Friday, February 29, 2008

WJ III/CHC abilities and writing achievment: Article published

I previously posted an "in press" note regarding the following WJ III/CHC-Writing achievement article. The article is now official.
  • Floyd, R., McGrew, K. & Evans, J. (2008). The relative contributions of the Cattell-Horn-Carroll cognitive abilities in explaining writing achievement during childhood and adolescence. Psychology in the Schools, 45 (2), 132-144. (click here to view)

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IQ's Corner Recent Literature of Interest 2-29-08

This weeks (actually, the last two weeks) recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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I stumbled across another new mind/brain-related blog this morning. Check out it had a nice primer on executive functions. It is being added to IQ's Corner blogroll.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

International Society for Intelligence Research (ISIR)

FYI - Below is text from the ISIR home page regarding the premiere journal in the field of intelligence research.

International Society for Intelligence Research (ISIR): "This unique journal in psychology is devoted to publishing original research and theoretical studies and review papers that substantially contribute to the understanding of intelligence. It provides a new source of significant papers in psychometrics, tests and measurement, and all other empirical and theoretical studies in intelligence and mental retardation.

The journal Intelligence publishes papers reporting work which makes a substantial contribution to an understanding of the nature and function of intelligence. Varied approaches to the problem will be welcomed. Theoretical and review articles will be considered, if appropriate, but preference will be given to original research. In general, studies concerned with application will not be considered appropriate unless the work also makes a contribution to basic knowledge.

ISIR members receive a complimentary subscription to Intelligence.

Sir Francis Galton

A nice post @ Perusing Psychology regarding the contributions of one of the fathers of individual differences psychology...Sir Francis Galton.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

IQs Corner Book Nook reviews- 02-27-08

A new issue of PsycCRITIQUES is available online.

February 27, 2008
Volume 53, Issue 9

Book Reviews
1. Childhood Mental Health Disorders: Evidence Base and Contextual Factors for Psychosocial, Psychopharmacological, and Combined Interventions
Authors: Ronald T. Brown, David O. Antonuccio, George J. DuPaul, Mary A. Fristad, Cheryl A. King, Laurel K. Leslie, Gabriele S. McCormick, William E. Pelham, John C. Piacentini, and Benedetto Vitiello
Reviewer: Kevin Rooney

2. What Is Intelligence? Beyond the Flynn Effect
Author: James R. Flynn
Reviewer: Robert J. Sternberg

3. Geropsychology: European Perspectives for an Aging World
Author: Rocio Fernandez-Ballesteros (Ed.)
Reviewer: Viola Mecke

4. The Loss of Sadness: How Psychiatry Transformed Normal Sorrow Into Depressive Disorder
Authors: Allan V. Horwitz and Jerome C. Wakefield
Reviewer: Brian H. Stagner

5. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Trauma-Related Problems: A Practitioner's Guide to Using Mindfulness and Acceptance Strategies
Authors: Robyn D. Walser and Darrah Westrup
Reviewers: Rebecca M. Pasillas and Victoria M. Follette

6. Cultures of Infancy
Author: Heidi Keller
Reviewer: Karen Zelan

7. Art Therapy and Social Action
Author: Frances F. Kaplan (Ed.)
Reviewer: Ilene Serlin

8. Rethinking Commonsense Psychology: A Critique of Folk Psychology, Theory of Mind, and Simulation
Author: Matthew Ratcliffe
Reviewer: Thomas Leahey

9. Resolving Difficult Clinical Syndromes: A Personalized Psychotherapy Approach
Authors: Theodore Millon and Seth Grossman
Reviewer: John Edward Ruark

10. Surviving and Transcending a Traumatic Childhood: The Dark Thread
Authors: Linda Skogrand, Nikki DeFrain, John DeFrain, and Jean E. Jones
Reviewer: Mardi Allen

11. Beyond Deserving: Children, Parents, and Responsibility Revisited
Author: Dorothy W. Martyn
Reviewer: Alice Sterling Honig

12. Reclaiming Your Life From a Traumatic Experience
Authors: Barbara Olasov Rothbaum, Edna B. Foa, and Elizabeth A. Hembree
Reviewer: Itai Danovitch

13. Evidence-Based School Counseling: Making a Difference with Data-Driven Practices
Authors: Carey Dimmitt, John C. Carey, and Trish Hatch
Reviewer: Victoria L. Bacon

14. From the Classroom to the Corner: Female Dropouts' Reflections on Their School Years
Author: Cynthia Cole Robinson
Reviewer: Carlton W. Parks, Jr.

