. Other subtests may tap into the child's ability to recognize similarities between concepts or written symbols. The main idea is to measure many different abilities that may contribute to overall intelligence.

As Pleasant an Experience as Possible
Ideally, the actual testing session takes place in a room that is comfortable in environment and atmosphere.. The test administrator for most major intelligence tests is required to be a trained professional. This person is often a licensed school psychologist. The psychologist and the child are usually the only people in the room during testing. One of the most important aspects of the testing session is for a comfortable rapport to be established before testing takes place. If the student is rushed right into a novel, and possibly intimidating, task, her performance may suffer. The examiner must also be adept at dealing with a variety of different personalities and student characteristics, and be responsive to their needs during testing (e.g. allowing bathroom breaks, recognizing when fatigue has set in, etc.).

Probable Length of Testing
The time it takes to complete an individually administered intelligence test can vary depending on a child's age, response style, and the amount of questions he answers acceptably. The questions on most subtests are designed to increase in complexity. For this reason, younger children will tend to "max" out more quickly than older students. In addition, more reticent or reflective students will tend to take longer. Whereas some subtests are timed, others allow ample time for the respondent to think through his answer before responding. On average, one should expect a single administration of such an instrument to take an hour and twenty minutes, give or take twenty minutes.

Reporting Irregularities
Since these tests are standardized, the examiner is obligated to adhere to the strict training that accompanies them. Any time that there are circumstances or variables that may impinge on the results of a test, the examiner is required to report this in her report on the testing session. For example, if a student appears overly guarded and shy, and this behavior may have kept him from answering correctly or with confidence, this should be noted. Likewise, if for some reason the climate in the room is not acceptable (overly hot, cold, dark, etc.), there is an obligation to report these situations. The examiner may decide that the irregularities were such that the assessment results are invalid.

Standardized intelligence tests have incurred some criticism (see our related Hot Topic: The Role of Standardized Intelligence Measures in Testing for Giftedness for a partial list). However, due to their long history, and the amount of work that has gone into them, they are a fairly reliable measure of expected school achievement. It is important to have some idea of their basic characteristics, as well as components of the testing process if you, or your children, will be coming in contact with such procedures.

Sattler, J. M. (1992). Assessment of children: Behavioral and clinical applications, Third Edition. Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher, Inc.: San Diego.
Sattler, J. M. (2002). Assessment of children: Behavioral and clinical applications, Fourth Edition. Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher, Inc.: San Diego.

Please feel free to contact us with issues, questions, and contributions that you feel would help others using this site as a resource.


Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Early theories of autism placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the child’s parents, particularly the mother. Bruno Bettelheim (an Austrian-born American child psychologist who was heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud’s ideas) suggested that a mother’s ambivalent attitudes and her frozen and rigid emotions toward her child were the main causal factors in childhood autism. In what must certainly stand as one of the more controversial assertions in psychology over the last 50 years, he wrote, “I state my belief that the precipitating factor in infantile autism is the parent’s wish that his child should not exist” (Bettelheim, 1967, p. 125). As you might imagine, Bettelheim did not endear himself to a lot of people with this position incidentally, no scientific evidence exists supporting his claims.

The exact causes of autism spectrum disorder remain unknown despite massive research efforts over the last two decades (Meek, Lemery-Chalfant, Jahromi, & Valiente, 2013). Autism appears to be strongly influenced by genetics, as identical twins show concordance rates of 60%–90%, whereas concordance rates for fraternal twins and siblings are 5%–10% (Autism Genome Project Consortium, 2007). Many different genes and gene mutations have been implicated in autism (Meek et al., 2013). Among the genes involved are those important in the formation of synaptic circuits that facilitate communication between different areas of the brain (Gauthier et al., 2011). A number of environmental factors are also thought to be associated with increased risk for autism spectrum disorder, at least in part, because they contribute to new mutations. These factors include exposure to pollutants, such as plant emissions and mercury, urban versus rural residence, and vitamin D deficiency (Kinney, Barch, Chayka, Napoleon, & Munir, 2009).


WISC-V Composite Score Indices:

  • VCI: The VCI measures verbal reasoning, understanding, concept formation, in addition to a child’s fund of knowledge and crystallized intelligence. Crystallized intelligence is the knowledge a child has acquired over his or her lifespan through experiences and learning. The core subtests which comprise the VCI require youth to define pictures or vocabulary words, and describe how words are conceptually related. Children with expressive and/or receptive language deficits often exhibit poorer performance on the VCI. Studies have also indicated that a child’s vocabulary knowledge is related to the development of reading abilities, and as such, weaker performance on tasks involving vocabulary may signal an academic area of difficulty.
  • VSI: The VSI measures a child’s nonverbal reasoning and concept formation, visual perception and organization, visual-motor coordination, ability to analyze and synthesize abstract information, and distinguish figure-ground in visual stimuli. Specifically, the core subtests of the VSI require that a child use mental rotation and visualization in order to build a geometric design to match a model with and without the presence of blocks. Children with visual-spatial deficits may exhibit difficulty on tasks involving mathematics, building a model from an instruction sheet, or differentiating visual stimuli and figure ground on a computer screen.
  • FRI: The FRI assesses a child’s quantitative reasoning, classification and spatial ability, knowledge of part to whole relationships. It also evaluates a child’s fluid reasoning abilities, which is the ability to solve novel problems independent of previous knowledge. The core tasks which make up the FRI require that a child choose an option to complete an incomplete matrix or series, and view a scale with missing weight(s) in order to select an option that would keep the scale balanced. A child with fluid reasoning deficits may have difficulty understanding relationships between concepts, and as such, may generalize concepts learned. They may also struggle when asked to solve a problem after the content has changed, or when question is expressed differently from how a child was taught (e.g., setting up a math problem by using information in a word problem). Difficulties with inductive reasoning can also manifest as challenges identifying an underlying rule or procedure.
  • WMI: The WMI evaluates a child’s ability to sustain auditory attention, concentrate, and exert mental control. Children are asked to repeat numbers read aloud by the evaluator in a particular order, and have memory for pictures previously presented. Deficits in working memory often suggest that children will require repetition when learning new information, as they exhibit difficulties taking information in short-term memory, manipulating it, and producing a response at a level comparable to their same age peers. It is also not uncommon for youth with self-regulatory challenges, as observed in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to present with difficulties in working memory and processing speed (noted below).
  • PSI: The PSI estimates how quickly and accurately a child is able to process information. Youth are asked to engage in tasks involving motor coordination, visual processing, and search skills under time constraints. Assuming processing speed difficulties are not related to delays in visual-motor functioning, weaker performance on the tasks which comprise the core subtests of the PSI indicate that a child will require additional time to process information and complete their work. In the academic context, school-based accommodations may include allowing a child to take unfinished assignments home, focusing on the quality of work over quantity, shortening tasks, and allowing extended time.

In summary, IQ is more than one aspect of functioning and encapsulates several factors described above. As a result, it is often more helpful to assess the indices which comprise a child’s FSIQ separately in order to best inform treatment and intervention.


NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!


Contents

The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventories are based on Theodore Millon's evolutionary theory. Millon's theory is one of many theories of personality. Briefly the theory is divided into three core components which Millon cited as representing the most basic motivations. These core components are which each manifest in distinct polarities (in parentheses):

  • Existence (Pleasure – Pain)
  • Adaptation (Passive – Active)
  • Reproduction (Self – Other)

Furthermore, this theory presents personality as manifesting in three functional and structural domains, which are further divided into subdomains:

Finally, the Millon Evolutionary Theory outlines 15 personalities, each with a normal and abnormal presentation. The MCMI-IV is one of several measures in a body of personality assessments developed by Millon and associates based on his theory of personality. [5]

MCMI Edit

In 1969, Theodore Millon wrote a book called Modern Psychopathology, after which he received many letters from students stating that his ideas were helpful in writing their dissertations. This was the event that prompted him to undertake test construction of the MCMI himself. The original version of the MCMI was published in 1977 and corresponds with the DSM-III. It contained 11 personality scales and 9 clinical syndrome scales. [6]

MCMI-II Edit

With the publication of the DSM-III-R, a new version of the MCMI (MCMI-II) was published in 1987 to reflect the changes made to the revised DSM. The MCMI-II contained 13 personality scales and 9 clinical syndrome scales. The antisocial-aggressive scale was separated into two separate scales, and the masochistic (self-defeating) scale was added. Additionally, 3 modifying indices added and a 3-point item-weighting system introduced.

