Can different measures of intelligence be used interchangeably? A comparison of the Wechsler and Stanford-Binet scales

Gilmore, Linda, Garred, Melinda, & Wilson, Kimberley (2011) Can different measures of intelligence be used interchangeably? A comparison of the Wechsler and Stanford-Binet scales. In 11th European Conference on Psychological Assessment, 31 August – 3 September 2011, Riga, Latvia.


The Wechsler and Stanford Binet scales are among the most commonly used tests of intelligence. In clinical practice, they often seem to be used interchangeably. This paper reports the results of two studies that compared the most recent editions of two Wechsler scales (WPPSI-III and WISC-IV) with the Stanford-Binet Fifth Edition (SB5).

The participants in the first study were 36 typically developing 4-year-old children who completed the WPPSI-III and SB5 in counter-balanced order. Although correlations of composite scores ranged from r = .59 to r = .82 and were similar to those reported for earlier versions of the two instruments, more than half the sample had a score discrepancy greater than 10 points across the two instruments.

In the second study, the WISC-IV and SB5 were administered to 30 children aged 12-14 years. There was a significant difference between Full Scale IQs on the two measures, with scores being higher on the WISC-IV. Differences between the two verbal scales were also significant and favoured the WISC-IV. There were moderate correlations of Full Scale IQs (r = .58) and Nonverbal IQs (r = .54) but the relationship between the two Verbal scales was not significant. For some children, notable score differences led to different categorisations of their level of intellectual ability

The findings suggest that the Wechsler and Stanford Binet scales cannot be presumed to be interchangeable. The discussion focuses on how psychologists might reconcile large differences in test scores and the need for caution when interpreting and comparing test results.

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ID Code: 83924
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: intellectual assessment, intelligence testing, cognitive assessment, Wechsler, Stanford Binet
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Educational Psychology (170103)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Cultural & Professional Learning
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 06 May 2015 05:06
Last Modified: 28 May 2015 05:54

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