15. Toward Successful School Crisis Intervention: 9 Key Issues
Author: Charles M. Jaksec III
Reviewer: Rosemary Flanagan

Film Review
16. Rendition
Director: Gavin Hood
Reviewer: Paul B. Pedersen

Dissertation Dish: WJ III K-ABC preschool CHC cross-battery factor study

Yet another WJ III CHC-organized dissertation has found its way to IQ's Corner (see Disseratation Dish index for others). This dissertation is a cross-battery confirmatory factor analysis of the K-ABC and WJ III in a preschool sample. The abstract is below.

A joint confirmatory factor analysis of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition, and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, Third Edition, with preschool children by Hunt, Madeline S., Ph.D., Ball State University, 2007, 238 pages; AAT 3288307

  • The purpose of this study was to explore the construct validity of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children, Second Edition (KABC-II; Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004a) and the Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities, Third Edition (WJ-III COG; Woodcock, McGrew, & Mather, 2001) with a sample of 200 preschool children, ranging in age from 4 years, 0 months to 5 years, 11 months, and attending preschool and daycare programs in and around a Midwestern city. This study attempted to determine if the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) factor structure represented on these tests can be identified with young children. Individual confirmatory factor analyses were conducted separately with the KABC-II and WJ-III COG. Moreover, a joint confirmatory factor analysis was conducted using both the KABC-II and WJ-III COG. The results of the individual KABC-II factor analyses indicated a two-tiered Gf-Gc model provided the best fit to the data, although the three-tiered CHC model also fit the data well. This suggests the underlying factor structure of the KABC-II is well represented by the CHC theory. The WJ-III COG was best represented by an alternative CHC model, in which the Gf factor and subtests had been removed, indicating not all CHC constructs represented on the WJ-III COG can be reliably identified among young children. The joint confirmatory factor analysis indicated the strongest measures of the shared CHC factors on the KABC-II and WJ-III COG, which can help to guide cross-battery assessment with preschool children. Overall, the results confirmed multiple CHC abilities can be assessed with young children, implying clinicians should be using preschool tests that provide scores for several cognitive abilities. This study also revealed the constructs of the CHC theory may be represented somewhat differently on preschool tests due to developmental influences. Strong correlations were evident between unrelated tasks, primarily because the verbal and linguistic demands of many subtests caused them to load unexpectedly on the Gc factor. Suggestions for future research include conducting the same study using preschool children with suspected disabilities, as well as with older children, examining other instruments that include a Gf factor, and conducting exploratory factor analysis with subtests from the KABC-II and WJ-III COG that contain significant components of more than one ability.
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Monday, February 25, 2008

Sex differences in IQ: Important new research

Damn!.......this is an exciting time us who are interested in the psychology of human intelligence. Psychometric research has largely converged on the Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory of cognitive abilities (aka, Gf-Gc theory) as the most well-validated structure of human cognitive abilities. New and old intelligence batteries are being revised to fit the CHC model (KABC-II; Stanford-Binet V; WJ-R/WJ III). Within this context additional excitement has been building re: a number of long-standing group intelligence difference research controversies (racial differences; gender differences) that are enjoying a resurgence among individual difference researchers.

It is within this context that I just read the excellent "in press" article (journal of Intelligence) by my friend Dr. Tim "Happiness is a latent variable" Keith (and his band of top notch SEM'ers) that addresses gender differences in latent variable CHC cognitive abilities and general intelligence (g). A copy of the article can be viewed by clicking here. The abstract of the article is reproduced below.

As per usual, I'm extremely impressed with the methodological rigor of Tim's research. Not only does he present his sophisticated CHC SEM-based research with clarity and statistical elegance, he addresses potential methodological criticisms via additional post-hoc help sort out why some of his findings are at variance with recent gender difference research by such heavy hitters as Richard Lynn (click here for his official web page).