MCMI-III Edit

The MCMI-III was published in 1994 and reflected revisions made in the DSM-IV. This version eliminated specific personality scales and added scales for depressive and PTSD bringing the total number of scales to 14 personality scales, 10 clinical syndrome scales, and 5 correction scales. The previous 3-point item-weighting scale was modified to a 2-point scale. Additional content was added to include child abuse, anorexia and bulimia. The Grossman Facet scales are also new to this version. The MCMI-III is composed of 175 true-false questions that reportedly take 25–30 minutes to complete. [7]

MCMI-IV Edit

The MCMI-IV was published in 2015. This version contains 195 true-false items and takes approximately 25–30 minutes to complete. [1] The MCMI-IV consists of 5 validity scales, 15 personality scales and 10 clinical syndrome scales. Changes from the MCMI-III include a complete normative update, both new and updated test items, changes to remain aligned to the DSM-5, the inclusion of ICD-10 code types, an updated set of Grossman Facet Scales, the addition of critical responses, and the addition of the Turbulent Personality Scale.

The MCMI-IV contains a total of 30 scales broken down into 25 clinical scales and 5 validity scales. The 25 clinical scales are divided into 15 personality and 10 clinical syndrome scales (the clinical syndrome scales are further divided into 7 Clinical Syndromes and 3 Severe Clinical Syndromes). The personality scales are further divided into 12 Clinical Personality Patterns and 3 Severe Personality Pathology scales.

Personality scales Edit

The personality scales are associated with personality patterns identified in Millon's evolutionary theory and the DSM-5 personality disorders. There are two main categories of personality scales: Clinical Personality Pattern Scales and Severe Personality Pathology Scales. Each of the personality scales contain 3 Grossman Facet Scales for a total of 45 Grossman Facet Scales. When interpreting the personality scales, the authors recommend that qualified professionals interpret the Severe Personality Pathology scales before the Clinical Personality Pattern scales as the pattern of responding indicated by the Severe Personality Pathology scale scores may also affect the scores on the Clinical Personality Pattern scales (i.e. if an individual scores high on the Severe Personality Pathology scale P (Paranoid), this may also explain the pattern of scores on the Clinical Personality Pattern scales). [1]

Grossman Facet Scales Edit

The Grossman Facet Scales were added to improve the overall clinical utility and specificity of the test, and attempt to influence future iterations of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The hope was the DSM would adopt the prototypical feature identification method used in the MCMI to differentiate between personality disorders. [8]

There are three facet scales within each of the Clinical Personality Patterns and Severe Personality Pathology scales. Each facet scale is thought to help identify the key descriptive components of each personality scale, making it easier to evaluate slight differences in symptom presentations between people with elevated scores on the same personality scale. For instance, two profiles with an elevated score on the Borderline scale may have differences in their Temperamentally Labile facet scale scores. This would mean, for clinical treatment or assessment planning, you could have a better understanding of how quickly and spontaneously a person's mood may change, compared to others with elevated Borderline scale scores. [8] [9]

There are also some noteworthy limitations of the Grossman facet scales. The MCMI personality scales share some of the same test items, leading to strong intercorrelations between different personality scales. Additionally, each facet consists of less than 10 items and the items are often similar to ones in other facets of the same personality scale. Thus, it is unclear how much a facet measures a unique component of a personality scale. [10] Furthermore, statistical analysis has found some items within the facet scales may not be consistently measuring the same component as other items on that scale, with some item alpha coefficients as low as .51. [10] For these reasons it is recommended to use supplemental information, in addition to that provided by the facet scales, to inform any assessment or treatment decisions. [10]

Summary table of personality scales Edit

Abbreviation Description
Clinical Personality Patterns
1 Schizoid
2A Avoidant
2B Melancholic
3 Dependent
4A Histrionic
4B Turbulent
5 Narcissistic
6A Antisocial
6B Sadistic
7 Compulsive
8A Negativistic
8B Masochistic
Severe Personality Pathology
S Schizotypal
C Borderline
P Paranoid

Clinical syndrome scales Edit

10 Clinical Syndrome Scales correspond with clinical disorders of the DSM-5. Similar to the personality scales, the 10 clinical syndrome scales are broken down into 7 clinical syndrome scales (A-R) and 3 severe clinical syndrome scales (SS-PP). When interpreting the clinical scales, the authors recommend that qualified professionals interpret the Severe Clinical Syndrome scales before the Clinical Syndrome scales as the pattern of responding indicated by the Severe Clinical Syndrome scale scores may also affect the scores on the Clinical Syndrome scales (e.g. if an individual scores high on the Severe P scale Clinical Syndrome scale score (e.g. Thought Disorder), this may also explain the pattern of scores on the other Clinical Syndrome scales). [1]

Summary table of clinical syndrome scales Edit

Abbreviation Description
Severe Clinical Syndrome
SS Thought Disorder
CC Major Depression
PP Delusional Disorder
Clinical Syndrome
A Generalized Anxiety
H Somatic Symptom
N Bipolar Disorder
D Persistent Depression
B Alcohol Use
T Drug Use
R Post-Traumatic Stress

Validity scales Edit

Modifying indices Edit

The modifying indices consist of 3 scales: the Disclosure Scale (X), the Desirability Scale (Y) and the Debasement Scale (Z).

These scales are used to provide information about a patient's response style, including whether they presented themselves in a positive light (elevated Desirability scale) or negative light (elevated Debasement scale). The Disclosure scale measures whether the person was open in the assessment, or if they were unwilling to share details about his/her history.

Random response indicators Edit

These two scales assist in detecting random responding. In general, the Validity Scale (V) contains a number of improbable items which may indicate questionable results if endorsed. The Inconsistency Scale (W) detects differences in responses to pairs of items that should be endorsed similarly. The more inconsistent responding on pairs of items, the more confident the examiner can be that the person is responding randomly, as opposed to carefully considering their response to items.

The MCMI-IV was updated in 2015, with new and revised items and a new normative sample of 1,547 clinical patients. [1] The process of updating the MCMI-IV was an iterative process from item generation, through item tryout, to standardization and the selection of final items to be included in the full scale.

Test construction underwent three stages of validation, more commonly known as the tripartite model of test construction (theoretical-substantive validity, internal-structural validity, and external-criterion validity). As development was an iterative process, each step was reanalyzed each time items were added or eliminated.

Theoretical-substantive validity Edit

The first stage was a deductive approach and involved developing a large pool of items. 245 new items were generated by the authors in accordance with relevant personality research, reference materials, and the current diagnostic criteria. These items were then administered to 449 clinical and non-clinical participants. [1] The number of items was reduced based on a rational approach according to the degree to which they fit Millon's evolutionary theory. Items were also eliminated based on simplicity, grammar, content, and scale relevance.

Internal-structural validity Edit

Once the initial item pool was reduced after piloting, the second validation stage assessed how well items interrelated, and the psychometric properties of the test were determined. 106 items were retained and administered along with the 175 MCMI-III items. The ability of the MCMI items to give reliable indications of the domains of interest were examined using internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Internal consistency is the extent to which the items on a scale generally measure the same thing. Cronbach’s alpha values (an estimate of internal consistency) median (average) values were .84 for the personality pattern scales, .83 for the clinical syndrome scales, and .80 for the Grossman Facet Scales. [1] Test-retest reliability is an estimate of the stability of the responses in the same person over a brief period of time. Examining test-retest reliability requires administering the items from the MCMI-IV at two different time periods. The median testing interval between administrations was 13 days. [1] The higher the correlation between scores at two time points, more stable the measure is. Based on 129 participants, the test-retest reliability of the MCMI-IV personality and clinical syndrome scales ranged from .73 (Delusional) to .93 (Histrionic) with a most values above .80. [1] These statistics indicate that the measure is highly stable over a short period of time however, no long-term data are available. After examining the psychometrics of these "tryout" items, 50 items were replaced, resulting in 284 items that were administered to the standardization sample of 1,547 clinical patients. [1]

External-criterion validity Edit

The final validation stage included examining convergent and discriminative validity of the test, which is assessed by correlating the test with similar/dissimilar instruments. Most correlations between the MCMI-IV Personality Pattern scales and the MMPI-2-RF (another widely used and validated measure of personality psychopathology) Restructured Clinical scales were low to moderate. Some, but not all, of the MCMI-IV Clinical Syndrome scales were correlated moderately to highly with the MMPI-2-RF Restructured Clinical and Specific Problem scales. The authors describe these relationships as "support for the measurement of similar constructs" across measures and that the validity correlations are consistent with the "argument that the two assessments are best used complimentarily to elucidate personality and clinical symptomatology in the therapeutic context" (pg. 77). [1]

Patients' raw scores are converted to Base Rate (BR) scores to allow comparison between the personality indices. [1] Converting scores to a common metric is typical in psychological testing so test users can compare the scores across different indices. However, most psychological tests use a standard score metric, such as a T-score the BR metric is unique to the Millon instruments.

