Tuesday, March 28, 2006

John Horn and CHC listserv NASP meeting

Quickie post. The first ever IAP CHC listserv get-together at the National Association of School Psychologists (in Anaheim, CA) occurred this evening. Evidence is presented above....a picture of John "there ain't no g" Horn and two other great CHC-to-practice bridgers....Michael Gerner and Sam Ortiz.

More later...maybe.

Blink and Think

A tip of the hat to one of my favorite regular reads (ENL blog) for information (including link to article ) on the benefits of a reflective cognitive style to human performance.

Think Slow: Some Benefits of Cognitive Reflection (click here)

The gist of their post, and subsequent article resources, are consistent with the book Think (that I just finished reading.) Think is a book that is largely a response to the highly visible best selling book Blink. To simplify the value of each book, think of the following cognitive psychology analogy.
  • Think is to deliberate/controlled cognitive processing as Blink is to automatic cognitive processing.
I like to think of the books as complimentary popular press attempts to explain the controlled/automatic cognitive processing dichotomy in cognitive information processing models.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

Brain injury psychological database

A huge tip-of-the-hat to the braininjruy blog for the FYI regarding the PsycBITE databased.

Psychological Database for Brain Damage (click here)

  • PsycBITE™ is a database that catalogs studies of cognitive, behavioral and other treatments for psychological problems and issues occurring as a consequence of acquired brain impairment (ABI). The types of studies contained on this database are Systematic Reviews, Randomized Controlled Trials (RCT), Non-Randomized Controlled Trials (non-RCT), Case Series (CS), and Single Subject Design (SSD).

Sunday, March 26, 2006

WJ III Evolving Web of Knowledge (EWOK) is given birth

Announcing the first IAP EWOK (Evolving Web of Knowledge)----the WJ III EWOK. [This project is why I have not been posting as frequently to IQs Corner blog during the past 3-4 weeks.]

What is an EWOK?

An EWOK is an web-based, visually-oriented "Evolving Web of Knowledge" regarding a specific domain of knowledge of interest to the Institute for Applied Psychometrics.

The goal of an EWOK is simple: To provide a centralized up-to-date source information regarding a specific topic that is revised/updated on a semi-regular basis.

The goal of the WJ III EWOK is simple - to provide up-to-date information that has accumlulated since the WJ III battery was published in 2001. That's it... a simple goal.

The curent version (3-25-06) is FAR from being complete, but I wanted to get this "out there"so people can benefit from the currently avaialbe WJ III EWOK information.

Feedback regarding this project is welcome.

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

WJ III post-publication reference list available

As promised over on the IAP CHC listserv (n=863 strong--and growing) I've completed my hard target search for all possible post-WJ III publication research. I have now posted the current reference list, which includes published journal manuscripts, select books and book chapters, and many dissertations. If readers are aware of publications that are missing, please let me know.

Click here to view/download

Also, a version that includes abstracts for almost all studies, as well as URL links to many of the journal articles (for on-line viewing and/or downloading) will be announced shortly, via the first ever WJ III EWOK (Evolving Web of Knolwedge). Stay tunned. It may be up soon.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

The double deficit dyslexia hypothesis revisited

There is little doubt that the "double deficit" hypothesis is on of the most prominent models advanced to explain severe reading disabilities (dyslexia). It is refreshing to see a recent JLD review that casts fresh eyes on the validity of the DD hypothesis, and more importantly, a closer look at what the two core disabilities are, are not...or.....whether there is any agreement in the field re: what they represent in terms of basic underlying cognitive processes.

Below is the reference and abstract. I would encourage assessment professionals working with the education of students with reading problems to give this article a read. The authors conclude that the DD hypothesis may be given to much creedance, largely due to ubiqutous problems in research methodology across a diverse set of studies(e.g., use of different measures; different operational defintions of the core constructs; different theoretical explanations; etc.). The authors conclude that "the existing evidence does not support a persistent core deficit in naming speed for readers with dyslexia."

Although I need to reconcile this conclusion with the extant postive research that suggests that naming speed (Glr-NA: Naming Ability in the land of CHC theory)is significantly related to early reading success, such a review does give one pause. As with all highly visible established research lore, maybe the DD hypothesis, although true, may be over-stated. The article provides a nice overview of the various issues in the methodological problems in this research, competing theoretical explanations, and different attempts to define what measures of RAN (rapid automatic naming) actually measure.

Vukovic, R. K. Siegel, L. (2006). The Double-Deficit Hypothesis: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Evidence. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 39 (1), 25-47. (click here to view/download)

  • The double-deficit hypothesis of developmental dyslexia proposes that deficits in phonological processing and naming speed represent independent sources of dysfunction in dyslexia. The present article is a review of the evidence for the double-deficit hypothesis, including a discussion of recent findings related to the hypothesis. Studies in this area have been characterized by variability in methodology—how dyslexia is defined and identified, and how dyslexia subtypes are classified. Such variability sets limitations on the extent to which conclusions may be drawn with respect to the double-deficit hypothesis. Furthermore, the literature is complicated by the persistent finding that measures of phonological processing and naming speed are significantly correlated, resulting in a statistical artifact that makes it difficult to disentangle the influence of naming speed from that of phonological processing. Longitudinal and intervention studies of the double-deficit hypothesis are needed to accumulate evidence that investigates a naming speed deficit that is independent of a phonological deficit for readers with dyslexia. The existing evidence does not support a persistent core deficit in naming speed for readers with dyslexia.

