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Optional Interpretive Step: Analyze Planned Clinical Comparisons When the 13 Requisite WAIS-III Subtests Are Administered

Step 7. Conduct Planned Clinical Comparisons

Based on Flanagan and Kaufman's (2004) "knowledge of the abilities measured by the WISC-IV CHC theory, and relevant research on the relations between specific cognitive abilities and learning/achievement, [they offered] a select number of additional comparisons that... may provide potentially meaningful hypotheses about a [person's] cognitive capabilities—beyond the information generated from the Index Profile Anal ysis" (p. 145). Flanagan and Kaufman developed eight theory-based clinical clusters, composed of two or three WISC-IV subtests. They then proposed six Planned Clinical Comparisons involving these clusters, which constituted optional Step 7 of their interpretive system.

We have adapted those WISC-IV comparisons to the WAIS-III. In some instances, we were able to use the same cluster for the WAIS-III that Flanagan and Kaufman used for the WISC-IV. However, modifications of several clusters were necessary because the WAIS-III and WISC-IV do not contain the same set of subtests. We made these changes with consultation from Dawn P. Flanagan (personal communication, December 15, 2004) to ensure that the CHC abilities presumed to underlie all WAIS-III clusters correspond to the same CHC abilities that are presumed to underlie the WISC-IV clinical clusters.

Table A.6 lists the clinical clusters, the subtests that comprise them, and a brief definition of each

Table A.6 Composition of CHC Clinical Clusters and a List of the Planned Clinical Comparisons

Planned Clinical Comparison 1. Fluid Reasoning versus Visual Processing

Fluid Reasoning (Gf) Cluster Matrix Reasoning + Picture Arrangement + Arithmetic

Definition: The Fluid Reasoning (Gf) Cluster consists of three subtests, two of which measure the Broad Gf ability in CHC theory. Gf is defined as encompassing the mental operations that an individual uses when faced with a novel task that cannot be performed automatically. These mental operations include forming and recognizing concepts, perceiving relationships among patterns, drawing inferences, problem solving, and so forth. Matrix Reasoning and Arithmetic measure the narrow Gf ability of General Sequential Reasoning (Deduction), which is defined as the ability to start with stated rules, premises, or conditions, and to engage in one or more steps to reach a solution to a novel problem. Though Picture Arrangement is primarily a measure of Visual Processing (Gv) and Gc (Flanagan, McGrew, & Ortiz, 2000), it also has elements of Gf that are necessary to arrange the pictures in the correct order to tell a sensible story (D. P. Flanagan, Personal communication, December 15, 2004). Like Story Completion on the KABC-II (Kaufman & Kaufman, 2004), Picture Arrangement likely also requires two Gf Narrow Abilities—General Sequential Reasoning and Induction, which is defined as

Table A.6 (Continued)

the ability to discover the underlying characteristic (e.g., rule, concept, process, trend, class membership) that governs a problem or set of materials. Consequently, Picture Arrangement merits inclusion on the Fluid Reasoning cluster. For the WISC-IV this cluster consists of Matrix Reasoning, Arithmetic, and Picture Concepts, all of which are primary measures of Gf (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004). Picture Arrangement is not on the WISC-IV (though it was included on earlier versions of the WISC).

Visual Processing (Gv) Cluster Block Design + Picture Completion

Definition: The Visual Processing (Gv) Cluster consists of two subtests that measure the Broad Gv ability in CHC theory. Gv is defined as the ability to generate, perceive, analyze, synthesize, store, retrieve, manipulate, and transform visual patterns and stimuli. Block Design measures the narrow Gv ability of Spatial Relations, which is defined as the ability to perceive and manipulate visual patterns rapidly, or to maintain orientation with respect to objects in space. Picture Completion measures the narrow Gv ability of Flexibility of Closure, which is defined as the ability to find, apprehend, and identify a visual figure or pattern embedded in a complex visual array, when knowing in advance what the pattern is. Although the Picture Completion task may also involve specific Gc abilities (i.e., general information), the label "visual processing" reflects the primary influence of Gv on task performance. This cluster consists of the same two subtests on the WAIS-III and WISC-IV (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004).

2. Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning versus Visual Processing

Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-nonverbal) Cluster Matrix Reasoning + Picture Arrangement

Definition: The Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-nonverbal) Cluster consists of two subtests that are associated with the Broad Gf ability in CHC theory. Gf was defined in Comparison 1. The Gf-nonverbal cluster is less broad than the Gf cluster in Comparison 1 and deemphasizes language demands. Also, because both Matrix Reasoning and Picture Arrangement involve the use of visual stimuli and do not require expressive language, the Gf ability underlying this cluster was qualified with the term "nonverbal." Note, however, that both subtests depend on verbal mediation for success. For the WISC-IV, this cluster consists of Matrix Reasoning and Picture Concepts (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004).

