Intelligence assessment: operation and tests used

The term “intelligence” has multiple definitions, as it can lead to different conceptions depending on the vision that each scholar has had, so it is not easy to measure it.

Among the ways to define intelligence, we can highlight the following: ability of logic, reasoning, processing understanding, learning, creativity, emotional, problem solving, among others.

Many different tests have been developed for the assessment of intelligence, based on the author’s conception of this concept, in order to assess various skills, knowledge or functions, through different psychometric tests generally called ‘test of’. intelligence ”.

In this article we will talk about the intelligence assessment process and the most commonly used tests in this context.

    How to assess a person’s intelligence?

    There is no single way to assess human intelligence, but several types of tests have been developed for this purpose, several of which we will discuss in this article.

    The tests that have been developed with the aim of assessing intelligence allow measurement of more global aspects (for example, verbal comprehension), so that thanks to this type of tool psychologists can assess and know the potential that has a person for learning or other abilities.

    Classification of intelligence assessment instruments

    The most common classification of intelligence assessment tests is that which divides them into two large groups: intelligence assessment tests based on a rational methodology and those based on the factorial method, as we will see. then.

    1. Intelligence assessment test based on a rational methodology (from a clinical approach)

    It is a set of tests for the evaluation of intelligence which have been developed on the basis of the theory of the author who developed each of the tests on the basis of a rational methodology. It should be noted that this type of test is applied individually.

    The main precursor of this type of test was Wechsler, who developed his tests based on Binet’s theory. and whose tests are still in force today, being the most widely used in this area of ​​psychology. For Wechsler, intelligence is just another component of personality, and it encompasses a set of skills and abilities that people need to be able to adapt to the environment in which they live.

    On the other hand, tests for evaluating rational intelligence are generally made up of a very diverse set of tasks, so that they make it possible to assess the various skills and capacities that make up human intelligence. .

      2. Intelligence assessment test based on factor methodology

      In this group are the intelligence assessment tests that they were developed on the basis of a factor analysis.

      Among the professionals who have developed this type of test to measure intelligence is Spearman, who first used factor analysis in the early 20th century to learn about the most important components of intelligence.

      This type of test they are usually applied collectively and are divided into two groups: on the one hand, the tests of the factor g, which perform a single measurement (compared to the factor g) in order to assess the intellectual level; on the other hand, there are aptitude tests, responsible for evaluating a series of specific skills possessed by the person assessed, without the latter evaluating general intelligence.

      The tests of the factorial analysis method conceive of intelligence as a set of unconnected characteristics, and not as a unitary characteristic.

        Rational intelligence assessment tests

        Rational testing is usually based on the theory of the author who developed each of the tests, so that each measures intelligence based on the design that its author has. Below, we’ll briefly explain some of the most widely used Rational Intelligence tests.

        1. Stanford-Binet intelligence scales

        This scale, existing since its first version at the beginning of the 20th century, has evolved into several versions, the 4th and 5th being the most recent.

        The 4th version of Stanford-Binet consists of 15 tests to assess intelligence, divided into 4 areas: short-term memory and abstract-visual, verbal and numerical-quantitative domains. This is a test intended for people aged 2 to 23 and is based on an assessment based on a hierarchical model at three levels: Factor G, verbal, quantitative and abstract and crystallized reasoning, fluido-analytical abilities and short term memory.

        The 5th version has been developed in order to be able to apply this test to the evaluation of the intelligence of people up to 85 years old, the other components being similar to those of the previous version.

          2. Wechsler Intelligence Rating Scales

          These types of tests are probably the most used in this field. There are several versions depending on the age group you want to assess:

          • WPPSI: application age from 2 years and 6 months to 7 years and 7 months (latest version).
          • WISC: application age from 6 years and 11 months to 16 years and 11 months (latest version).
          • WAIS: application age from 16 to 89 years (latest version).

          The WPPSI-IV consists of 5 types of tests: key to cracks, cancellation, animal search, location and reconnaissance.

          The WISC-V consists of a full scale which measures verbal comprehension, visuospatial comprehension, fluent reasoning, working memory and processing speed; the primary scales, which measure the same components of intelligence as the total scale; and finally, the secondary scales, which measure quantitative reasoning, auditory working memory, non-verbal reasoning, general ability and cognitive competence.

          The WAIS assesses overall intellectual functioning as well as four indices: perceptual reasoning, verbal comprehension, speed of processing and working memory. This test consists of 10 main tests and 5 optional tests, and the latter are used in cases where there is a need to expand the range of cognitive skills assessed, in order to obtain more information about the subject being assessed.

            3. Kaufman Intelligence Rating Scales

            Kaufman’s K-ABC test primarily focuses on the form of treatment, so is a very useful tool for assessment tests for children who have difficulty learning or communicating. These tests can be applied to children from 2 years and 6 months to 12 years and 5 months and consist of 4 scales and 16 subtests.

            The K-BIT test targets a higher range (ages 4 to 90) and is a screening, non-diagnostic test that assesses both verbal and non-verbal intelligence. It also consists of 2 subtests: vocabulary, to measure verbal intelligence, and matrices, to measure non-verbal intelligence.

              Factor tests for intelligence assessment

              Factor tests can be divided into two categories: non-verbal tests and verbal tests. Below, we’ll take a look at some evidence that illustrates both types of evidence.

              1. Non-verbal intelligence assessment test

              The following tests stand out in this category.

              1.1. The progressive matrix test developed by Raven

              It is one of the most widely used tests for the assessment of intelligence, the purpose of which is to assess the general intelligence of subjects, being designed to measure the G factor, which also accounts for 60% of the variance of test i it is very useful for quickly measuring the level of intellectual functioning.

              The items of this test are of two types: those of Gestalt behavior, in which the subject must complete an incomplete drawing; and those of deduction of relation or analogical reasoning, in which it is given to him they present to the subject several alternatives and he must choose the good one.

                1.2. Test of Cattell the G factor

                The main feature of this intelligence assessment test is that it does not require any minimum level of education or culture (There are 3 versions depending on age and / or cultural level) and is responsible for assessing the G factor of intelligence, explaining this 90% of the variability of this test.

                These tests contain 4 types of tests: classification, series, matrix and condition, together providing an overall score. They provide percentile scores and therefore the IC (intelligence quotient) and mental age are calculated.

                  2. Verbal intelligence assessment test

                  In this category we find the following instruments.

                  2.1 IG-2

                  It is a test that is used for assess intelligence with people of low culture and measure general crystallized intelligence, it therefore assesses verbal comprehension, numerical reasoning and abstraction skills. The tests used in this test are: verbal comprehension and speed, reasoning and perceptual precision.

                  2.2 Simple Otis

                  This test is used with people with a medium-low cultural level, to assess mental development and their ability to adapt consistently while thinking about new adversities. Questions from the common environment are used to make the assessment.

                  Bibliographical references

                  • APIR (2019). Manual of psychological assessment. Madrid: APIR.
                  • Aymami, Minnesota (2015). Psychopathology of intelligence. To J. Vallejo (Coord.). Introduction to psychopathology and psychiatry (pp. E230-e257). Madrid: Elsevier Masson.
                  • Moreno, C. (2019). Psychological assessment applied to the areas of development and intelligence. In C. Moreno and IM Ramírez (Coords.) Psychological assessment: processes, techniques and applications in fields and contexts (pp. 423-448). Madrid: Editorial Sanz i Torres.

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