I think this is a very important article for a number of reasons. First, it examines gender differences in cognitive abilities as per the CHC taxonomic framework. Second, Keith et al. focus on the analysis of latent CHC constructs and not constructs measured with imperfect manifest variable composite variables (this distinction is discussed in detail in the article). Third, Keith et al.'s research uses a battery of tests (WJ III battery) that were specifically designed as per the CHC theory and, John Horn and Jack Carroll both served as consultants on the WJ III [conflict of interest note - I'm a coauthor of the WJ III and thus have a financial interest in the instrument]. Finally, given the wide age-range of the WJ III battery, analysis was possible across almost the complete age-range of development with a common set of CHC-validated indicators.

The major findings are summarized in the abstract below. The finding that is likely to be most controversial is the that males and females did not differ in general intelligence (g) during childhood (consistent with most research), but that females displayed statistically significantly higher g at adulthood (18 years and above). This female g advantage is at variance with Richard Lynn's developmental hypothesis-based research that has suggested that males show statistically higher g at adulthood. My guess is that these divergent findings are going to enjoy some stimulating scholarly debates. Keith's discussion of the potential reasons for these divergent findings is, IMHO, very well thought out and buttressed by his secondary post-hoc analysis focused on potential methodological differences between the two sets of research.

Wouldn't it be great if Lynn and Keith could present and debate their respective findings at a future ISIR conference?

My only minor quibble with the article is that Keith et al. labeled their two-test combination of the WJ III Visual-Auditory Learning and Memory-for Names tests as a broad Glr latent factor (long-term storage and retrieval). As I've written many places over the past few years, and as espoused by CHC cross-battery research, these two tests are best viewed as slightly different indicators of the narrow Glr ability of Associative Memory (MA). Glr is broader than just MA. I would suggest that the Glr findings be more narrowly interpreted as providing information on gender differences in the narrow MA ability...and cannot be generalized (just yet) to the broad domain of Glr (click here for page that defines and lists the breadth of narrow abilities under Glr).


  • Sex differences in the latent general and broad cognitive abilities underlying theWoodcock–Johnson Tests of Cognitive Abilities were investigated for children, youth, and adults ages 6 through 59. A developmental, multiple indicator–multiple cause, structural equation model was used to investigate sex differences in latent cognitive abilities as well as developmental changes in these differences across the 6 to 59 age span. Females showed a consistent advantage on the latent processing speed (Gs) factor, and males showed a small, consistent advantage on the latent comprehension–knowledge (Gc) factor. Males also showed an advantage on latent quantitative reasoning (RQ) and visual–spatial ability (Gv) factors at most ages, although the latter was statistically significant only for adults. No statistically significant sex differences were shown on latent auditory processing, short-term memory, long-term retrieval, or fluid reasoning factors. The higher-order, latent g factor showed inconsistent differences for children, small, nonsignificant differences favoring females for adolescents, and fairly consistent statistically significant differences favoring females in adulthood. Findings are inconsistent with developmental theory that suggests males should show an advantage on g in adulthood. Supplemental analyses suggested that methodological choices, including the use of latent variables versus composites and methods for dealing with missing data, can affect research findings.
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Is Lake Wobegon falling below average in IQ?

Interesting blog post at the BPS blog regarding a Danish study, published in the journal Intelligence, that suggests that average levels of intelligence may be in decline. Of course, much has recently been written about the Flynn Effect (which has documented an increase in average IQ for many decades) and one needs to read many of these recent articles to get a comprehensive understanding of the change in population intelligence over time.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

IQ Byte # : Definition of executive functioning

I just started reading an excellent overview/integrative article in Psychological Bulletin that provides an overview of the research and theory re: executive function development during the preschool years. I will eventually be making a formal post with a link to the article. But for now, I wanted to share a nice IQ Byte: - a concise definition of executive function in the first paragraph of the article.

According to Garon, Bryson & Smith (2008), EF's are "adaptive, goal-directed behaviors that enable individuals to override more automatic thoughts and responses...particularly...when solving novel problems" (p.31).

More later after I have time to digest and enjoy this comprehensive and important article.

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Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Random tidbits from the mind blogosphere 2-20-08

Check out the following from the mind blogosphere
  • Music, Your Brain and Attention at the Eide Neurolearning blog
  • Being married to my lovely auburn-head wife (a natural red-head), I find the continued speculation on the possible extinction of red-headed humans of interest. Thanks to Brain Blogger for the post.
  • Thanks to Mind Hack for the post regarding five interesting auditory illusions.
  • Check out an interesting article in the Chronicle of Higher Education dealing with research on SES and brain development. Thanks to Neuroethics and Law Blog for the tip.

