Vocabulary

"Contrary to lay opinion, the size of a [p]erson's vocabulary is not only an index of his schooling, but also an excellent measure of his general intelligence. Its excellence as a test of intelligence may stem from the fact that the number of words a [person] knows is at once a measure of his learning ability, his fund of verbal information and of the general range of his ideas" (Wechsler, 1958, p. 84). The Vocabulary subtest formed an essential component of Binet's scales and the WAIS but, surprisingly, this task, which has become prototypical of Wechsler's definition of verbal intelligence, was not a regular W-B I subtest. In deference to the objection that word knowledge "is necessarily influenced by... educational and cultural opportunities" (p. 84), Wechsler included Vocabulary only as an alternative test during the early stages of W-B I standardization. Consequently, the W-B I was at first a 10-subtest battery and Vocabulary was excluded from analyses of W-B I standardization data such as factor analyses and correlations between subtest score and total score. Based on Wechsler's (1944) reconsideration of the value of

Vocabulary and concomitant urging of examiners to administer it routinely, Vocabulary soon became a regular W-B I component. When the W-B II was developed, 33 of the 42 W-B I words were included in that battery's Vocabulary subtest. Because many W-B I words were, therefore, included in the WISC when the W-B II was revised and restandardized to become the Wechsler children's scale in 1949, Wechsler (1955) decided to include an all-new Vocabulary subtest when the W-B I was converted to the WAIS.

This lack of overlap between the W-B I Vocabulary subtest and the task of the same name on the WAIS, WAIS-R, and WAIS-III is of some concern regarding the continuity of measurement from the W-B I to its successors. Wechsler himself (1958) noted: "The WAIS list contains a larger percentage of action words (verbs). The only thing that can be said so far about this difference is that while responses given to verbs are easier to score, those elicited by substantives are frequently more significant diagnostically" (pp. 84-85). This difference in diagnostic significance is potentially important because Wechsler (1958) found Vocabulary so valuable, in part because of its qualitative aspects: "The type of word on which a subject passes or fails is always of some significance" (p. 85), yielding information about reasoning ability, degree of abstraction, cultural milieu, educational background, coherence of thought processes, and the like.

Nonetheless, Wechsler was careful to ensure that the various qualitative aspects of Vocabulary performance had a minimal impact on quantitative score. "What counts is the number of words that he knows. Any recognized meaning is acceptable, and there is no penalty for inelegance of language. So long as the subject shows that he knows what a word means, he is credited with a passing score" (1958, p. 85).

Understanding And Treating Autism

Understanding And Treating Autism

Whenever a doctor informs the parents that their child is suffering with Autism, the first & foremost question that is thrown over him is - How did it happen? How did my child get this disease? Well, there is no definite answer to what are the exact causes of Autism.

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