Validity of Main Intelligence Tests

23 Mar 2015

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Nowadays, it is getting more and more people comparing self to others in order to define their standards among the other. Besides of comparing achievements and richness, intelligence is one of the most popular items to be compared. Based on the intelligence scores, people get to prejudge and define others; this may cause people with low intelligence scores withdraw from socializing and other psychological problems. "Intelligence is the ability to solve problems, or to create products, that are valued within one or more cultural settings" (Gardner, 1993, p. 33). The purpose of this paper is to study whether the main intelligence tests are valid measures of people's ability to perform intelligently. According to the past researches, it is found that the main intelligence tests such as Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, Standard-Binet Intelligence Scale, and Wechsler's tests are valid to predict people's academic achievements (Freberg, Vandiver, Watkins, & Canivez, 2008; Hale, Fiorello, Kavanagh, Hoeppner, & Gaither, 2001; Pind, Gunnarsdottir, & Johannesson, 2003; Rushton, Skuy, & Bons, 2004; Smith, Martin, & Lyon, 1989).

One of the studies which found that Wechsler's tests are valid measures in predicting people's academic achievements was done by Freberg et al. (2008). The aim of the study was to examine the validity of Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition Full Scale IQ scores in measuring future academic achievement based on the significant difference among the WISC-III four factor scores: "Freedom from Distractibility, Perceptual Organization, Verbal Comprehension, and Processing Speed" (Freberg et al., 2008, p. 135). The study was participated by 202 students who were assessed twice over three years for special education qualifications. Participants' age ranged from 6 to 13 years. Participants were divided into two groups according to the absence or presence of a significant variability between the WISC - III four factor scores, and then the WISC - III four factor scores were matched across groups on Full Scale IQ scores, sex, age, ethnicity and disability such as specific learning disability, serious emotional disturbance, and mental retardation.

In the study done by Freberg et al. (2008), the results were analysed by using hierarchical multiple regression showed that the WISC - III Full Scale IQ was a valid measure of reading achievement (r = .65) and math achievement (r = .75) in the occurrence of significant factor score discrepancy. The results of this study support present argument because Freberg et al. (2008) found that WISC - III Full Scale IQ could be a powerful and valid predictor of future academic achievement, where the higher the IQ score, the better it is in reading achievement and math achievement. However, the sample size in this study was too small to generalize the result to every aspect, so it is recommended that future research should be done with larger sample sizes. Besides, this study focused solely on the WISC - III, which could be replaced by WISC - IV, due to this limitation, it is suggested that this study should be replicate by using WISC - IV or different kind of cognitive ability test to examine the generalizability of this study.

Besides of the study done by Freberg et al. (2008), there is another study done by Hale et al. (2001) also found that Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition is a valid measure to predict children's academic achievement. There were 174 children who age ranged from 6 to 16 years participated in this study. In order to be involved in this study, they needed to complete the 12 subtests to analyse factor scores and WISC - III Full Scale IQ. Other than that, they needed to have Full Scale IQ between 80 and 120, and to have a significant discrepancy between logical or rational functioning and no less than one academic achievement area. Children were not included if they had a record of epilepsy, brain injury or any other medical condition that would affect psychological functioning. Archival data of 6-year period were collected to examine the presence and absence of medical histories.

According to the results in the study done by Hale et al. (2001), it showed that Full Scale IQ was positively correlated with all the academic achievements - Verbal Comprehension (r = .68), Reading Comprehension (r = .33), Reading Decoding (r = .33), Spelling (r = .39), Written Language (r = .33), and Math Computation (r = .44). The results of this study support present argument Hale et al. (2001) also found Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition as a valid measure to predict academic achievements such as verbal comprehension, reading comprehension, and math computation. It means when the children score higher in Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children - Third Edition, it is predicted that the children can also score higher in academic achievements as mentioned above. This study used a clinic-referred sample of children with learning disabilities, so the results in this study may not be generalized to school-based samples of children with learning disabilities or normal children. Thus, future studies could look at whether the same performance patterns present for different group of populations.