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Large and small scale visual-spatial (Gv) abilities: Moving around a city--playing HALO--psychometric Gv tests

[Double click image to enlarge}

In what way are learning your way around a city your are visiting, playing the XBOX game HALO, and solving visual-spatial tasks on intelligence tests alike? How are they the same? How are they different?

These questions have fascinated me ever since I was recently introduced to the world of HALO. Watching teenagers and young adults play HALO, which requires lighting fast reaction time (Gt), plus the ability to remember the spatial layouts of complex buildings and terrains (from one gaming session to another), has boggled my mind. After considerable “egging on” by some seasoned HALO youth….I gave it a try. To be blunt………I was a disaster.

In my few attempts at HALO, I was killed repeatedly and could not get the action figure I was controlling to do nothing more than spin in circles and fire rounds at my feet or up in the air. Once I learned how move (like a baby), navigating the various maze layouts was daunting. I was completely lost, while the youngsters were literally running and moving around corners, jumping levels, moving through doors, etc., all the while shooting with unbelievable accuracy. They had clearly, via considerable sustatined motivated practice, internalized the spatial configuration of these various virtual environments.

I began to wonder if there was any correlation between visual-spatial psychometric test performance and performance in visual-spatial “wayfinding” in these virtual game environments. Partial answers to my questions were recently answered in the following article published in the journal Intelligence (click here to view/download).

The abstract is below. Also below are a few select conclusions and comments.
  • The bottom line is that small-scale psychometric visual-spatial (Gv) tasks do demonstrate significant correlations with navigation in large-scale virtual media environments (HALO), but are not strongly associated with navigation in large-scale real environments (wayfinding in a new city).
  • There are large individual differences in large-scale spatial learning. [Comment – no s__t batman!!!! I obviously am at the bottom of the distribution in large-scale virtual reality spatial learning]
  • The research supports a model (see graphic above) that suggest partial, rather than total, dissociation between large-scale and small-scale spatial (Gv) abilities.
  • Measures of spatial learning from real environments and measures of learning from visual media are partially dissociated and load on different Gv factors. Do these findings, together with the correlated, yet separate, construct validity for psychometric Gv abilities, suggest a need to revise the CHC Gv taxonomy via the inclusion of different types of large-scale navigation Gv abilities? Is there a need to differentiate Gv abilities along the dimension of scale (large- vs. small-scale processing).
  • The shared variance between small-scale psychometric Gv and large-scale navigational Gv appears to represent a shared/common visual-spatial processing ability and is not due to the influence of verbal (Gc) abilities or general intelligence (g).
  • With myself being an obvious outlier, performance on small-scale psychometric visual-spatial tasks reasonably predicts performance on large-scale visual/virtual media Gv tasks. An obvious question is whether sustained practice on virtual-reality games (e.g., HALO), that place strong demands on visual configuration navigation, visual working memory, visual updating, etc., result in improvement in small-scale Gv performance over time? Is the current generation of video gamers raising the mean level of Gv abilities on traditional psychometric measures?
  • Anyone who loves to conduct secondary analysis of published correlation/covariance matrices (via SEM/CFA methods) should find the matrix reported in this article lots of fun.

Hegarty, M., Montello, A. Richardson, A. (2006) Spatial abilities at different scales: Intelligence 34 (2006) 151– 176


  • Most psychometric tests of spatial ability are paper-and-pencil tasks at the “figural” scale of space, in that they involve inspecting, imagining or mentally transforming small shapes or manipulable objects. Environmental spatial tasks, such as wayfinding or learning the layout of a building or city, are carried out in larger spaces that surround the body and involve integration of the sequence of views that change with one’s movement in the environment. In a correlational study, 221 participants were tested on psychometric measures of spatial abilities, spatial updating, verbal abilities and working memory. They also learned the layout of large environments from direct experience walking through a real environment, and via two different media: a desktop virtual environment (VE) and a videotape of a walk through an environment. In an exploratory factor analysis, measures of environmental learning from direct experience defined a separate factor from measures of learning based on VE and video media. In structural-equation models, smallscale spatial abilities predicted performance on the environmental-learning tasks, but were more predictive of learning from media than from direct experience. The results indicate that spatial abilities at different scales of space are partially but not totally dissociated. They specify the degree of overlap between small-scale and large-scale spatial abilities, inform theories of sex differences in these abilities, and provide new insights about what these abilities have in common and how they differ.

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Bloggin on the road @ two CA conferences

I'm on the road again. I arrived this afternoon to attend the West Coast Neuropsychology Conference in San Diego (for the first time). I will be here 3 days, and then off to NASP (Anaheim) for 6 more.

I do not think I will attempt to "blog live" (like I did from ISIR) but, I do hope to engage in some form of fyi reports, latest flashes, etc. Heck...I brought my camera and may even post some pics from the conferences.