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Beyond IQ Byte # 4: Achievement goal orientation

Here is Byte # 3 from the Beyond IQ project, a project that outlines a proposed Model of Academic Competence and Motivation (MACM). Today's construct spotlight is on "achievement goal orientation."

Achievement goal orientation

A person’s set of beliefs that reflect the reasons why they approach and engage in academic and learning tasks. A performance goal orientation is exemplified by a concern for personal ability, a normative social comparison with others, preoccupation with the perception of others, a desire for public recognition for performance, and a need to avoid looking incompetent. A learning goal orientation reflects a focus on task completion and understanding, learning, mastery, solving problems, and developing new skills.

Academic goal orientation is based on contemporary “goal-as-motives” theory where it is posited that “all actions are given meaning, direction, and purpose by the goals that individuals seek out, and that the quality and intensity of behavior will change as these goals change” (Covington, 2000, p. 174). Achievement goal theory is particularly important in education as it is believed that by differentially reinforcing some goals (and not others), teachers can influence (change) the reasons why students learn—that is, change their motivation (Covington, 2000).

Different groups of researchers have converged on strikingly similar findings regarding the importance of academic goal orientation for academic success (Snow et al., 1996). The resultant achievement goal theory has received considerable attention during the past decade (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002; Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002b). Goal theory focuses on the role that “purpose” plays in motivation attitudes and behavior (Anderman & Maehr, 1994; Eccles &Wigfield, 2002; Maehr, 1999; Snow et al., 1996; Urdan & Maehr, 1995). Goal orientation focuses on the student’s reasons for taking a course or wanting a specific grade (Anderman et al., 2002). In this document, academic goal orientation is defined as an individual’s set of beliefs that reflect the reasons why they approach and engage in academic tasks (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002; Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002a; Pintrich, 2000b; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2002; Wentzel, 1999).

Although the specific terminology may differ amongst researchers, goal theory typically proposes two general goal orientations (Covington, 2000; Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002a). Nicholls and colleagues (e.g., Nicholls, Cobb, Yackel, & Wood, 1990) classify goals as either ego- or task- involved (Eccles & Wigfield, 2002). Dweck and colleagues (see Dweck, 1999) distinguish between performance (such as ego-involved goals) and learning goals (such as task-involved goals). Ames (1992) refers to performance and mastery goals. A performance goal orientation is characterized by self-questions such as “Will I look smart?” and/or “Can I out- perform others?” which reflect a concern for personal ability, a normative social comparison with others, preoccupation with the perception of others, a desire for public recognition for performance, a need to avoid looking incompetent, and “outperforming others as a means to aggrandize one’s ability status at the expense of peers”(Covington, 2000, p. 174). In contrast, a student with a learning goal orientation would more likely ask the questions “How can I do this task?” and “What will I learn?” The learning goal orientation reflects a focus on task completion and understanding, learning, mastery, solving problems, developing new skills, and an appreciation for what one learns (Covington, 2000; Eccles & Wigfield, 2002; Linnenbrink & Pintrich, 2002b; Skaalvik & Skaalvik, 2002).

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IQ's Corner Book Nook reviews 2-20-08

A new issue of PsycCRITIQUES is available online.

February 20, 2008
Volume 53, Issue 8

Book Reviews
1. Listening to Battered Women: A Survivor-Centered Approach to Advocacy, Mental Health, and Justice
Authors: Lisa A. Goodman and Deborah Epstein
Reviewer: Linda Rubin

2. A History of Modern Experimental Psychology: From James and Wundt to Cognitive Science
Author: George Mandler
Reviewer: Susana Urbina

3. “It's Being Done”: Academic Success in Unexpected Schools
Author: Karin Chenoweth
Reviewer: Susan Catapano

4. Creations of the Mind: Theories of Artifacts and Their Representation
Authors: Eric Margolis and Stephen Laurence (Eds.)
Reviewer: William A. Adams

5. Best Practices for Teaching Statistics and Research Methods in the Behavioral Sciences
Authors: Dana S. Dunn, Randolph A. Smith, and Bernard C. Beins (Eds.)
Reviewer: David S. Kreiner

