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A comparison of the Stanford-Binet (1937 revision, form L) and Wechsler intelligence scale for children at different age and intellectual levels Powell, Joan Anne

Abstract

This study was designed to investigate the relationship between the intelligence quotients yielded by two widely used individual tests of intelligence for children, namely, the Stanford-Binet, Form L, (1937 Revision) and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC). Until recently, the Binet has been used almost exclusively to ascertain the intelligence of the school-age child but, with the publication of the WISC in 1949, there has been an increasing trend toward using the tests either interchangeably or in conjunction with one another. In view of this development, an attempt to discover the relationship between the two scales would seem to be of much practical value. Although the two scales agree in assuming a "g" factor of intelligence, they differ as to the nature of their content and construction. The Stanford-Binet does not include any test items designated as measuring a particular skill, whereas the WISC is composed of twelve subtests, each supposed to tap a specific ability, and it yields a separate verbal and performance intelligence quotient. The two scales also differ in the manner of computing an intelligence quotient; the Binet scale depends upon a Mental Age concept of intelligence, whereas the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children is a point scale. This study attempted to ascertain to what extent the Stanford-Binet correlates with each of the WISC scales (Verbal, Performance and Full Scale) at three different age levels and three levels of intelligence, i.e., with subjects of Superior, Average and Retarded intelligence. It also attempted to find out what differences, if any, might occur between the Mean intelligence quotients yielded by the two tests in the above age and intellectual categories, and what direction these differences might take. Wechsler has objected to the Stanford-Binet deviations, which vary in size at difference age levels. At 6 years, the Binet standard deviation is unusually small, and at 12 years of age it is unusually large: the WISC standard deviations are the same size at each age level. It was hypothesized, therefore, that at the extremes of the intelligence distribution at ages 6 and 12 years, there should be differences between the Mean intelligence quotients yielded by the two tests in the direction of the size of the Binet standard deviations at these two age levels – a smaller Mean Binet than Mean WISC intelligence quotient at age 6 years, with a higher Mean intelligence quotient on the Binet at age 12 years. Subjects of these two ages, 6 and 12 years, were included in the experimental group in order to test this hypothesis, while the use of subjects of superior and retarded intelligence insured that extreme scores would occur. The sample of subjects of average intelligence, plus a group of 9-year-olds, were included for control and comparison in testing this hypothesis but also for their own research value. The sample was composed of 85 subjects - ten children in each age category of the Superior and Average intelligence groups; and in the Defective group, fourteen 12-year-olds, nine 9-year-olds, and four 6-year-olds. The positive correlations which occurred may be summarized as follows : 1. In the 9-year-old Superior group, the Stanford-Binet IQ correlated significantly with - (a) the WISC Verbal IQ at the 1% level of confidence; (b) the WISC Performance Scale IQ at the 5% level of confidence; (c) the WISC Full Scale IQ at the 1% level of confidence. 2. In the 9-year-old Average group, the Stanford-Binet IQ correlated significantly with - (a) the WISC Verbal Scale IQ at the 1% level of confidence; (b) the WISC Full Scale at the 5% level of confidence. Significant differences between the Mean IQs of the two tests may be summarized as follows : 1. In the group of Superior 9-year-olds, the Stanford-Binet IQs were significantly higher (at the 1% level of confidence) than the WISC Verbal, Performance, and Full Scale IQs. 2. In the group of Superior 12-year-olds, the Stanford-Binet IQs were significantly higher at the 1% level of confidence for the WISC Full and Verbal Scale IQs. 3- In the group of Average 12-year-olds, the Stanford-Binet is significantly higher at the 5% level of confidence than the WISC Verbal IQ. The major conclusions of this study are : 1. The obtained results are in essential agreement with the studies comparing the Wechsler adult scale and the Stanford-Binet. 2. There seems to be a consistent tendency in this study and others reviewed previously for lower correlations between the Stanford-Binet and WISC Performance Scale, than between the Stanford-Binet and WISC Verbal and Performance Scales. 3. There seems to be no support for the hypothesis that the difference between the Mean Stanford-Binet and the Mean WISC IQs at the Superior level will differ in direction according to the size of the Binet standard deviation at the age level in question. 4. The WISC appears to be an unsatisfactory test for measuring the markedly retarded children. Both in terms of construction, and interest value to subjects, the Stanford-Binet seems to be a better scale for the measurement of the lower levels of intelligence. 5. Keeping in mind the limited sample upon which this study was based, the two scales do not seem to be interchangeable. The practical import of this conclusion is that clinicians, social workers, psychiatrists, school teachers, and so on, should be fully aware that the child given both the tests may well yield widely different IQs on the respective tests. Suggestions for future research have been included.

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