An upside of travel is that I tend to have more time (usually on planes) to read. I absored two interesting articles on the flight out and will post information regarding them as soon as I can trudle over to a Starbucks to enjoy coffee and wifi. One article is on the relationship between large and small scale Gv abilities and the other a review of the validity of the reading "double deficit" hypothesis.

More later. No promises on how much I blog..nor the content. A guy has to have some fun.

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Developmental plasticity of the brain

Hat tip to the Eide Neurolearning Blog for the articel re: training and brain plasticity across ages.

Training Brains of All Ages

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

National principles on defining reading proficiency and accessible large scale assessments

Yesterday the National Accessible Reading Assessment Projects (NARAP), a collaboration of projects funded by the U. S. Dept. of Education, Office of Special Educaiton Programs (OSEP), published "Defining reading proficiency for accessible large-scale assessments: Some guiding principles and issues" (click here to visit web sit and link to paper).

This document is the result of a year long consensus building process and will significantly influence the design and evaluation of large-scale (i.e., state testing) testing programs with regard to making assessments more accessible for students with disabilities. Whether you agree with the defition of reading proficiency included in the report, and/or the general approach (via the articulation of principles) to assessment of reading proficiency, those involved in assessments of kids with disabilities should be aware of the contents of this document....as it will influence the activities of the two major partners in NARAP (DARA and PARA).

[Conlfict of interest disclosure - the blogmaster has a consulting contract with the PARA at the NCEO with regard to this project.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Autism teaching guidelines

Thanks to the Special Education Law Blog for the FYI link to an NEA docuement that provides guidelines for teaching children with Autism

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Kids and multitasking

The cover story on the new Time magazine deals with whether today's kids are "too plugged in" electronically, engaging in excessive multitasking. I haven't had time to read it yet.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

Silent running

Regular readers may have noticed a decrease in my posts the past 3-4 days. I've been running data non-stop and preparing my PowerPoint slides for a presenation at the NASP convention this comming week.

I hope to start posting a few more bits over the next few days (esp. an FYI re: a very interesting new article regarding Gv abilities in the journal Intelligence) prior to hitting the road.

More later......I shall return. This is just a temporary lull in the action. In fact, I've been working on a web resource that I'm dying to announce and share, which is another reason for my partial MIA status. Only so many hours in a day.

Stay tunned....some goodies coming soon

The brain as art

Thanks to Positive Technology Journal for the FYI regarding pictures of brain neurons as art.

Brains are gorgeous at the right magnification (click here)

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Recent literature of interest 03-015-06 posted

This weeks recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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Neurocognitive evidence for deductive reasoning (Gf-RG)

Thanks to the neurodudes for the FYI post regarding a new article in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience re: the neural correlates of deductive reasoning (Gf-RG). Unfortunately, their link only takes you to place to view the abstract.....you can't get access to the complete article. Knowing the readers of IQs Corner would like to see the article, I went and found it...it can be viewed by clicking here.

In the land of CHC theory, file this under Gf-RQ: neurocognitve evidence.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

Cognitive and neurobilological mechanisms of g (general intelligence) - nice review

An extra large hat time to the Gene Expression blog for the FYI regarding the following review, written by Harvard neuroscientist Christopher Chabirs. Click on the title below and you will be taken to the GE blog where you can click to a page where you can view and download the entire chapter. It is a very well written review.

Cognitive and Neurobiological Mechanisms of the Law of General Intelligence

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Infant cognition lab - what is going on in the minds of babies'

FYI from the Science blog.

New baby lab to work out what goes on in babies' minds

  • "Psychologists at the University of Manchester have set up a 'BabyLab' within the University, to try and learn more about how babies acquire knowledge. For babies the world is a complicated collection of sights, sounds and smells, and making sense of it isn't easy. Scientists have made remarkable progress in understanding how infants' perception develops, but there is still a lot to learn about how they understand the world. Lead investigator Dr Sylvain Sirois said: "We have set up the BabyLab to investigate how babies' learning is linked to their neurological development."... click above to read more.

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Off task - psychology of email-part 2

In a prior post, I alerted readers to an interesting research brief in the APA monitor re: the problems with email miscommunication. The British Psychological Society blog has posted additional information re: this study, including a link to the actual article. Click on URL below to view

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

CHC cognitive abilities and math disabilties in college students

Very interesting CHC-organized research article on possible abilities related to math disabilities in adults with learning disabilities. As prior research has demonstrated, fluid reasoning/intelligence (Gf) was found to be an important predictor of math ability/disability. However, in contract to prior research that has failed to show a consistent Gv-math relationship, this study suggests that visualization (Gv-Vz), as measured non-WJ-R tests, is related to math group status. Interested readers can read the abstract below and or check out the complete article (click here to view)

Osmon D.C., Braun M.M., Plambeck E.A. (2005). Processing abilities associated with phonologic and orthographic skills in adult learning disability. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 27(5), 544- 554.