6. Communicating Gender Diversity: A Critical Approach
Authors: Victoria Pruin DeFrancisco and Catherine Helen Palczewski
Reviewer: Patricia M. Berliner

7. Suicide in Schizophrenia
Authors: Roberto Tatarelli, Maurizio Pompili, and Paolo Girardi (Eds.)
Reviewer: Gitry Heydebrand

8. Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours
Author: Noga Arikha
Reviewer: Simon Boag

9. Treating Gambling Problems
Authors: William G. McCown and William A. Howatt
Reviewer: Leslie M. Lothstein

10. Homo Domesticus: Notes From a Same-Sex Marriage
Author: David Valdes Greenwood
Reviewer: Julio Rique

11. Humanising Psychiatry and Mental Health Care: The Challenge of the Person-Centred Approach
Author: Rachel Freeth
Reviewer: Nancy L. Murdock

12. Drinking and Sobriety Among the Lakota Sioux
Author: Beatrice Medicine
Reviewer: Matthew Taylor

13. Handbook of Cognitive-Behavior Group Therapy With Children and Adolescents: Specific Settings and Presenting Problems
Authors: Ray W. Christner, Jessica L. Stewart, and Arthur Freeman (Eds.)
Reviewer: Rosemary Flanagan

14. Childhood Autism: A Clinician's Guide to Early Diagnosis and Integrated Treatment
Authors: Jennifer Hillman and Stephen Snyder
Reviewer: Brooke Ingersoll

15. Marking Short Lives: Constructing and Sharing Rituals Following Pregnancy Loss
Author: Ewan R. Kelly
Reviewer: Michele Hoffnung

Film Review
16. Walk the Talk
Director: Matthew Allen
Reviewer: Kathleen E. Cook

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Brain fitness: US News and World Report special issue

I just learned that the most recent issue of U.S. News and World Report is devoted to brain fitness. It is an excellent overview of the status of what we know and don't know. Information can be found by clicking here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

CHC interpretation of the KABC-II: Guest post by John Garruto

The following is a guest post by John Garruto, school psychologist with the Oswego School District and member of the IQs Corner Virtual Community of Scholars. John reviewed the following article and has provided his comments below. [Blog dictator note - John's review is presented "as is" with only a few minor copy edits by the blog dictator and the insertion of some URL links]

Reynolds, M.R., Keith, T.Z., Goldenring-Fine, J., Fisher, M.E. & Low, J.A. (2007). Confirmatory Factor Structure of the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children—Second Edition: Consistency With Cattell-Horn-Carroll Theory. School Psychology Quarterly, 22(4), 511-539. [click here to view article]

  • The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children-Second Edition (KABC-II) is a departure from the original KABC in that it allows for interpretation via two theoretical models of intelligence. This study had two purposes: to determine whether the KABC-II measures the same constructs across ages and to investigate whether those constructs are consistent with Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) theory. Multiple-sample analyses were used to test for equality of the variancecovariance matrices across the 3- to 18-year-old sample. Higher-order confirmatory factor analyses were used to compare the KABC-II model with rival CHCmodels for children ages 6 to 18. Results show that the KABC-II measures the same constructs across all ages. The KABC-II factor structure for school-age children is aligned closely with five broad abilities from CHC theory, although some inconsistencies were found. Models without time bonuses fit better than those with time bonuses. The results provide support for the construct validity of the KABC-II. Additional research is needed to more completely understand the measurement of fluid reasoning and the role of time bonuses on some tasks.
Okay, I have to tie in the Super Bowl somewhere because the New York Giants won and I waited seventeen years for this to happen again. Like the Super Bowl, there are many practitioners who are interested in the end results (the score at the end of the game), not necessarily how one got there (the whole study) or the analysis of each play (the statistics). For the ease of readers, I’m going to jump to the score at the end of the game.

The Results: The K-ABC II is emerging as a serious contender among cognitive assessment batteries. I also want to say that from reading his posts on the CHC listserv, and now this article, I’m expecting to see some more good stuff from Matthew Reynolds (I’ve always been a fan of Tim Keith’s research and really like his stuff on the WJ-III).