Apart from Wechsler Intelligence Scale, Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices is also one of the main intelligence tests. A study done by Pind et al. (2003) found that Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices is a valid measure to predict children's academic achievement. In the study, participants that were actually assessed were 665 children who age ranged 6 to 16 years, but it ended up only 550 children were chosen to the actual standardised sample. The tests were run as group tests in a group of 10 children. Administrator was in the classroom to describe and to guide the children throughout the tests. To make sure coding of the answers accurately, every test form was keyed into computer twice. According to the results, Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices had higher positive correlation with mathematics as compared with the positive correlation of Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices and language subjects. Besides, Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices also had remarkable positive correlations with the Icelandic National Examinations in fourth grade (r = .38), seventh grade (r = .64), and tenth grade (r = .53). The results of this study support my argument because it testified the usefulness of Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices to measure intelligence and to predict students' academic achievements in Icelandic National Examinations, where the higher score the students got in Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, the higher they could score in Icelandic National Examinations.

Not only Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices is a valid measure to predict academic achievement, Rushton et al. (2004) found that Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices is also a valid measure in predicting academic achievement. There were actually 392 students from University of the Witwatersrand took the Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices, but it was cut down to 306 students by not including those without biographical data, high-school grades, or examination scores, or those who listed their age that over 23, or those who were in a small sample sizes. One hundred and seventy seven of them were Africans while another 129 were non-Africans, their age ranged from 17 to 23 years. Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices and other academic tests were administered by authors and his colleagues during regular class period. Students received 50 rand each as reward when they passed up the answer sheets.

Based on the results in the study done by Rushton et al. (2004), for the Africans, results indicated that Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices correlated positively with English Test (r = .29), Similarities Test (r = .14), and High-school Grade Point Average (r = .22). While for the non-Africans, Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices also correlated positively with English Test (r = .25), Similarities Test (r = .26), and High-school Grade Point Average (r = .16). Contrary to expectation, Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices was not correlated with University Grades either for Africans or non-Africans. The results of this study support present argument because Rushton et al. (2004) examined the validity of Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices which indicated that it is a valid measure to predict academic achievement although it failed to predict University Grades. It was mentioned that Africans were not

Smith et al. (1989) did a Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition validation study on predicting academic performance. This study compared and assessed the performance of students with learning disabilities on the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children and the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition. The sample included 18 students with learning disabilities who ranged in age from 8 to 11 years. Every student was diagnosed before as having learning disability by taking intelligence test individually. Every student was arranged to take the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children test and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition test in counterbalance sequence by psychologists in school. The time spent between tests was 5 to 22 days, with an average of 12 days.

Results in the study done by Smith et al. (1989) showed that the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children's Mental Processing Composite was positively correlated with Sequential Processing (r = .77), Simultaneous Processing (r = .92), and Achievement (r = .48), while Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition's Test Composite was also positively correlated with Verbal Reasoning (r = .96), Abstract or Visual Reasoning (r = .89), and Quantitative Reasoning (r = .78). These results indicated that Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition are valid measures of students with learning disability to perform intelligently. The results of this study support present argument because Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale - Fourth Edition also found to be valid to predict academic achievement positively. The limitation of this study was the sample of participants. As relationship between intelligence scales and academic achievements were examined in this study, participants were needed to do certain solving problems, reading, spelling, or writing questions, thus, students with learning disabilities might not be able to solve or answer some of the questions which would affect the results. Therefore, future researches are needed to examine the generalizability of the results for different samples of students with learning disabilities.

As a conclusion, main intelligence tests such as Raven's Standard Progressive Matrices, Standard-Binet Intelligence Scale, and Wechsler's tests are found to be valid to predict people's academic achievements (Freberg et al., 2008; Hale et al., 2001; Pind et al., 2003; Rushton et al., 2004; Smith et al., 1989). According to the scores from intelligence scales, academic achievement might be able to be predicted; however, it does not mean people can get the good result without paying certain amount of efforts on getting impressive results. Therefore, intelligence scales can be good measures or tool to predict how well is the people able to achievement, but it cannot assure the prediction if the person does not pay any effort.



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