Although the Millon instruments emphasize personality functioning as a spectrum from healthy to disordered, the developers found it important to develop various clinically relevant thresholds or anchors for scores. BR scores are indexed on a scale of 0 – 115, with 0 representing a raw score of 0, a score of 60 representing the median of a clinical distribution, 75 serving as the cut score for presence of disorder, 85 serving as the cut score for prominence of disorder, and 115 corresponding to the maximum raw score. [1] BR scores falling in the 60-74 range represent normal functioning, 75-84 correspond to abnormal personality patterns but average functioning, and BR scores above 85 are considered clinically significant (i.e., representing a diagnosis and functional impairment). [1]

Conversion from raw scores to BR scores is relatively complex, and its derivation is based largely on the characteristics of a sample of 235 psychiatric patients, from which developers obtained MCMI profiles and clinician ratings of the examinees’ level of functioning and diagnosis. [1] The median raw score for each scale within this sample was assigned a BR score of 60, and BR scores of 75 and 85 were assigned to raw score values that corresponded to the base rates of presence and prominence within the sample, respectively, of the condition represented by each scale. Intermediate values were interpolated between the anchor scores. [1]

In addition, “corrections” to the BR scores are made to adjust for each examinee’s response style as reflected by scores on the Modifying Indices. [1] For example, if a Modifying Index score suggests that an examinee was not sufficiently candid (e.g., employed a socially desirable response style), BR scores are adjusted upward to reflect greater severity than the raw scores would suggest. Accordingly, the test is not appropriate for nonclinical populations or those without psychopathological concerns, as BR scores may adjust and indicate pathology in a case of normal functioning. [11] Because computation of BR scores is conducted via computer (or mail-in) scoring, the complex modifying process is not transparent to test users.

Although this scaling is referred to as Base Rate scores, their values are anchored to base rates of psychiatric conditions in their developmental sample, and may not reflect the base rates of pathology specific to the population from which a given examinee is drawn. Further, because they are derived from a psychiatric sample, they cannot be applied meaningfully to nonpsychiatric samples, for which no norms are available and for which Modifying Indices adjustments have not been developed.

Administration and interpretation of results should only be completed by a professional with the proper qualifications. The test creators advise that test users have completed a recognized graduate training program in psychology, supervised training and experience with personality scales, and possess an understanding of Millon's underlying theory. [1]

Computer-based test interpretation reports are also available for the results of the MCMI-IV. As with all computer-based test interpretations, the authors caution that these interpretations should be considered a "professional-to-professional consultation" and integrated with other sources of information. [1]

The interpretation of the results from the MCMI-IV is a complex process that requires integrating scores from all of the scales with other available information such as history and interview.

Test results may be considered invalid based on a number of different response patterns on the modifying indices.

Disclosure is the only score in the MCMI-IV in which the raw scores are interpreted and in which a particularly low score is clinically relevant. A raw score above 114 or below 7 [12] is considered not to be an accurate representation of the patient's personality style as they either over-or under-disclosed and may indicate questionable results.

Desirability or Debasement base rate scores of 75 or greater indicate that the examiner should proceed with caution.

Personality and Clinical Syndrome base rate scores of 75–84 are taken to indicate the presence of a personality trait or clinical syndrome (for the Clinical Syndromes scales). Scores of 85 or above indicate the persistence of a personality trait or clinical syndrome.

Invalidity is a measure of random responding, ability to understand item content, appropriate attention to item content, and as an additional measure of response style. The scale is very sensitive to random responding. Scores on this scale determine whether the test protocol is valid or invalid.

Millon Index of Personality Styles (MIPS) Revised Edit

The MIPS Revised was published in 2003 and was created for individuals 18 years of age or older. The purpose of the MIPS is to assess the personality of adults with typical functioning and is often used for counseling and employment screening. The test consists of 180 true-false questions and evaluates an individual on four sets of scales: thinking styles, behaving styles, motivating styles, and validity indices. [13]

Millon Adolescent Personality Inventory (MAPI) Edit

The MAPI was published in 1986 as an update of the Millon Adolescent Inventory (MAI) and contains 150 true-false questions. It is intended to be used with both normally functioning adolescents ages 13 to 18 years, and those who are receiving clinical services. This inventory assesses personality characteristics on four groups of scales: personality styles, expressed concerns, behavioral correlates, and validity indices. [14]

Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MACI) Edit

The MACI was published in 1993 as a supplement to the MAPI. This inventory was created for teenagers 13–19 years of age however, it is intended specifically for clinical populations. Four groups of scales are included: clinical syndromes, expressed concerns, personality patterns, and modifying indices. The MACI consists of 160 true-false questions. [14]

Millon Pre-Adolescent Clinical Inventory (M-PACI) Edit

The M-PACI was published in 2005 and is intended to assess personality characteristics in clinical populations of pre-adolescent children. It is intended for individuals who are 9 to 12 years of age and contains 97 true-false questions. M-PACI scale sets include emerging personality patterns, current clinical signs, and response validity indicators. [13]

Millon College Counseling Inventory (MCCI) Edit

The MCCI was published in 2006 as an assessment of personality specifically geared towards college students, ages 16 to 40. This inventory is used with typically functioning students and is often administered at college counseling centers. The MCCI consists of 150 items, and unlike the other Millon inventories, responses are rated on a Likert scale. The sets of scales include personality styles, severe personality tendencies, expressed concerns, clinical signs, and response issues. [13]

Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD) Edit

The MBMD was published in 2001 as an assessment for chronically ill adults, ages 18 to 85 years. The purpose of this test is to assess various patient factors that may affect treatment for a medical condition. It consists of 165 true-false questions and evaluates patients on seven groups of scales: negative health habits, psychiatric indications, coping styles, stress moderators, treatment prognostics, management guide, and response patterns. [15]

The MCMI is one of several self-report measurement tools designed to provide information about psychological functioning and personality psychopathology. Similar tests include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the Personality Assessment Inventory.


The Problem With the Rorschach: It Doesn't Work

There is nothing ambiguous about the image in my mind. It clearly depicts two medieval wizards, with tall red hats and black cloaks. They are sitting facing one another other. They appear to be giving each other the high-five.

That's my interpretation of inkblot No. 2 of the Rorschach test, a psychological test used by clinical psychologists and other therapists to assess personality and diagnose psychopathology. I don't know if my interpretation is normal or aberrant, but I do know that most people see two human beings of some kind in inkblot No. 2. I know this because Wikipedia recently published all 10 of the inkblots that Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach first introduced in his book Psychodiagnostik back in 1921&mdashalong with the most common "answers" for each of the inkblots. Therapists use these common answers&mdashor norms&mdashto help them diagnose abnormal behavior and thinking.

Wikipedia's move has sparked a firestorm among psychotherapists who claim that publishing the norms could skew the test's results&mdashor worse, allow patients to fool their therapists, to game the system. Free-speech advocates&mdashincluding many other therapists&mdashdismiss those claims as nonsense.

This shouting match escalated this week when The New York Times published a long article about the Wikipedia-Rorschach brouhaha. But this heated debate has failed to raise (or answer) the most important question of all: does the Rorschach work? The answer is no, and here is the best evidence:

The journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest published an exhaustive review of all data on the Rorschach (and other similar "projective" tests) in 2000. Such meta-analyses are major undertakings, so although this PSPI report is a few years old, it remains the most definitive word on the Rorschach. The authors&mdashpsychologists Scott Lilienfeld, James Wood and Howard Garb&mdashfind the Rorschach wanting in two crucial ways.

First, the test lacks what testing experts call "scoring reliability." Scoring reliability means than you get the same results no matter who is scoring the test. Psychotherapists look at more than 100 different variables when scoring an answer: Did the patient focus on stray splotches rather than the main blot, or the white spaces instead of the ink? Did the patient interpret the color? That kind of thing. The PSPI review found that therapists disagree on fully half of these variables, making the scores unreliable for diagnosis.

But it gets worse. The authors also looked at all the extant studies on the test's validity. This is testing jargon for: Does it measure what it claims to measure? Does it predict behavior? And again the answer is a clear no. With the exception of schizophrenia and similarly severe thought disorders, the Rorschach fails to spot any common mental illnesses accurately. The list of what it fails to diagnose includes depression, anxiety disorders, psychopathic personality, and violent and criminal tendencies. It also can't detect sexual abuse in children, even though it's used for that purpose. Finally, the test is most misleading for minorities: blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics are all likely to score abnormally on the inkblot test.