This study seeks to analyze the K-ABC II from a CHC perspective, which is one of two theories the test is built upon (the other is the Luria-Das perspective where the original has its origins.) It’s worth mentioning that Kaufman is not new to CHC theory. The Kaufman Adolescent and Adult Intelligence Test (KAIT) also used Gf-Gc as its basis. The current study is an internal validity study using factor analysis methods. Several analysis were performed to determine best model fit with certain manipulations of the analysis.

First it bears mentioning that the test g (general intelligence) loadings are consistent with prior research (Gf and Gc being high g loaders-Gv as well interestingly!) Reynolds et al. sought to answer some interesting hypotheses regarding model fit as well as cross-factor test loadings. Here are some questions posed and answers provided:

  • Does Gestalt Closure measure Gc? The test requires subjects to look at “inkblots” (Gv) that resemble familiar objects (Gc). It was concluded that there was a Gc load on this subtest. My own thoughts…it might be neat to show the child a list of objects that represented the stimuli after the assessment is complete. From there, one could rule in or rule out Gc contamination. Nevertheless, the Gc load is important because Gv is often thought to be (or supposed to be) an area where less “acquired cultural knowledge” should impact performance.
  • Do Hand Movements measure Gf? This subtest measures a pantomime of repeated hand movements and is purported to load on Gsm. The authors note a relationship to Gf. The hypothesis was generated relating to strategy for success and working memory. My own thoughts…why isn’t anyone talking Gv? Sure this test requires motor planning (frontal activiation?), but I argue that success can result from remembering a visual sequence. Furthermore, Gsm has often been related to verbal prompt/auditory modality. Although the intertwining of working memory and fluid reasoning has been discussed..I’m not sure I see a huge component of either. The task appears very sequential to me. The visualization component is too hard to ignore. Given the lower load on Gsm I would be interested in looking at a Gv link.
  • Does Pattern Reasoning measure Gv? The analysis suggested loadings on Gv as well as Gf. I have lately found this link to be of interest. It seems pure measures of Gf are hard to find. Sometimes the comparison on the WISC-IV of Picture Concepts (Gf-I) and Matrix Reasoning (Gf-I) is interesting given that I see a major discrepancy in scores. Indeed the former requires more Gc and the latter more Gv-especiall if transformation of the stimuli is required in order to logically complete the puzzles. This becomes even more important if some scholars have suggested. Under what presentation conditions then is Gf (g?) more successful? Could the learning modality trend be returning (just kidding-not touching that one!)
  • Does Story Completion measure Gc or Gv? The analysis suggested that the answer is "no." Story Completion appears to be a measure of Gf. It’s interesting because I remember reading that a similar test on the WISC-III (Picture Arrangement) had similar loadings on VCI as POI. I might have thought that there would be more of a Gc load on Story Completion than on Gestalt Closure.....but then Gc also requires verbal recall of names whereas this requires logical sequencing ability. I imagine there’s probably some Gc necessary, but not enough that having a lot of it will predict success (or too little will predict failure).
  • Do Rover and Block Counting measure Gf as well as Gv? The analysis suggested…definitely. Gv for Block Counting (which I would intuitively agree with) and the jury is still out for Rover. The deductive reasoning element with Rover is certainly apparent...but I think it’s important not to forget that Rover has some executive function elements to it (it’s not very much unlike Planning on the WJ-III). Right now though t seems Gv is present for Block Counting and Rover.
  • The Issue of Time bonuses: This research question was very important to me. I recall giving this battery to someone and finding out that the difference on one of the tests (whether timed bonuses were provided or not) resulted in a scaled score difference of almost two standard deviations! I followed the manual, which endorses using timed points unless there’s a reason not to. However, Reynolds et al. found a better model fit for no time bonus. This is not bad news. Sometimes we learn different practices after a test has been normed and published. I remember Kaufman’s book on the WISC-III where he indicated Symbol Search to be a higher ‘g’ loader than Coding and the informed practitioner may wish to have SS substitute for Coding as long as the decision was made in an apriori fashion. I guess for me, I do not want Gs contaminating a different factor I’m attempting to measure. I prefer to measure it far away from ‘g’ via a cross battery technique given that Gs has shown weaker relationships to ‘g’ but significant relationships to learning disabilities. Sometimes we learn new ways to practice as a result of follow-up research-this certainly fits that mold.
Overall Conclusion: I think K-ABC II is going somewhere. It is receiving some interesting recognition by some scholars and even is purported to have some utility with nonverbal, non English speaking, and/or autistic spectrum populations. Given the potential of this instrument in cognitive assessment, the research opportunities are certainly plentiful. I still see the Wechsler as my test of choice for Gc, the WJ-III as my favorite test to fill in the holes left by many cognitive batteries...but there certainly seems to be significant practical implications for the K-ABC II. Certainly the relationships to CHC theory are again very much substantiated. Certainly there are plenty of Patriots who want to view assessment from a traditional framework. Also, like the Patriots, there are those who are jumping on the loudest flavor of the month (RTI as being the only way to diagnose learning disabilities). However, the Reynolds et al. study continues to show that CHC theory has stood solid time and again as one of the "Giant" individual differences frameworks for use by school psychologists.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

