Psychometric Versus Actuarial Interpretation of Intelligence and Related Aptitude Batteries

Gary L. Canivez

in The Oxford Handbook of Child Psychological Assessment

Published in print April 2013 | ISBN: 9780199796304
Published online May 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199983292 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Psychometric Versus Actuarial Interpretation of Intelligence and Related Aptitude Batteries

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Interpretation of intelligence tests involves making various inferences about the individual based on their performance. Because there are many different scores within intelligence tests reflecting different levels (Full Scale, factors, subtests) and there are many different comparisons provided in test manuals and the extant literature, there is a multitude of possible inferences. This chapter is concerned with reviewing the various available scores and comparisons with suggested interpretations and a review of the empirical investigations of their psychometric fitness (reliability, validity, utility). Differentiation of psychometric interpretation versus actuarial interpretation methods is presented, as well as a review of research related to each. Most intelligence test interpretation methods are considered psychometric in nature, and most lack sufficient reliability, validity, or utility for individual clinical use; improvements in the clinical assessment of intelligence may result from greater development and use of actuarial approaches.

Keywords: intelligence test interpretation; reliability; validity; utility; actuarial decision-making; clinical decision-making

Article.  22828 words. 

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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