Visual Processing (Gv) Cluster Block Design + Picture Completion

Definition: The Visual Processing (Gv) Cluster was defined in Comparison 1.

3. Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning versus Verbal Fluid Reasoning

Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-nonverbal) Cluster Matrix Reasoning + Picture Arrangement

Definition: The Nonverbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-nonverbal) Cluster was defined in Comparison 2.

Verbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-verbal) Cluster Similarities + Comprehension

Definition: The Verbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-verbal) Cluster is comprised of two subtests that involve the Broad Gc ability in CHC theory. Gc is defined as the breadth and depth of a person's accumulated knowledge of a culture and the effective use of that knowledge. Notwithstanding, their primary Gc classifications, Similarities and Comprehension, to some extent, both require the use of the narrow Gf

Table A.6 (Continued)

ability of Induction, which was defined in Comparison 1. Because Similarities and Comprehension (although primarily verbal or Gc subtests) both require the ability to reason (inductively) with verbal stimuli, this cluster is labeled Verbal Fluid Reasoning. For the WISC-IV this cluster consists of Similarities and Word Reasoning (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004).

4. Lexical Knowledge versus General Information

Lexical Knowledge (Gc- VL) Cluster Vocabulary + Similarities

Definition: The Lexical Knowledge (Gc-VL) Cluster consists of two subtests that measure the Broad Gc ability in CHC theory. Gc was defined in Comparison 3. Both Vocabulary and Similarities measure the narrow Gc ability of Lexical Knowledge, which is defined as the extent of vocabulary that can be understood in terms of correct word meanings. (Lexical Knowledge is a primary ability for Vocabulary and a secondary ability for Similarities.) Therefore, this cluster was labeled "Lexical Knowledge." For the WISC-IV this cluster consists of Vocabulary and Word Reasoning, both of which are considered primary measures of Lexical Knowledge (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004).

General Information (Gc-K0) Cluster Comprehension + Information

Definition: The General Information (Gc-VL) Cluster consists of two subtests that measure the Broad Gc ability in CHC theory. Gc was defined in Comparison 3. These subtests, Comprehension and Information, primarily measure the narrow Gc ability of General Information, which is defined as an individual's range of general knowledge. Therefore, this cluster is labeled "General Information." This cluster consists of the same two subtests on the WAIS-III and WISC-IV (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004).

5. Long-Term Memory versus Short-Term Memory

Long-Term Memory (Gc-LTM) Cluster Vocabulary + Information

Definition: The Long-Term Memory (Gc-LTM) Cluster consists of two subtests that measure the Broad Gc ability in CHC theory. Gc was defined in Comparison 3. These subtests, Vocabulary and Information, measure to a greater or lesser extent the narrow Gc ability of General Information. Vocabulary also measures the narrow Gc ability of Lexical Knowledge. However, because both Vocabulary and Information represent knowledge that is typically stored in long-term memory, this cluster was labeled "Long-Term Memory." Note that "Long-Term Memory" is not a CHC label per se and therefore should not be confused with the broad Long-Term Retrieval (Glr) ability in CHC theory. This cluster consists of the same two subtests on the WAIS-III and WISC-IV (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004).

Short-Term Memory (Gsm-WM) Cluster Letter-Number Sequencing + Digit Span

Definition: The Short-Term Memory (Gsm-WM) Cluster consists of two subtests that measure the Broad Gsm ability in CHC theory. Gsm is defined as the ability to apprehend and hold information in immediate awareness and to use it within a few seconds. Letter-Number Sequencing and Digit Span (Backward) measure the narrow Gsm ability of Working Memory, which is defined as the ability to temporarily store and perform a set of cognitive operations on information that requires divided

Table A.6 (Continued)

attention and the management of the limited capacity of short-term memory. Digit Span also measures the narrow Gsm ability of Memory Span, which is defined as the ability to attend to and immediately recall temporally ordered elements in the correct order after a single presentation. This cluster consists of the same two subtests on the WAIS-III and WISC-IV (Flanagan & Kaufman, 2004).

6. Long-Term Memory versus Verbal Fluid Reasoning

Long-Term Memory (Gc-LTM) Cluster Vocabulary + Information

Definition: The Long-Term Memory (Gc-LTM) Cluster was defined in Comparison 5.

Verbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-verbal) Cluster Similarities + Comprehension

Definition: The Verbal Fluid Reasoning (Gf-verbal) Cluster was defined in Comparison 3.

Table A.7 Internal Consistency Reliability Coefficients, Standard Errors of Measurement (SEM), and Confidence Intervals (90% and 95%) for the General Ability Index (GAI) and the New WAIS-III Clinical Indexes, for the Overall Sample (Ages 16-89)

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