IQ's Corner Recent Literature of Interest 2-14-08

This weeks (actually, the last two weeks) recent literature of interest can be found by clicking here.

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Off task book review. Why Barack Obama is catching a wave

This post is way off topic for this blog. I've just been so sick the past few days since returning from NASP 2008 that I can't get my head around cognitively complex I decided to finish a book I had been reading.

Friends and family know that I've been a political junkie for many years. I've read many, many books on politics, esp. those dealing with presidential campaigns and presidents. I find them fascinating. With this in mind, I just finished an EXCELLENT book that attempts to explain the extreme polarization and hyper-partisanship of contemporary politics. The book is "The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship Has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America" by Ronald Brownstein.

This is an extremely well written book that provides a historical account of why we have ended up where we are....and why the political masses are so turned off by contemporary politics. As I approached the end of the book, and as the author discussed (in broad strokes) the type of politician that may be necessary to heal the current partisan divide, I couldn't help but see the author setting the stage for understanding the current Barack Obama movement.

This excellent book gives me a better understand on why Obama may be riding a time-sensitive (window of opportunity) political movement.....he has arisen at a time when the political atmosphere is looking for someone with his message. Time will tell.

This is the best book on politics I've read in years

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NASP highlight

I've returned from the NASP convention in New Orleans. I was very pleased with our workshop (myself and Barb Read and Barb Wendling) on "CHC theory and instructional interventions." We had a good number of participants who were very knowledgeable and attentive.

A major highlight was the annual Woodcock-Munoz Foundation (WMF) training grant dinner. The picture above shows (from left to right) myself, my lovely wife Diane, Dick Woodcock, and my friend and co-presenter Barb Read. A good time was had by all.

Unfortunately, I returned from NO with a major case of the crud. I've been sicker than a dog for the last two days. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to start back to work...which includes feeding this blog.

Monday, February 04, 2008

On the road again - brief blogging break

My posting has been slowing down the past few weeks as I've been busy preparing for the NASP convention in New Orleans this week. Blog posts will likely be zero for the next week. I shall return.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Part II: Beyond the CHC Tipping Point: Back to the Future

I previously posted an on-line copy of a PPT presentation called "Beyond the CHC Tipping Point: Back to the Future." A revised version of this presentation will serve as a brief introduction to my portion of a NASP workshop (next week in New Orleans), together with my colleagues Barb Wendling and Bard Read, focused on CHC referral-focused domain-specific assessments and instructional implications/interventions based on CHC Theory.

Today I've posted the 2nd half of this presentation. Both presentations, together with the brief descriptions provided at the SlideShare site, are below. Enjoy.

Beyond the CHC Tipping Point: Back to the Future-Part 1: An overview of the CHC (Cattell-Horn-Carroll) theory of intelligence within a historical and "waves of interpretation" context. Presents the idea that CHC has reached the "tipping point" in school psychology..and...this is allowing assessment practitioners to realize past attempts to engage in individual strength and weakness interpretation of CHC based test profiles

Beyond the CHC Tipping Point: Back to the Future-Part 11: This is Part 2 to the previously posted "Part I: Beyond the CHC Tipping Point: Back to the Future" This module presents K. McGrew's recent extant CHC COG-ACH correlates research synthesis (see links under "IQ's Corner Information" section on left-side of blog page), with an eye towards helping school assessment professionals better craft referral-focused domain-specific CHC-based psychoeducational assessments. These two modules collectively will serve as the guts of my NASP workshop presentation in New Orleans on Feb 9, 2008. The slides only provide the skeleton of my presentation. You need to see it "live" to benefit from the expert interpretation, embedded comics, great wit and humor, and grand conclusions..and, more importantly, the links to intervention that will be provided by my co-presenters...Barb Wendling and Barb Read. I'm the "set-up" man for the most important part of the be delivered by Barb and Barb.

