The Cognitive and Achievement Performance Models

The Cognitive and Achievement Performance Models (CA-PM) are another set of frameworks that can assist in interpreting an individual's performance on the WJ III. The CA-PM are based largely on logical and theoretical considerations rather than empirical data (Woodcock, 1993, 1997). Based on the CA-PM frameworks, additional clusters are provided for diagnostic information. The models indicate that four overarching factors can impact a person's "real-world" cognitive and academic performance. Indicators of three of the four CA-PM domains can be obtained from the WJ III. Figure 14.2 illustrates the relationship between the four indicators and cognitive and achievement performance.

The conceptual roots of the CA-PM framework can be traced back to Spearman, who, in The Abilities of Man, stated that "the process of cognition cannot possibly be treated apart from those of conation and affection, seeing that all these are inseparable aspects in the instincts and behavior of a single individual, who himself, as the very name implies, is indivisible" (Spearman, 1927, p. 2). David Wechsler was similarly convinced that a variety of nonintellectual factors (e.g., persistence, curiosity, and motivation) influenced the expression of intelligent behavior (Zachary, 1990). Snow's (1989) work on aptitude complexes and Ackerman's more recent intelligence-as-process,

Figure 14.2

The WJ III cognitive and achievement performance models

Figure 14.2

The WJ III cognitive and achievement performance models

Source: Copyright © 2001 by The Riverside Publishing Company. Adapted from the Woodcock-Johnson®III (WJ III™1)1 by Richard W. Woodcock, Kevin S. McGrew and Nancy Mather, with permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

personality, interests, intelligence-as-knowledge (PPIK) theory (Ackerman, 1996; Rolfhus & Ackerman, 1999) represent other attempts to integrate non-cognitive constructs into a larger theoretical framework to explain variations in cognitive and academic performance. The CA-PM is conceptually useful for bridging psychometric perspectives on test interpretation (such as the CHC model) and information-processing models of cognitive and academic functioning

Briefly, the CA-PM stores of acquired procedural and declarative knowledge are represented by the Verbal Abilities clusters (Std or Ext) on the WJ III COG and the respective WJ III ACH math (Gq) and reading and written language (Grw) clusters. In the cognitive model, the WJ III Verbal Abilities cluster provides a measure of language development that includes the comprehension of individual words and the comprehension of relationships among words. The tests comprising this cluster include measures of comprehension-knowledge and are influenced by the person's experience and English-language development. Verbal abilities are an important requirement for cognitive performance, especially when it involves oral language development in English. According to the CA-PM framework, "things you know" is one area that impacts cognitive and academic performance.

The WJ III Thinking Abilities clusters (Std or Ext) provide a sampling of different thinking processes that may be invoked when information in short-term memory cannot be processed automatically. These abilities are likely at the center of what most laypeople consider intelligence (McGrew & Woodcock, 2001). The Thinking Abilities cluster is comprised of measures of long-term retrieval (Glr), visual-spatial thinking (Gv), auditory processing (Ga), and fluid reasoning (Gf). According to the CA-PM, a person could "know things" yet not be able to "think" or reason with that knowledge well. Thus, thinking abilities impact cognitive performance.

Short-term memory and processing speed influence the efficiency of a person's cognitive performance. The WJ III Cognitive Efficiency clusters (Std or Ext) measure this aspect of the CA-PM.

These two aspects of automatic cognitive processing (Gs and Gsm) represent the capacity of the cognitive system to process information automatically. This automatic processing facilitates complex cognitive functioning. In the CA-PM, people must be able to "work efficiently" with their "knowledge" and "thinking" skills to demonstrate their best cognitive and academic performance. Finally, facilitators-inhibitors to cognitive performance modify cognitive and academic performance for better or worse. These noncognitive factors may be internal to the person (e.g., emotional state, health, and motivation) or external to the person in the environment (e.g., auditory distractions) or the result of situational variables (e.g., the teaching method). Woodcock (1993, 1997) and Dean and Woodcock (1999) have presented a more detailed and complex CHC Information Processing Model that is not presented here.

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