Despite this damning evidence, the most recent survey data indicates that four in 10 clinical psychologists still use the Rorschach "always or frequently" with patients. Why would that be? This isn't the first time the Rorschach has come under attack. The test was roundly criticized back in the '50s for lacking standardization and norms. Those problems were presumably corrected in the '70s, with the introduction of an elaborate system of instructions for therapists, and many newly trained therapists incorporated the revised test into their practices. Even so, it is this revised version of the Rorschach that still fails on both reliability and validity, according to the PSPI report.

The same psychological journal will in a few months be publishing another major review of clinical practice, with the goal of weeding out therapies and techniques that have no scientific evidence to back them up. This dust-up over the Rorschach could be just the beginning of a major intellectual housecleaning in a field that's drifted from its scientific roots. Does anyone else see a battlefield in that amorphous inkblot?


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IQ scores not accurate marker of intelligence, study shows

Could IQ scores be a false indicator of intelligence?

Researchers have determined in the largest online study on the intelligence quotient (IQ) that results from the test may not exactly show how smart someone is.

"When we looked at the data, the bottom line is the whole concept of IQ -- or of you having a higher IQ than me -- is a myth," Dr. Adrian Owen, the study's senior investigator and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the university's Brain and Mind Institute said to the Toronto Star. "There is no such thing as a single measure of IQ or a measure of general intelligence."

More than 100,000 participants joined the study and completed 12 online cognitive tests that examined memory, reasoning, attention and planning abilities. They were also asked about their background and lifestyle.

They found that there was not one single test or component that could accurately judge how well a person could perform mental and cognitive tasks. Instead, they determined there are at least three different components that make up intelligence or a "cognitive profile": short-term memory, reasoning and a verbal component.

Scientists also scanned participants' brains with a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and saw that different cognitive abilities were related to different circuits in the brain, suggesting that the theory that different areas of the brain control certain abilities may be true.

Trending News

Researchers also discovered that training one's brain to help perform better cognitively did not help.

"People who 'brain-train' are no better at any of these three aspects of intelligence than people who don't," Owen said.

For some reason, people who played video games did better on reasoning and short-term memory portions of the test.

However, aging was associated with a decline on memory and reasoning abilities. Those who smoked did worse on short-term memory and verbal portions, while those with anxiety did badly on short-term memory test components.

"We have shown categorically that you cannot sum up the difference between people in terms of one number, and that is really what is important here," Owen told the CBC.

"Now we need to go forward and work out how we can assess the differences between people, and that will be something for future studies," he added.


The Problem With the Rorschach: It Doesn't Work

There is nothing ambiguous about the image in my mind. It clearly depicts two medieval wizards, with tall red hats and black cloaks. They are sitting facing one another other. They appear to be giving each other the high-five.

That's my interpretation of inkblot No. 2 of the Rorschach test, a psychological test used by clinical psychologists and other therapists to assess personality and diagnose psychopathology. I don't know if my interpretation is normal or aberrant, but I do know that most people see two human beings of some kind in inkblot No. 2. I know this because Wikipedia recently published all 10 of the inkblots that Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach first introduced in his book Psychodiagnostik back in 1921&mdashalong with the most common "answers" for each of the inkblots. Therapists use these common answers&mdashor norms&mdashto help them diagnose abnormal behavior and thinking.

Wikipedia's move has sparked a firestorm among psychotherapists who claim that publishing the norms could skew the test's results&mdashor worse, allow patients to fool their therapists, to game the system. Free-speech advocates&mdashincluding many other therapists&mdashdismiss those claims as nonsense.

This shouting match escalated this week when The New York Times published a long article about the Wikipedia-Rorschach brouhaha. But this heated debate has failed to raise (or answer) the most important question of all: does the Rorschach work? The answer is no, and here is the best evidence:

The journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest published an exhaustive review of all data on the Rorschach (and other similar "projective" tests) in 2000. Such meta-analyses are major undertakings, so although this PSPI report is a few years old, it remains the most definitive word on the Rorschach. The authors&mdashpsychologists Scott Lilienfeld, James Wood and Howard Garb&mdashfind the Rorschach wanting in two crucial ways.

First, the test lacks what testing experts call "scoring reliability." Scoring reliability means than you get the same results no matter who is scoring the test. Psychotherapists look at more than 100 different variables when scoring an answer: Did the patient focus on stray splotches rather than the main blot, or the white spaces instead of the ink? Did the patient interpret the color? That kind of thing. The PSPI review found that therapists disagree on fully half of these variables, making the scores unreliable for diagnosis.

But it gets worse. The authors also looked at all the extant studies on the test's validity. This is testing jargon for: Does it measure what it claims to measure? Does it predict behavior? And again the answer is a clear no. With the exception of schizophrenia and similarly severe thought disorders, the Rorschach fails to spot any common mental illnesses accurately. The list of what it fails to diagnose includes depression, anxiety disorders, psychopathic personality, and violent and criminal tendencies. It also can't detect sexual abuse in children, even though it's used for that purpose. Finally, the test is most misleading for minorities: blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics are all likely to score abnormally on the inkblot test.

Despite this damning evidence, the most recent survey data indicates that four in 10 clinical psychologists still use the Rorschach "always or frequently" with patients. Why would that be? This isn't the first time the Rorschach has come under attack. The test was roundly criticized back in the '50s for lacking standardization and norms. Those problems were presumably corrected in the '70s, with the introduction of an elaborate system of instructions for therapists, and many newly trained therapists incorporated the revised test into their practices. Even so, it is this revised version of the Rorschach that still fails on both reliability and validity, according to the PSPI report.

The same psychological journal will in a few months be publishing another major review of clinical practice, with the goal of weeding out therapies and techniques that have no scientific evidence to back them up. This dust-up over the Rorschach could be just the beginning of a major intellectual housecleaning in a field that's drifted from its scientific roots. Does anyone else see a battlefield in that amorphous inkblot?


Contents

The Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventories are based on Theodore Millon's evolutionary theory. Millon's theory is one of many theories of personality. Briefly the theory is divided into three core components which Millon cited as representing the most basic motivations. These core components are which each manifest in distinct polarities (in parentheses):

  • Existence (Pleasure – Pain)
  • Adaptation (Passive – Active)
  • Reproduction (Self – Other)

Furthermore, this theory presents personality as manifesting in three functional and structural domains, which are further divided into subdomains:

Finally, the Millon Evolutionary Theory outlines 15 personalities, each with a normal and abnormal presentation. The MCMI-IV is one of several measures in a body of personality assessments developed by Millon and associates based on his theory of personality. [5]

MCMI Edit

In 1969, Theodore Millon wrote a book called Modern Psychopathology, after which he received many letters from students stating that his ideas were helpful in writing their dissertations. This was the event that prompted him to undertake test construction of the MCMI himself. The original version of the MCMI was published in 1977 and corresponds with the DSM-III. It contained 11 personality scales and 9 clinical syndrome scales. [6]

MCMI-II Edit

With the publication of the DSM-III-R, a new version of the MCMI (MCMI-II) was published in 1987 to reflect the changes made to the revised DSM. The MCMI-II contained 13 personality scales and 9 clinical syndrome scales. The antisocial-aggressive scale was separated into two separate scales, and the masochistic (self-defeating) scale was added. Additionally, 3 modifying indices added and a 3-point item-weighting system introduced.

MCMI-III Edit

The MCMI-III was published in 1994 and reflected revisions made in the DSM-IV. This version eliminated specific personality scales and added scales for depressive and PTSD bringing the total number of scales to 14 personality scales, 10 clinical syndrome scales, and 5 correction scales. The previous 3-point item-weighting scale was modified to a 2-point scale. Additional content was added to include child abuse, anorexia and bulimia. The Grossman Facet scales are also new to this version. The MCMI-III is composed of 175 true-false questions that reportedly take 25–30 minutes to complete. [7]

MCMI-IV Edit

The MCMI-IV was published in 2015. This version contains 195 true-false items and takes approximately 25–30 minutes to complete. [1] The MCMI-IV consists of 5 validity scales, 15 personality scales and 10 clinical syndrome scales. Changes from the MCMI-III include a complete normative update, both new and updated test items, changes to remain aligned to the DSM-5, the inclusion of ICD-10 code types, an updated set of Grossman Facet Scales, the addition of critical responses, and the addition of the Turbulent Personality Scale.