  • This study evaluated college adults (N = 138) referred for learning problems using a Cattell-Horn-Carroll based intelligence measure (Woodcock Johnson-Revised: WJ-R) and spatial and executive function neuropsychological measures to determine processing abilities underlying math skills. Auditory and visual perceptual (WJ-R Ga and Gv), long- and short- memory (WJ-R Glr and Gsm), crystallized and fluid intellectual (WJ-R Gc and Gf), and spatial and executive function (Judgment of Line Orientation [JLO] and Category Test) measures differentiated those with and without math deficits. Multiple regression revealed selective processing abilities (Gf, JLO, and Category) predicting about 16% of the variance in math skills after variance associated with general intelligence (also about 16%) was removed. Cluster analysis found evidence for a selective spatial deficit group, a selective executive function deficit group and a double deficit (spatial and executive function) group. Results were discussed in relation to a double deficit hypothesis associated with developmental dyscalculia.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

IQs Corner achieves 50,000th hit

As I noted previously, this blog had it's one year anniversary on March 8th.

Sometime between my last late night post last night and this morning, this humble blog had it's 50,000th hit. Not bad for a one year run on a blog that is more of a hobby and labor of love. During this time there have been over 28,400+ different visitors to this site.

Thanks to all of my regular readers and any newbies that are not checking out my fyi posts and various musings. These statistics will keep me bloggin along.

Thanks. Kevin.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Working memory models - another voice is heard

Developing Intelligence's post regarding a proposed dynamic model of working memory has created a little chatter in the cognitive psych blogsphere (click here to start the trail of the DI post).

Zero Brane
has chimed in with some alternative conceputalizations and thoughts. Hopefully there will be more exchanges re: this important topic. When, and if, I can extract infomration from these conversations that translate to CHC theory, and more importantly, the applied assessment of working memory, I will try.

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The second coming of Rainman?

I just returned from a quick two-day mini-vacation here in Mn, to one of the local casino's approximately an hour away. Casino's on the reservations have been big in Mn for a long time, but, I had yet to setp inside one. So, the past few days I finally took the plunge.

I hated the machines where you simply put in money and hit buttons....why bother?....no cognitive challenge. So, I trundled over to the black jack table ($3 minimum.....you gotta start somewhere) to see if my college days of playing BJ would allow me to at least have some fun.

Low and behold, I came back $90 ahead!!! Of course, if I had been more aggressive with the size of my bets (I typically stayed in the 5-10 dollar range), I could have done much better.

Table talk, during the shuffle of a new deck, turned to "what do you do?" Of course, after telling the others (and the dealer) that I specialized in statistics and measurement, they all gave me that grin and joked about "counting cards." I wish.........I gave them a little mini-workshop on domain-specific knowledge and that there was almost zero transfer of my applied stat/measurement knowledge to BJ.

Never-the-less.....it was fun and I won! Maybe I should see if I could turn my quantoid skills to a new endeavor, but then again, I know something about probability.

Anyway...it was fun....I made some money, and it reminded me of one of my favorite movies....Duston Huffman's role as "Rainman." I can still here Rainman repeating, "we're counting cards." I only wish I could.

I'm now back and will start posting again with regularity.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Impact of distracting sounds and tinitus on working memory - controlled executive attention?

An interesting post at the Science Blog re: new research that demonstrates a relationshiop between chronic/moderate tinnitus and poor working memory performance--Chronic tinnitus takes toll on demanding cognitive tasks
  • Brief intro from the post -- "Individuals with chronic, moderate tinnitus do more poorly on demanding working memory and attention tests than those without tinnitus, according to research conducted at the University of Western Sydney. However, on less complex tasks, no significant differences were found, suggesting that tinnitus has no effect on tasks that involve more involuntary, automatic responses."

I find this research particulary interesting as it relates to another study I had just skimmed that investigated the effect of distracting speech and non-speech sounds on working memory performance (Gsm-MW). The abstract and link to this aticle is below.

In the way my cortex connects informational dots, I tend to see a common thread--namely, the controlled executive attention model of working memory of Kane, Conway, Engle and Wilhelm. Click here to see prior comments and information regarding this model of working memory, a model that is currently at the top of my viable working memory models.

The following is the abstract for the article by Elliott elt al. (2006) in the European Journal of Cognitive Psychology. Click here to view/read article

  • The present work aims to establish a greater understanding of the cognitive mechanisms involved in avoiding distraction from speech and nonspeech sounds. Although mixed results have been presented by research investigating the hypothesis that individuals with superior working memory abilities are better able to avoid acoustic distraction, we found that working memory correlated with some aspects of performance during distraction when carefully examined. This is consistent with the view that working memory involves resisting interference. In a large sample, we examined two different tasks accompanied by acoustic distraction--serial recall and rapid colour namin--as well as two different measures of working memory (operation span and running span). We show that the previous inability to find relations between working memory and avoidance of distraction may stem from the use of inadequate correlational techniques. Additionally, the level of difficulty of the serial recall task may be an important factor. The results illustrate that commonly used statistical techniques can be misleading and furthermore that the ability to avoid distraction from irrelevant items may not be a unitary construct.

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More on working and long-term memory processes and assessment

[Double click on image to see larger version]

Found it!!!!!!!!

In my prior post today, I directed readers to an excellent overview of a hypothesized dyanamic model of working and long-term memory processes. At the end, I mused about the difficulty applied intelligence assessment professionals often have in understand that certain Glr tests (examples given from WJ III and K-ABC II) can tap long-term memory/retrieval within a single testing session....typically during the process of administering the single tests.