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WJ III NU scoring issue explanation: Guest blog post by David Dailey

Recently a post was made to the CHC listserv asking for clarification regarding a particular score provided by the WJ III NU norms. I thought the question provided a "teachable moment" regarding certain psychometric principles and methods used in the WJ family of instruments.

I asked David Dailey, the resident statistician and technical consultant to the WJ author team, to write a brief explanation. His well written response is below. Enjoy.

[Interested readers may also be interested in a recently published WJ III NU Assessment Service Bulletin that explains why scores may differ between the WJ III and NU norms. Also, conflict of interest disclosure - I'm a coauthor of the WJ III]

Dear Ms. Jensen (person who posed the question):

Thank you for sharing the interesting profile of reading scores with the CHC mailing list. Kevin McGrew has asked me to write a few sentences about the phenomenon exhibited by these scores-- particularly, as you ask, why this 61-month-old child's Broad Reading score is "so low". I have been heavily involved in the development of the WJ III and WJ III NU norm tables, and I hope I will be able to shed some light on your question.

You reported that your subject earned a particular set of standard scores on the reading tests and clusters. I have augmented those scores with the approximate W, W-difference, and RPI scores that would also have appeared for that subject, in the following table (best viewed in a fixed-width font):

[I apologize for the formatting of the numbers below.....I tried hard to get a nice table format but was unable to get anything to work. I'm still a relatively newbie when it comes to using blogging software]

Test/Cluster, SS, W, W-diff, RPI

Letter-Word ID, 140 , 431, +87, 100

Word Attack, 138, 463, +81, 100

Reading Fluency, 128, 477, +13, 97

Passage Comprehension , 133, 458, +56, 100

Broad Reading, 125, 455, +52, 100

Brief Reading, 149, 444, +71, 100

Basic Reading Skills, 145, 448, +85, 100

You can verify for yourself that the cluster W scores are the arithmetic means of the W scores for the tests making up the cluster. The W-differences and the RPIs show that this subject's reading development is far above that of his/her age peers-- but they also show that the Reading Fluency score is not nearly as exceptional as the remaining scores.

You were concerned that the Broad Reading cluster standard score was so much lower than the other cluster standard scores. Although this subject's scores were exceptionally high for all the clusters (in terms of proficiency relative to age peers), the Broad Reading score is not as exceptional when compared to the other clusters. Its W-difference is lower than the other clusters because it include Reading Fluency, for which the subject outperformed age peers by "only" 13 W points.

The W-difference score in the table above is one of two terms that go into calculating a subject's standard score. The other is a scaling factor (SD - standard deviation) that accounts for how widely or narrowly spread the test scores were in the reference peer group.

In Woodcock-Johnson products, the scaling factor (SD) for subjects performing below the median for the peer reference group is permitted to be, and often is, different from the scaling factor (SD) for subjects performing above the median. So the WJ scoring model has always been able to reflect different amounts of spread among high performers than among low performers.

It turns out that, for young subjects such as yours, the scaling factor (SD) for high performers on the reading clusters is quite large-- meaning it takes a very large W-difference to earn a standard score that is far away from the mean. This is because, for most of these reading skills, the scores for the above-median subjects is very widely spread out. For Broad Reading, a 61-month-old subject must earn 32 W points more than the median to receive a standard score of 115 (one standard deviation above the mean). For the other two reading clusters, the number is somewhat smaller; that, coupled with the higher W-differences your subject earned on those clusters, accounts for the standard-score pattern for your subject.

(You might notice that the scaling factor for Reading Fluency is quite small. This reflects the fact that there is very little variation among above-median subjects at this age on this task.)

So the bottom line here is that the Broad Reading score suffers a "double whammy"-- a comparatively lower W-difference (due to the lower Reading Fluency) and a larger amount of above-median variation in the norming-sample scores. And this subject earned much higher standard scores on the other clusters because their relative performance (in terms of raw ability) on those clusters was much higher, plus the variation within the norming sample was smaller.

Thank you again for your question. I hope I have been able to help you understand more about how these scores work.

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