The MCMI-IV contains a total of 30 scales broken down into 25 clinical scales and 5 validity scales. The 25 clinical scales are divided into 15 personality and 10 clinical syndrome scales (the clinical syndrome scales are further divided into 7 Clinical Syndromes and 3 Severe Clinical Syndromes). The personality scales are further divided into 12 Clinical Personality Patterns and 3 Severe Personality Pathology scales.

Personality scales Edit

The personality scales are associated with personality patterns identified in Millon's evolutionary theory and the DSM-5 personality disorders. There are two main categories of personality scales: Clinical Personality Pattern Scales and Severe Personality Pathology Scales. Each of the personality scales contain 3 Grossman Facet Scales for a total of 45 Grossman Facet Scales. When interpreting the personality scales, the authors recommend that qualified professionals interpret the Severe Personality Pathology scales before the Clinical Personality Pattern scales as the pattern of responding indicated by the Severe Personality Pathology scale scores may also affect the scores on the Clinical Personality Pattern scales (i.e. if an individual scores high on the Severe Personality Pathology scale P (Paranoid), this may also explain the pattern of scores on the Clinical Personality Pattern scales). [1]

Grossman Facet Scales Edit

The Grossman Facet Scales were added to improve the overall clinical utility and specificity of the test, and attempt to influence future iterations of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The hope was the DSM would adopt the prototypical feature identification method used in the MCMI to differentiate between personality disorders. [8]

There are three facet scales within each of the Clinical Personality Patterns and Severe Personality Pathology scales. Each facet scale is thought to help identify the key descriptive components of each personality scale, making it easier to evaluate slight differences in symptom presentations between people with elevated scores on the same personality scale. For instance, two profiles with an elevated score on the Borderline scale may have differences in their Temperamentally Labile facet scale scores. This would mean, for clinical treatment or assessment planning, you could have a better understanding of how quickly and spontaneously a person's mood may change, compared to others with elevated Borderline scale scores. [8] [9]

There are also some noteworthy limitations of the Grossman facet scales. The MCMI personality scales share some of the same test items, leading to strong intercorrelations between different personality scales. Additionally, each facet consists of less than 10 items and the items are often similar to ones in other facets of the same personality scale. Thus, it is unclear how much a facet measures a unique component of a personality scale. [10] Furthermore, statistical analysis has found some items within the facet scales may not be consistently measuring the same component as other items on that scale, with some item alpha coefficients as low as .51. [10] For these reasons it is recommended to use supplemental information, in addition to that provided by the facet scales, to inform any assessment or treatment decisions. [10]

Summary table of personality scales Edit

Abbreviation Description
Clinical Personality Patterns
1 Schizoid
2A Avoidant
2B Melancholic
3 Dependent
4A Histrionic
4B Turbulent
5 Narcissistic
6A Antisocial
6B Sadistic
7 Compulsive
8A Negativistic
8B Masochistic
Severe Personality Pathology
S Schizotypal
C Borderline
P Paranoid

Clinical syndrome scales Edit

10 Clinical Syndrome Scales correspond with clinical disorders of the DSM-5. Similar to the personality scales, the 10 clinical syndrome scales are broken down into 7 clinical syndrome scales (A-R) and 3 severe clinical syndrome scales (SS-PP). When interpreting the clinical scales, the authors recommend that qualified professionals interpret the Severe Clinical Syndrome scales before the Clinical Syndrome scales as the pattern of responding indicated by the Severe Clinical Syndrome scale scores may also affect the scores on the Clinical Syndrome scales (e.g. if an individual scores high on the Severe P scale Clinical Syndrome scale score (e.g. Thought Disorder), this may also explain the pattern of scores on the other Clinical Syndrome scales). [1]

Summary table of clinical syndrome scales Edit

Abbreviation Description
Severe Clinical Syndrome
SS Thought Disorder
CC Major Depression
PP Delusional Disorder
Clinical Syndrome
A Generalized Anxiety
H Somatic Symptom
N Bipolar Disorder
D Persistent Depression
B Alcohol Use
T Drug Use
R Post-Traumatic Stress

Validity scales Edit

Modifying indices Edit

The modifying indices consist of 3 scales: the Disclosure Scale (X), the Desirability Scale (Y) and the Debasement Scale (Z).

These scales are used to provide information about a patient's response style, including whether they presented themselves in a positive light (elevated Desirability scale) or negative light (elevated Debasement scale). The Disclosure scale measures whether the person was open in the assessment, or if they were unwilling to share details about his/her history.

Random response indicators Edit

These two scales assist in detecting random responding. In general, the Validity Scale (V) contains a number of improbable items which may indicate questionable results if endorsed. The Inconsistency Scale (W) detects differences in responses to pairs of items that should be endorsed similarly. The more inconsistent responding on pairs of items, the more confident the examiner can be that the person is responding randomly, as opposed to carefully considering their response to items.

The MCMI-IV was updated in 2015, with new and revised items and a new normative sample of 1,547 clinical patients. [1] The process of updating the MCMI-IV was an iterative process from item generation, through item tryout, to standardization and the selection of final items to be included in the full scale.

Test construction underwent three stages of validation, more commonly known as the tripartite model of test construction (theoretical-substantive validity, internal-structural validity, and external-criterion validity). As development was an iterative process, each step was reanalyzed each time items were added or eliminated.

Theoretical-substantive validity Edit

The first stage was a deductive approach and involved developing a large pool of items. 245 new items were generated by the authors in accordance with relevant personality research, reference materials, and the current diagnostic criteria. These items were then administered to 449 clinical and non-clinical participants. [1] The number of items was reduced based on a rational approach according to the degree to which they fit Millon's evolutionary theory. Items were also eliminated based on simplicity, grammar, content, and scale relevance.

Internal-structural validity Edit

Once the initial item pool was reduced after piloting, the second validation stage assessed how well items interrelated, and the psychometric properties of the test were determined. 106 items were retained and administered along with the 175 MCMI-III items. The ability of the MCMI items to give reliable indications of the domains of interest were examined using internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Internal consistency is the extent to which the items on a scale generally measure the same thing. Cronbach’s alpha values (an estimate of internal consistency) median (average) values were .84 for the personality pattern scales, .83 for the clinical syndrome scales, and .80 for the Grossman Facet Scales. [1] Test-retest reliability is an estimate of the stability of the responses in the same person over a brief period of time. Examining test-retest reliability requires administering the items from the MCMI-IV at two different time periods. The median testing interval between administrations was 13 days. [1] The higher the correlation between scores at two time points, more stable the measure is. Based on 129 participants, the test-retest reliability of the MCMI-IV personality and clinical syndrome scales ranged from .73 (Delusional) to .93 (Histrionic) with a most values above .80. [1] These statistics indicate that the measure is highly stable over a short period of time however, no long-term data are available. After examining the psychometrics of these "tryout" items, 50 items were replaced, resulting in 284 items that were administered to the standardization sample of 1,547 clinical patients. [1]

External-criterion validity Edit

The final validation stage included examining convergent and discriminative validity of the test, which is assessed by correlating the test with similar/dissimilar instruments. Most correlations between the MCMI-IV Personality Pattern scales and the MMPI-2-RF (another widely used and validated measure of personality psychopathology) Restructured Clinical scales were low to moderate. Some, but not all, of the MCMI-IV Clinical Syndrome scales were correlated moderately to highly with the MMPI-2-RF Restructured Clinical and Specific Problem scales. The authors describe these relationships as "support for the measurement of similar constructs" across measures and that the validity correlations are consistent with the "argument that the two assessments are best used complimentarily to elucidate personality and clinical symptomatology in the therapeutic context" (pg. 77). [1]

Patients' raw scores are converted to Base Rate (BR) scores to allow comparison between the personality indices. [1] Converting scores to a common metric is typical in psychological testing so test users can compare the scores across different indices. However, most psychological tests use a standard score metric, such as a T-score the BR metric is unique to the Millon instruments.

Although the Millon instruments emphasize personality functioning as a spectrum from healthy to disordered, the developers found it important to develop various clinically relevant thresholds or anchors for scores. BR scores are indexed on a scale of 0 – 115, with 0 representing a raw score of 0, a score of 60 representing the median of a clinical distribution, 75 serving as the cut score for presence of disorder, 85 serving as the cut score for prominence of disorder, and 115 corresponding to the maximum raw score. [1] BR scores falling in the 60-74 range represent normal functioning, 75-84 correspond to abnormal personality patterns but average functioning, and BR scores above 85 are considered clinically significant (i.e., representing a diagnosis and functional impairment). [1]

Conversion from raw scores to BR scores is relatively complex, and its derivation is based largely on the characteristics of a sample of 235 psychiatric patients, from which developers obtained MCMI profiles and clinician ratings of the examinees’ level of functioning and diagnosis. [1] The median raw score for each scale within this sample was assigned a BR score of 60, and BR scores of 75 and 85 were assigned to raw score values that corresponded to the base rates of presence and prominence within the sample, respectively, of the condition represented by each scale. Intermediate values were interpolated between the anchor scores. [1]

In addition, “corrections” to the BR scores are made to adjust for each examinee’s response style as reflected by scores on the Modifying Indices. [1] For example, if a Modifying Index score suggests that an examinee was not sufficiently candid (e.g., employed a socially desirable response style), BR scores are adjusted upward to reflect greater severity than the raw scores would suggest. Accordingly, the test is not appropriate for nonclinical populations or those without psychopathological concerns, as BR scores may adjust and indicate pathology in a case of normal functioning. [11] Because computation of BR scores is conducted via computer (or mail-in) scoring, the complex modifying process is not transparent to test users.