I've found the above visual-schematic a nice way for folks to appreciate that Gsm and Glr are not distinct boxes (as pointed out by Chris Chatman at the DI blog) but they are part of a continuim of memory processess. Interested readers may want to consult the original article (click here).

Working and long-term memory schematic explanations

As Al Fin points out in his amplification of an original post at the DI blog, that Chris Chatman has posited a visual schematic of the working and long-term memory (Gsm-MW; Glr) processes that attempts capture the more dyanamic nature of memory processes, process that may be misunderstood when examining more traditional box/arrow diagrams of working and long-term memory. A peak at these two posts are worth a look at the nice visual schematics of working/long-term memory arrows.

The DI blog post is one of the best I've recently seen in an attempt to explain the what happens during the dynamic process of working and long-term memory. I would urge all my readers to give Chris Chatman's thoughts a read. Very interesting stuff.

This work has reminds of the difficulty applied assessment personal often have in understanding how long-term memory/retrieval can be measured within a single test session. In particular, I run across this confusion when trying to get folks to understand that certain tests (e.g., WJ III Visual-Auditory Learning and Memory for Names; Kaufman's Atlantis and Rebus tests), although only requiring the retrieval of information that was learned a few minutes earlier, are already taping the beginning of the long-term storage process. I recall a nice visual schematic that helps makes this point in a recent journal article....I'm going to dig through my hard drive to see if I can find it...and then post it. More later...I hope
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Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tech tidbit - Ultra-Mobile PC

Being a "bleeding edge" early adopter, I gotta have the new Ultra-Mobile PC that was announced this week by Microsoft. It is like a PC between the size of a PDA/Blackberry and a small notebook.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Recent literature of interest 03-10-06 posted

This weeks recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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The Joint Psychological and Eduational Test Standards

I know that most of the folks who read this blog already know about the Joint Test Standards, but it never ceases to amaze me how many academics and practitioners who are involved in using psychological and educational tests are completely unaware of the Joint APA/AERA/NCME Test Standards.

This is a MUST reference all individuals engaged in the development and use of psychological and educational assessment instruments should have access too. It not only prescribes what test developers/authors must do, it also provides standards for the users of tests (including educational institutions--like schools). These are THE standards in the world of test development that folks are supposed to follow and report on in thier technical manuals. These are the standards against which users should evaluate the technial adequacy of instruments. These are the standards against which most professional reviews are based and, these are the standards that will most likely be used in litigious situations.

It may be hard to get Oprah to pitch this book, but here at IQs Corner....it is a must have reference text.

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Applied psychometrics - IRT Rasch basics - a great site

If you have finally decided to bite the bullet and want to learn about IRT (item response theory) in psychological and educational test development, and the Rasch model in particular, I would recommend checking the following web page.....Item Response Theory. IRT-based tests are increasingly becoming the norm in psychoeducational assesment, and test developers and users need to get familiar with the basics in order to better evaulate and appreciate existing and new asessment instruments that hit the market. This site is where I would start.

This page includes links to the major Rasch resources on the internet, commercial and free software and, free access to an on-line IRT book, chapter-by-chapter. Great stuff.

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Hamster research and your next class reunion

Ok...this may be a little far afield, but it will make for good cocktail trivia conversations

Hamster Study Shows How Our Brains Recognize Other Individuals

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Sex differences in intelligence - the story continues

As I've blogged about previously, the topic of sex/gender differences in intelligence is, and will continue to be, very contentious. Heck, the recent resignation of the president of Harvard was due in large part to the furor aroused by his comments regarding inherent differences between the genders in certain cognitive aptitutdes. The recent APA article that suggested few inherent differences in scientific/mathematics aptitude (noted in a previous post at IQs Corner) generated considerable discussion both within and outside of scientific circles. A tip of the hat to Al Fin for some new reports, this time at variance from the highly visible APA article. Visit the link below to view Al Fin's excellent post and for links to two new articles.

Sex Differences in the Brain

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More on the SAT scoring problem - higher education perspective

More in the blogsphere re: the post yesterday re: recent scoring problems with the SAT. This time my ex-SCSU colleague in the PC-culture wars, King Banian, at his nationally recognized SCSU Scholars blog has chimed in, adding information and links to coverage in higher education publications, specifically as this snafu relates to admission decisions.

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More on math disabilities and early number sense

The BBC story on the possible localization of brain regions related to serious math disorders (dyscalculia) has been making the rounds in the blogsphere. I was first made aware of the news report from Al Fin. The Gene Expression blog has now picked up on the posting and has amplified the available information via links to two recommended books and one related journal article.

To continue the amplification of this thread, I'd like to alert readers to an interesting article (Jordan, 2006) I had skimmed just the other day that reported a longitudinal study of children (kindergarten) at risk for math difficulties. What I found of particular interest was the introduction and conceptual overview of the major components of early number sense....something I had not studied much before. CHC'rs...file under Gq and Gf-RQ.

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NEPSY test reviews and available CHC information - looking for more info

[Double click on image to make it bigger]

I just took a peak at the most frequent search phrases that have lead people to this blog (IQs Corner). To my surprise, NEPSY is the top search phrase. I must confess that I only know about the NEPSY (a neuropsychological battery for children), do not own a copy I can review, nor have I ever given one. But, given the apparent thirst for information, I thought I'd provide some links to potential useful sources. It is the best I can do at this time.