Although this scaling is referred to as Base Rate scores, their values are anchored to base rates of psychiatric conditions in their developmental sample, and may not reflect the base rates of pathology specific to the population from which a given examinee is drawn. Further, because they are derived from a psychiatric sample, they cannot be applied meaningfully to nonpsychiatric samples, for which no norms are available and for which Modifying Indices adjustments have not been developed.

Administration and interpretation of results should only be completed by a professional with the proper qualifications. The test creators advise that test users have completed a recognized graduate training program in psychology, supervised training and experience with personality scales, and possess an understanding of Millon's underlying theory. [1]

Computer-based test interpretation reports are also available for the results of the MCMI-IV. As with all computer-based test interpretations, the authors caution that these interpretations should be considered a "professional-to-professional consultation" and integrated with other sources of information. [1]

The interpretation of the results from the MCMI-IV is a complex process that requires integrating scores from all of the scales with other available information such as history and interview.

Test results may be considered invalid based on a number of different response patterns on the modifying indices.

Disclosure is the only score in the MCMI-IV in which the raw scores are interpreted and in which a particularly low score is clinically relevant. A raw score above 114 or below 7 [12] is considered not to be an accurate representation of the patient's personality style as they either over-or under-disclosed and may indicate questionable results.

Desirability or Debasement base rate scores of 75 or greater indicate that the examiner should proceed with caution.

Personality and Clinical Syndrome base rate scores of 75–84 are taken to indicate the presence of a personality trait or clinical syndrome (for the Clinical Syndromes scales). Scores of 85 or above indicate the persistence of a personality trait or clinical syndrome.

Invalidity is a measure of random responding, ability to understand item content, appropriate attention to item content, and as an additional measure of response style. The scale is very sensitive to random responding. Scores on this scale determine whether the test protocol is valid or invalid.

Millon Index of Personality Styles (MIPS) Revised Edit

The MIPS Revised was published in 2003 and was created for individuals 18 years of age or older. The purpose of the MIPS is to assess the personality of adults with typical functioning and is often used for counseling and employment screening. The test consists of 180 true-false questions and evaluates an individual on four sets of scales: thinking styles, behaving styles, motivating styles, and validity indices. [13]

Millon Adolescent Personality Inventory (MAPI) Edit

The MAPI was published in 1986 as an update of the Millon Adolescent Inventory (MAI) and contains 150 true-false questions. It is intended to be used with both normally functioning adolescents ages 13 to 18 years, and those who are receiving clinical services. This inventory assesses personality characteristics on four groups of scales: personality styles, expressed concerns, behavioral correlates, and validity indices. [14]

Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory (MACI) Edit

The MACI was published in 1993 as a supplement to the MAPI. This inventory was created for teenagers 13–19 years of age however, it is intended specifically for clinical populations. Four groups of scales are included: clinical syndromes, expressed concerns, personality patterns, and modifying indices. The MACI consists of 160 true-false questions. [14]

Millon Pre-Adolescent Clinical Inventory (M-PACI) Edit

The M-PACI was published in 2005 and is intended to assess personality characteristics in clinical populations of pre-adolescent children. It is intended for individuals who are 9 to 12 years of age and contains 97 true-false questions. M-PACI scale sets include emerging personality patterns, current clinical signs, and response validity indicators. [13]

Millon College Counseling Inventory (MCCI) Edit

The MCCI was published in 2006 as an assessment of personality specifically geared towards college students, ages 16 to 40. This inventory is used with typically functioning students and is often administered at college counseling centers. The MCCI consists of 150 items, and unlike the other Millon inventories, responses are rated on a Likert scale. The sets of scales include personality styles, severe personality tendencies, expressed concerns, clinical signs, and response issues. [13]

Millon Behavioral Medicine Diagnostic (MBMD) Edit

The MBMD was published in 2001 as an assessment for chronically ill adults, ages 18 to 85 years. The purpose of this test is to assess various patient factors that may affect treatment for a medical condition. It consists of 165 true-false questions and evaluates patients on seven groups of scales: negative health habits, psychiatric indications, coping styles, stress moderators, treatment prognostics, management guide, and response patterns. [15]

The MCMI is one of several self-report measurement tools designed to provide information about psychological functioning and personality psychopathology. Similar tests include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory and the Personality Assessment Inventory.


IQ scores not accurate marker of intelligence, study shows

Could IQ scores be a false indicator of intelligence?

Researchers have determined in the largest online study on the intelligence quotient (IQ) that results from the test may not exactly show how smart someone is.

"When we looked at the data, the bottom line is the whole concept of IQ -- or of you having a higher IQ than me -- is a myth," Dr. Adrian Owen, the study's senior investigator and the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at the university's Brain and Mind Institute said to the Toronto Star. "There is no such thing as a single measure of IQ or a measure of general intelligence."

More than 100,000 participants joined the study and completed 12 online cognitive tests that examined memory, reasoning, attention and planning abilities. They were also asked about their background and lifestyle.

They found that there was not one single test or component that could accurately judge how well a person could perform mental and cognitive tasks. Instead, they determined there are at least three different components that make up intelligence or a "cognitive profile": short-term memory, reasoning and a verbal component.

Scientists also scanned participants' brains with a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and saw that different cognitive abilities were related to different circuits in the brain, suggesting that the theory that different areas of the brain control certain abilities may be true.

Trending News

Researchers also discovered that training one's brain to help perform better cognitively did not help.

"People who 'brain-train' are no better at any of these three aspects of intelligence than people who don't," Owen said.

For some reason, people who played video games did better on reasoning and short-term memory portions of the test.

However, aging was associated with a decline on memory and reasoning abilities. Those who smoked did worse on short-term memory and verbal portions, while those with anxiety did badly on short-term memory test components.

"We have shown categorically that you cannot sum up the difference between people in terms of one number, and that is really what is important here," Owen told the CBC.

"Now we need to go forward and work out how we can assess the differences between people, and that will be something for future studies," he added.


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If the instructions of a group intelligence test are misunderstood, are the results of that test invalid? - Psychology

Originally prepared by: Greg Machek (fall 2003)

Revised: Summer 2006 Outline (back to top)

Final Thought Brief History of the Measurement of Intelligence (back to outline)

The pursuit of an efficient and accurate way to compare cognitive abilities in humans is not new. As long ago as 2200 B.C., Chinese emperors used large-scale "aptitude" testing for the selection of civil servants, and stories such as that of the Wild Boy of Averyon, in the 18th century, have captured our imagination regarding the relative difference between "normal" and "abnormal&rdquo intellectual growth. By the end of the 19th century, the foundation was laid for how we assess intelligence today. For example, Sir Francis Galton sought to predict individuals&rsquo intellectual capacity through tests of sensory discrimination and motor coordination. Although his belief that such capacities were necessarily correlated with intelligence was eventually determined to be unfounded, he ushered in an age of individual psychology and the pursuit of measuring intelligence by quantifying traits assumed to be correlated.

Shortly thereafter, Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon published what could be considered the precursor of most modern-day intelligence measures. Although their main purpose at the time was to diagnose mental retardation, the basic characteristics of their assessment are still used in today's intelligence tests. For example, the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scales (1905) presented items in order of difficulty, and took into consideration the typical developmental abilities of children at various ages. The test also had fairly standardized instructions for how it was to be administered.

Characteristics of Individually Administered IQ Tests (back to outline)

Intelligence tests are also sometimes called &ldquopotential-based assessments&rdquo because they provide an educated guess as to how well an individual may be expected to perform in school. In fact, there is much statistical data evidencing the power of such tests to predict future scholastic achievement. Discussions about this data can often be confusing due to the technical wording and procedures that these tests use. It may help to briefly explain some basic characteristics common to most, if not all, potential-based assessments.
Standardization
Most potential-based assessments are standardized. Standardized tests have a straightforward set of criteria that the examiner must follow. These criteria dictate the way that the test is administered as well as scored the wording of questions, what responses are acceptable, etc. The goal of standardization is to control all of the elements involved in the testing process with the exception of the child's responses. The standardization can even extend to instructions about the testing environment, such as where the test should take place and who can be present.
Many potential-based tests are also norm-referenced. When a standardized test is normed, it means that it was initially administered to a large number of children, usually in the thousands. Ideally, this norm group is characteristic of the children who ultimately will be taking the standardized instrument. When looking at results from such a test, there exists a degree of confidence in comparing an individual&rsquos scores to the scores of other people of the same age. In this way it is possible to say how well a person performed relative to his peers.
Scores
It is also useful to understand the way in which scores from common standardized measures are represented. On a norm-referenced test, scores show where an individual&rsquos results fall in relation to all other results obtained. Standardized measures are designed so that the scores of the norm group, which is selected so that it has people of all types of abilities, are distributed like a bell or normal curve. The curve is largest in the middle because most people perform somewhere near the average. The distribution is much smaller to the left and the right, signifying that fewer students have exceptionally low or high scores. Standardized tests use standard scores to report results. IQ tests use the number 100 to designate average scores and tend to use a smaller range of numbers to represent the total range of possible scores on the measure.
Fortunately, almost all scores are also given with their corresponding percentile ranks. This simplifies matters. For example, if you are told that a student obtains a score that falls at the 50th percentile, it means that his score is the same as the average score for all of the same-aged peers that also took that test. Hypothetically, percentiles tell you where an individual&rsquos score ranks relative to other people who took the test. If a person&rsquos score falls at the 99th percentile, it can be said that she would score as well or better than 99 out of 100 of her same-aged peers on that particular measure. Percentiles are unevenly distributed in the normal curve owing to the larger number of scores that are closer to the mean (average). Standard scores, however, are evenly spaced.

The latest versions of the two most widely used tests are the Stanford-Binet-5 (SB5) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children&mdashFourth Edition® (WISC-IV®). Table 1 shows a list of some of the more commonly used intelligence measures. Note that some of these are "nonverbal" instruments. These tests rely on little or no verbal expression and are useful for a number of populations, such as non-native speakers, children with poor expressive abilities, or students with loss.

Age Range

Description

Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, Fifth Edition (SBIS-V)

An update of the SB-IV. In addition to providing a Full Scale score, it assesses Fluid Reasoning, Knowledge, Quantitative Reasoning, Visual-Spatial Processing, and Working Memory as well as the ability to compare verbal and nonverbal performance.

Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition (WISC-IV)

An update of the WISC-III, this test yields a Full Scale score and scores for Verbal Comprehension, Working Memory, Perceptual Reasoning, and Processing speed.

Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities

This test gives a measure of general intellectual ability, as well as looking at working memory and executive function skills.

Cognitive Assessment System (CAS)

Based on the &ldquoPASS&rdquo theory, this test measures &lsquoPlanning, &lsquoAttention, &lsquoSimultaneous, and &lsquoSuccessive cognitive processes.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)

An IQ test for older children and adults, the WAIS provides a Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale score, as well as scores for verbal comprehension, perceptual organization, working memory, and processing speed.

Comprehensive Test of Nonverbal Intelligence (CTONI)

Designed to assess children who may be disadvantaged by traditional tests that put a premium on language skills, the CTONI is made up of six subtests that measure different nonverbal intellectual abilities.

Universal Nonverbal Intelligence Test (UNIT)

Designed to assess children who may be disadvantaged by traditional tests that put a premium on language skills, this test is entirely nonverbal in administration and response style.

Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (KABC)

This test measures simultaneous and sequential processing skills, and has subscales that measure academic achievement as well.

Following is information that will help parents understand the process children go through when taking such tests.

Not an Ordinary "Test"
Since IQ tests do not directly assess the same things that are taught in the classroom, it is difficult to "study" for them. Instead, preparation should probably consist of a good night's rest. In addition, it is sometimes necessary to put a child at ease as to the expectations of the session. Since children usually think of tests as something that they can do "well" or "poorly" on, it may be appropriate to explain that the test they will be taking is different. IQ tests can be described as ones that aren't concerned with "passing" and "failing." It should be explained that the test aims to get a better understanding of a child's unique abilities in a wide variety of areas.

Tasks Involved
In order to get a fuller understanding a child's abilities, intelligence tests require him to perform a number of tasks that vary widely in what they are asking. For example, one task, often referred to as a subtest, may ask the child to answer questions about everyday knowledge. Another subtest may ask him or her to construct specific patterns of colored beads or blocks. Other subtests may tap into the child's ability to recognize similarities between concepts or written symbols. The main idea is to measure many different abilities that may contribute to overall intelligence.

As Pleasant an Experience as Possible
Ideally, the actual testing session takes place in a room that is comfortable in environment and atmosphere.. The test administrator for most major intelligence tests is required to be a trained professional. This person is often a licensed school psychologist. The psychologist and the child are usually the only people in the room during testing. One of the most important aspects of the testing session is for a comfortable rapport to be established before testing takes place. If the student is rushed right into a novel, and possibly intimidating, task, her performance may suffer. The examiner must also be adept at dealing with a variety of different personalities and student characteristics, and be responsive to their needs during testing (e.g. allowing bathroom breaks, recognizing when fatigue has set in, etc.).

Probable Length of Testing
The time it takes to complete an individually administered intelligence test can vary depending on a child's age, response style, and the amount of questions he answers acceptably. The questions on most subtests are designed to increase in complexity. For this reason, younger children will tend to "max" out more quickly than older students. In addition, more reticent or reflective students will tend to take longer. Whereas some subtests are timed, others allow ample time for the respondent to think through his answer before responding. On average, one should expect a single administration of such an instrument to take an hour and twenty minutes, give or take twenty minutes.

Reporting Irregularities
Since these tests are standardized, the examiner is obligated to adhere to the strict training that accompanies them. Any time that there are circumstances or variables that may impinge on the results of a test, the examiner is required to report this in her report on the testing session. For example, if a student appears overly guarded and shy, and this behavior may have kept him from answering correctly or with confidence, this should be noted. Likewise, if for some reason the climate in the room is not acceptable (overly hot, cold, dark, etc.), there is an obligation to report these situations. The examiner may decide that the irregularities were such that the assessment results are invalid.

Standardized intelligence tests have incurred some criticism (see our related Hot Topic: The Role of Standardized Intelligence Measures in Testing for Giftedness for a partial list). However, due to their long history, and the amount of work that has gone into them, they are a fairly reliable measure of expected school achievement. It is important to have some idea of their basic characteristics, as well as components of the testing process if you, or your children, will be coming in contact with such procedures.

Sattler, J. M. (1992). Assessment of children: Behavioral and clinical applications, Third Edition. Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher, Inc.: San Diego.
Sattler, J. M. (2002). Assessment of children: Behavioral and clinical applications, Fourth Edition. Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher, Inc.: San Diego.

Please feel free to contact us with issues, questions, and contributions that you feel would help others using this site as a resource.


Appendix

Individual test for cognitive dysfunction

We propose the following procedure as a within-subject test for significance of a cognitive-motor dysfunction (or symptoms) with respect to a certain glycemic condition such as hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. The test is based on a set of cognitive-motor performance scores taken during that condition and a set of cognitive-motor performance scores during a control condition, such as euglycemia. In the example below we will elaborate the procedure for screening of hyperglycemic cognitive-motor performance scores with a control performance during euglycemia defined as blood glucose between 5 and 8.3 mmol/l (90–150 mg/dl).

1)For each subject and each cognitive test, mean and SD are computed from the performance scores during euglycemia.

2)For each subject, each cognitive test, and each hyperglycemic reading (e.g., when blood glucose is >15 mmol/l), the Z score of that cognitive test is computed as the number of SDs away from the test’s mean euglycemic performance.

3)For each subject and each cognitive test (CT) the average hyperglycemic Z score (ZCT) is computed together with the number of hyperglycemic readings (nh).

4)Criterion for significance: the CT is considered significant for hyperglycemia if the product ζCT = nh 1/2 · ZCT is >1.28.

Statistical background of the test.

Under the null hypothesis that a cognitive test is not elevated during hyperglycemia, the Z score ZCT would have a central normal distribution (with a mean of 0 and SD of 1). Thus, the average Z score of nh observations would have a normal distribution of 0 and an SD of 1/(nh 1/2 ). It follows that ζCT = nh 1/2 · ZCT would have a normal distribution with a mean of 0 and an SD of 1. Therefore, if ζCT is >1.28 (central normal distribution quintile corresponding to a probability of 0.9), the null hypothesis must be rejected at a significance level of 0.1.