First, of course, is the description and sales information re: the NEPSY from the publisher. [Hey...if anyone from Psych. Corp. is reading this blog, how about shipping me a free copy of the NEPSY so I can get familar with it....and then possibly post more informed stuff]

Next, I was able to find two independent reviews of the NEPSY, one in the Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, the second in the Clinical Neuropsychologist. Of course, readers can also purchase (on-line) a Burros review.

Another source is a brief discussion/overview in Hale and Fiorello's School Neuropsychology book. My friend and colleague Laurie Ford also has a brief overview in her preschool chapter in Flanagan and Harrison's 2nd edition of Contemporary Intellectual Assessment. Finally, the most comprehensive source (but not from a CHC perspective) would be Essentials of NEPSY Assessment.

Finally, of course, I would like to be able to provide information regarding the NEPSY individual tests from the perspective of the CHC theory of intelligence. I was unable to find a single summary table, but can report that Flanagan and Ortiz include CHC classifications in a table (that includes other tests from other batteries) in the Essentials of Cross-Battery Assessment.

This is the best I can do with what I have. I would love to be able to direct readers to a single table or chapter that would discuss interpretaton of the NEPSY from the perspective of CHC theory. Are any readers aware if such information exists "out there..somewhere?" If such information exists, please post a comment and point me in the correct direction and I'll do my best to secure and summarize/post to this blog.

Geez...I feel like Oprah (and her infamous book club)......I just featured/promoted all kinds of books [Please note, in the spirit of full disclosure, I am not a coauther for any of the books featured here in this post...although I have a chapter in the CIA text..already received my little stipend]

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Bad week for large scale testing snafu's (sp?)

High Stakes Testing Awry Again (click here)

Thanks (I think) to the Special Education Law Blog for the post regarding two major large-scale testing snafu's in the last two days...one dealing with the SAT and the other the Illinois state NCLB assessments. Not a good week for the reputation of us who make a living and/or conduct research in the area of applied psychometrics.

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Screening for dyslexia in infants?

A tip of the hat to Myomancy blog for spotting the interesting report that suggests the possibility of identifiying kids at risk for server reading problems during infancy. I couldn't find a copy of the original article via my usual sources, so I've been unable to read the original report to form any firm conclusions. Regardless...this is an intriguing article regarding potential early Ga (auditory processing broad domain in CHC theory) screening for future reading problems.

Detecting Dyslexia at 2 Months Old? (click here)

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Visual-spatial thinking in education

A tip of the hat to the Eide Neurolearning blog for an interesting post regarding visual-spatial (Gv) abilities in education, including a link to the National Academies Press, Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Currriculum (2006).

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Cognitive psychology's contributions to psychomeric IQ theories - a MUST read

During the past year this blogmaster has made a number of posts related to research studies, articles, and musings re: the integration of psychometric and cognitive (information-processing) theory models [ note...there are too many to provide URL links...maybe at a later date when I have more time]. Unless one has had the time to read, study and integrate the vast body of literature that has been published re: the intersection of the psychometric and cognitive psychology research traditions, one is hard-pressed to provide a succinct and understandable overview of this body of literature. And, most of us don't have time to digest the various (and wonderful) edited texts that are available.

But that was yesterday.

This evening I stumbled across a wonderful/glorious synthesis article in the European Journal of Cognitive Psychology by C. Cornoldi, the editor of a special issue devoted to the contributions of cognitive psycholgoy to the study of intelligence. The complete reference is:
  • Cornoldi, C. (2006). The contribution of cognitive psychology to the study of human intelligence. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 18 (1), 1-17
Cornoldi provides a concise historical and comtemporary overview of psychometric theories of intelligence, appropriately emphasizing the work of Cattell-Horn and Jack Carroll. This overview of the psychometric models is alone worth reading the article. More importantly, Cornoldi then tackles, in broad strokes (which is what many of us need to make the leap; or to ascertain if we have been on the correct path in our own conceptual leaps), how cognitive psychology can address a serious problem with hierarchical psychometric theories (like CHC). Cornoldi states (italic font added by blogmaster):
  • "In particular hierarchical theories based on psychometric evidence pose one serious problem: It is not clear to which psychological processes the highest stratum or components correspond. Cognitive Psychology has isolated powerful cognitive mechanisms that appear to be critical predictors of high level intelligence and underlie different cognitive tasks. Reference to these mechanisms could help in the specification of the most central components of human intelligence."
Cornoldi then proceeds to summarize the cognitive psychology research that has been zeroing in on the contsructs of of working memory (Gsm-MW), processing speed (Gs), and executive function...as explanatory mechanisms necessary to understand human intelligence and to allow for the integration of psychometric and information processing models. He also provides a coherent synthesis of various brain imaging studies and how they relate to all of this (e.g., the neural efficiency hypothesis).

I must say that this is one of the best overview articles I've read in a long time. I strongly recommend that all readers who are interested in theories of intelligence, and the development and interpretation of applied measures of intelligence, take time to read and study this article. I plan to reread it a number of times. Click here to view/read the article.....