Study 1 mean ± SEM error bars for performance variables for different blood glucose categories (mmol/l) and ANOVA P levels for type 1 diabetic subjects.

Study 2 mean ± SEM error bars for performance variables for different blood glucose categories (mmol/l) and ANOVA P levels for type 2 diabetic subjects.

Demographic variables for the three study groups

BG categories used in group data analysis

Individual effects and correlates of cognitive disruptions during hyperglycemia


Types of Validity

What is Construct Validity?

Construct validity refers to the general idea that the realization of a theory should be aligned with the theory itself. If this sounds like the broader definition of validity, it’s because construct validity is viewed by researchers as “a unifying concept of validity” that encompasses other forms, as opposed to a completely separate type.

It is not always cited in the literature, but, as Drew Westen and Robert Rosenthal write in “Quantifying Construct Validity: Two Simple Measures,” construct validity “is at the heart of any study in which researchers use a measure as an index of a variable that is itself not directly observable.”

The ability to apply concrete measures to abstract concepts is obviously important to researchers who are trying to measure concepts like intelligence or kindness. However, it also applies to schools, whose goals and objectives (and therefore what they intend to measure) are often described using broad terms like “effective leadership” or “challenging instruction.”

Construct validity ensures the interpretability of results, thereby paving the way for effective and efficient data-based decision making by school leaders.

What is Criterion Validity?

Criterion validity refers to the correlation between a test and a criterion that is already accepted as a valid measure of the goal or question. If a test is highly correlated with another valid criterion, it is more likely that the test is also valid.

Criterion validity tends to be measured through statistical computations of correlation coefficients, although it’s possible that existing research has already determined the validity of a particular test that schools want to collect data on.

What is Content Validity?

Content validity refers to the actual content within a test. A test that is valid in content should adequately examine all aspects that define the objective.

Content validity is not a statistical measurement, but rather a qualitative one. For example, a standardized assessment in 9th-grade biology is content-valid if it covers all topics taught in a standard 9th-grade biology course.

Warren Schillingburg, an education specialist and associate superintendent, advises that determination of content-validity “should include several teachers (and content experts when possible) in evaluating how well the test represents the content taught.”

While this advice is certainly helpful for academic tests, content validity is of particular importance when the goal is more abstract, as the components of that goal are more subjective.

School inclusiveness, for example, may not only be defined by the equality of treatment across student groups, but by other factors, such as equal opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities.

Despite its complexity, the qualitative nature of content validity makes it a particularly accessible measure for all school leaders to take into consideration when creating data instruments.

A Case Study on Validity

To understand the different types of validity and how they interact, consider the example of Baltimore Public Schools trying to measure school climate.

School climate is a broad term, and its intangible nature can make it difficult to determine the validity of tests that attempt to quantify it. Baltimore Public Schools found research from The National Center for School Climate (NCSC) which set out five criterion that contribute to the overall health of a school’s climate. These criteria are safety, teaching and learning, interpersonal relationships, environment, and leadership, which the paper also defines on a practical level.

Because the NCSC’s criterion were generally accepted as valid measures of school climate, Baltimore City Schools sought to find tools that “are aligned with the domains and indicators proposed by the National School Climate Center.” This is essentially asking whether the tools Baltimore City Schools used were criterion-valid measures of school climate.

Baltimore City Schools introduced four data instruments, predominantly surveys, to find valid measures of school climate based on these criterion. They found that “each source addresses different school climate domains with varying emphasis,” implying that the usage of one tool may not yield content-valid results, but that the usage of all four “can be construed as complementary parts of the same larger picture.” Thus, sometimes validity can be achieved by using multiple tools from multiple viewpoints.


WISC-V Composite Score Indices:

  • VCI: The VCI measures verbal reasoning, understanding, concept formation, in addition to a child’s fund of knowledge and crystallized intelligence. Crystallized intelligence is the knowledge a child has acquired over his or her lifespan through experiences and learning. The core subtests which comprise the VCI require youth to define pictures or vocabulary words, and describe how words are conceptually related. Children with expressive and/or receptive language deficits often exhibit poorer performance on the VCI. Studies have also indicated that a child’s vocabulary knowledge is related to the development of reading abilities, and as such, weaker performance on tasks involving vocabulary may signal an academic area of difficulty.
  • VSI: The VSI measures a child’s nonverbal reasoning and concept formation, visual perception and organization, visual-motor coordination, ability to analyze and synthesize abstract information, and distinguish figure-ground in visual stimuli. Specifically, the core subtests of the VSI require that a child use mental rotation and visualization in order to build a geometric design to match a model with and without the presence of blocks. Children with visual-spatial deficits may exhibit difficulty on tasks involving mathematics, building a model from an instruction sheet, or differentiating visual stimuli and figure ground on a computer screen.
  • FRI: The FRI assesses a child’s quantitative reasoning, classification and spatial ability, knowledge of part to whole relationships. It also evaluates a child’s fluid reasoning abilities, which is the ability to solve novel problems independent of previous knowledge. The core tasks which make up the FRI require that a child choose an option to complete an incomplete matrix or series, and view a scale with missing weight(s) in order to select an option that would keep the scale balanced. A child with fluid reasoning deficits may have difficulty understanding relationships between concepts, and as such, may generalize concepts learned. They may also struggle when asked to solve a problem after the content has changed, or when question is expressed differently from how a child was taught (e.g., setting up a math problem by using information in a word problem). Difficulties with inductive reasoning can also manifest as challenges identifying an underlying rule or procedure.
  • WMI: The WMI evaluates a child’s ability to sustain auditory attention, concentrate, and exert mental control. Children are asked to repeat numbers read aloud by the evaluator in a particular order, and have memory for pictures previously presented. Deficits in working memory often suggest that children will require repetition when learning new information, as they exhibit difficulties taking information in short-term memory, manipulating it, and producing a response at a level comparable to their same age peers. It is also not uncommon for youth with self-regulatory challenges, as observed in Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to present with difficulties in working memory and processing speed (noted below).
  • PSI: The PSI estimates how quickly and accurately a child is able to process information. Youth are asked to engage in tasks involving motor coordination, visual processing, and search skills under time constraints. Assuming processing speed difficulties are not related to delays in visual-motor functioning, weaker performance on the tasks which comprise the core subtests of the PSI indicate that a child will require additional time to process information and complete their work. In the academic context, school-based accommodations may include allowing a child to take unfinished assignments home, focusing on the quality of work over quantity, shortening tasks, and allowing extended time.

In summary, IQ is more than one aspect of functioning and encapsulates several factors described above. As a result, it is often more helpful to assess the indices which comprise a child’s FSIQ separately in order to best inform treatment and intervention.


NSPT offers services in Bucktown, Evanston, Highland Park, Lincolnwood, Glenview and Des Plaines. If you have questions or concerns about your child, we would love to help! Give us a call at (877) 486-4140 and speak to one of our Family Child Advocates today!


Causes of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Early theories of autism placed the blame squarely on the shoulders of the child’s parents, particularly the mother. Bruno Bettelheim (an Austrian-born American child psychologist who was heavily influenced by Sigmund Freud’s ideas) suggested that a mother’s ambivalent attitudes and her frozen and rigid emotions toward her child were the main causal factors in childhood autism. In what must certainly stand as one of the more controversial assertions in psychology over the last 50 years, he wrote, “I state my belief that the precipitating factor in infantile autism is the parent’s wish that his child should not exist” (Bettelheim, 1967, p. 125). As you might imagine, Bettelheim did not endear himself to a lot of people with this position incidentally, no scientific evidence exists supporting his claims.

The exact causes of autism spectrum disorder remain unknown despite massive research efforts over the last two decades (Meek, Lemery-Chalfant, Jahromi, & Valiente, 2013). Autism appears to be strongly influenced by genetics, as identical twins show concordance rates of 60%–90%, whereas concordance rates for fraternal twins and siblings are 5%–10% (Autism Genome Project Consortium, 2007). Many different genes and gene mutations have been implicated in autism (Meek et al., 2013). Among the genes involved are those important in the formation of synaptic circuits that facilitate communication between different areas of the brain (Gauthier et al., 2011). A number of environmental factors are also thought to be associated with increased risk for autism spectrum disorder, at least in part, because they contribute to new mutations. These factors include exposure to pollutants, such as plant emissions and mercury, urban versus rural residence, and vitamin D deficiency (Kinney, Barch, Chayka, Napoleon, & Munir, 2009).



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