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Internet and computer use during classroom testing--fyi to NBC news story

Interesting and timely story on NBC news tonight regarding the use of the internet/computers in school classrooms to help students with quizes/tests. I find this particularly interesting given my post the other day re: the same topic....the value of pop quizes on academic achievement.

As we all can remember from our days in school, the purpose of pop quizes and my classroom tests, are to help students learn, and hopefully develop independent learning strategies, such as "self-testing." The use of tests in this context makes sense when one examines the cognitive psychology literature on self-regulated learning. Of course, the use of computers and the internet on high-stakes accountabilty/graduation tests is an animal of a different color.

But...if the goal of this use of technology is to help students learn, and more importantly, to develop life-long self-regulated learning strategies, then this makes considerable sense.

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Progress Monitor (NCSPM) newsletter posted

More on RTI (response to intervention) model - comments from LDA mtg

No doubt that the RTI (response-to-intervention) special education assessment/identification model is creating consider chatter on the professional listservs. Click here to view a newsletter article re: coverage of some RTI discussions at the recent LDA (Learning Disabilities Association of American)

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Brain function and math disorders-new neuroscience study report

Thanks to Al Fin for pointing to an article re: a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that reports on a new study that suggests specific areas of the brain that are related to serious math disorders (dyscalculia).
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Self-testing improves academic performance - self-regulatory cognitive processes

This story has been making the rounds in the blogsphere...so I might as well pass it along. Below I provide a link the the coverage on the Science Blog. These types of stories always grab the attention of the media....but there may be some validity to the notion when one thinks of "self-testing" as a cognitive self-regulatory strategy. At the bottom of this post is some material I recently drafted for a research paper. I tried to provide a brief overview of the self-regulatory cognitive domain, a domain that I view as part of the important non-cognitive domain of conative abilities.

To learn something, testing beats studying (click here)

  • "Remember the dreaded pop quiz? Despite their reputation as a cruel tool of teachers intent on striking fear into the hearts of unprepared students, quizzes -- given early and often -- may be a student's best friend when it comes to understanding and retaining information for the long haul, suggests new psychology research from Washington University in St. Louis."

Some yet-to-be published background text on self-regulation from the blogmaster.

  • The theoretical and empirical self-regulation research, which includes linkages to literature in such domains as self-efficacy, academic goal setting, academic goal orientation, knowledge (domain-specific, strategy) and causal attribution, has been considerable during the past 2 decades (Puustinen Pulkkinen, 2001). Briefly, literature syntheses have identified 5 primary models of SRL (advanced by Boekaerts, Borkowski, Pintrich, Winne, and Zimmerman) (Puustinen Pulkkinen, 2001) and 7 prominent theoretical perspectives (operant, phenomenological, information processing, social cognitive, volitional, Vygotskian, and cognitive constructivist) (Zimmerman, 2001). Although a number of differing models of self-regulated learning exist, most models define academic self-regulation as “an active, constructive process whereby learners set goals for their learning and then attempt to monitor, regulate, and control their cognition” (Pintrich Zusho, 2002, p. 250).
  • Most SRL models share a number of common assumptions. According to Pintrich (2000c), these assumptions are:
    • The active, constructive assumption, which views “learners as active constructive participants in the learning process” (p. 452).
    • The potential for control assumption which assumes that “learners can potentially monitor, control, and regulate certain aspects of their own cognition, motivation, and behavior as well as some features of their environment” (p. 454).
    • The goal, criterion, or standard assumption which assumes that “there is some type of criterion or standard (also called goals or reference value) against which comparisons are made in order to assess whether the process should continue as is or if some type of change is necessary” (p. 452).
    • The mediation assumption which states that “self-regulatory activities are mediators between personal and contextual characteristics and actual achievement and performance” (p. 453).
  • Self-regulated students possess 3 major characteristics and employ 3 major processes (Eccles Wigfield, 2002; Zimmerman, 2000). Self-regulated students typically use a variety of self-regulated strategies, believe they can perform well (positive self-efficacy), and set multiple and varying personal goals. Furthermore, “self-regulated learners engage in three important processes: self-observation (monitoring of one’s activities); self-judgment (evaluation of how well one’s own performance compares to a standard or to the performance of others); and self-reactions (reactions to performance outcomes)” (Eccles Wigfield, 2002, p. 124). Of particular importance to students who experience repeated failure (e.g., students with disabilities) is the finding that students who receive positive feedback from their self-observations and judgments tend to continue to engage in positive goal-directed learning. Conversely, self-observation and judgment that provides frequent unfavorable evaluations and reactions increases the probability of disengagement from learning.
  • According to Pintrich’s (Pintrich, 2000c; Pintrich Zusho, 2002) framework for self-regulated learning, most SRL models include 4 major phases (which do not necessarily occur in an a strict linear sequence): (a) planning and activation; (b) monitoring; (c) control and regulation; and (d) reaction and reflection. These 4 phases are conceptualized to operate in all major domains of human behavior—cognition, motivation and affect, and behavior. As a result, in the most general sense, there are at least 12 major SRL “cells” (4 phases-by-3-behavior domains). Given the resultant complexity of the SRL literature and the necessary decision to refrain from in-depth descriptions of the nuances of different underlying theories in this paper, a pragmatic decision was made to only define and describe, in general terms, the 4 major phases of SRL that operate across cognitive, motivation and affect, and behavior. Examples of specific cognitive, motivation and behavior strategies are included for illustrative purposes. Finally, the relatively small amount of research on classroom-based SRL investigation is surprising given the frequent lament from teachers regarding the importance of a student’s “study habits or skills” (Pintrich Zusho, 2002).

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Emotional intelligence (EQ) - a valid construct?

Emotional IQ (EQ). To say the least, this construct enjoys considerable popularity in the popular press. But.....from a psychometric perspective.....is EQ real?.......does it represent a valid domain of human abilities? Curious minds want to know.

As I've noted on a number of occassions, I find Current Directions in Psychological Science a must read for scholars looking for a brief, contemporary “taking stock” summary of a specific area of psychological research. That being said, in one of the most recent issues, Salovey and Grewal (2005; click here to read/view aricle) suggest that the accumulating evidence positively supports the notion of EQ, particulary the the four-branch model of Mayer and Salovey [Blogmaster note.....reader beware. This review article is coauthered by one of the individuls who has articulated the four-branch model that serves as the basis for the review].

So...if you want the positive spin on EQ, this is a good review.

I myself, being of strong psychometric heritage, particulary of the midwest "dust-bowl empiricism" variety, have formed a somewhat less optimistic conclusion re: the validity of this construct, primary from my readings of other quantoids of similar persuasion. Thus, to provide some balance to the Salovey and Grewal (2005) review, below are select comments from a review article published by Stankov (2000). This, in turn, is followed by an interesting study by Zeidner, Shani-Zinovicha, Matthews Roberts, R. (2006) that was recently published in the journal Intelligence (click here to read/view). [Blogmaster note - it may be important to note that the fourth author on this paper, Richard Roberts, is a long-time colleague and associate of Stankov. The blogmaster considers Stankov and Roberts to be top-notch psychometrically-oriented researchers.]

Readers who are trying to evaluate both sides of the EQ coin should balance the positive review of Salovey and Grewal with a reading of the less optimistic perspectives of Stankov (2000) and Zeidner et al. I recommend reading the introductory literature review in the Zeidner et al. paper for a nice synopsis of the perceived state-of-the-art of the empirical EQ research.

If someone wants to dig deeper into the literature, click here for a search I just completed in the IAP Reference database --- using the keyword "emotional intelligence." There clearly is a large body of contemporary research on the topic of EQ...much more than can be summarized on this humble blog.

Select comments from Stankov, L. (2000), Structural extensions of a hierarchical view on human cognitive abilities. Learning and Individual Differences, 12(1), 35-51.

  • "There is currently considerable popular interest in the construct of emotional intelligence. This is particularly pronounced within the business community and to some extent within the educational sphere. Much of this interest is built on a nonscientific and premature acceptance. emotional intelligence is a catchy, but quite inappropriate label. Since much of the writing on this topic also ignores significant previous work on emotionality carried out within the domain of personality, it is hard to shrug off the conclusion that scientific respectability is the goal yet to be attained by this area of psychology."
  • "However, it is still unclear whether these new measures define factors that ate distinct from the primary abilities of Gc and, indeed, from well-established personality traits."
  • "Although much research in Emotional intelligence is without substance, it is possible that existing enthusiasm will lead to some useful outcomes in the measurement of emotionality in the future. However, in the absence of a demonstration that whatever is measured by the alleged tests of emotionality is indeed akin to intelligence, it would be more appropriate to talk about "emotional awareness," "emotional competence" or "emotion perception" rather than "emotional intelligence" in the future. The removal of "intelligence" from the title is likely to lead to a dissipation of much of the current enthusiasm. In reality, this may benefit serious workers in the field."
Select comments from Zeidner et al. (2005)

  • "Thus far, we have assumed that the MSCEIT does indeed assess genuine abilities (Mayer et al., 2000). However, as we have discussed elsewhere at length (Matthews et al., 2002), it is unclear exactly what is measured by tests of this kind, and despite good agreement of different scoring methods in a recent study (Mayer et al., 2003), doubts remain about whether scoring is veridical (Roberts et al., 2001). One possibility is that the MSCEIT assesses general declarative knowledge about emotions, of the kind that might be obtained from a school or university psychology course, such as hopelessness being a cause of depression: i.e., explicit, rather than implicit, knowledge. If so, the present results may reflect gifted children’s overall advantage in general knowledge, rather than any special facility in understanding and managing emotion. Academic knowledge of the causes of depression, for example, does not necessarily translate into procedural skills for alleviating depression in self and others. Future research might usefully investigate the extent to which gifted children are able to benefit from whatever capabilities are assessed by the MSCEIT in academic and interpersonal settings."
  • "Another possibility (Matthews et al., 2002), linked to the use of consensus scoring, is that the MEIS and MSCEIT assess a kind of cultural conformity, i.e., holding beliefs about emotion that are congruent with cultural norms. Such "goodness of fit" might well be adaptive, but it does not represent a personal ability or aptitude."

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