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Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales

The oldest and most influential intelligence test, devised in 1916 by Stanford psychologist Lewis Terman.

Consisting of questions and short tasks arranged from easy to difficult, the Stanford-Binet measures a wide variety of verbal and nonverbal skills. Its fifteen tests are divided into the following four cognitive areas:1) verbal reasoning (vocabulary, comprehension, absurdities, verbal relations); 2) quantitative reasoning (math, number series, equation building); 3) abstract/visual reasoning (pattern analysis, matrices, paper folding and cutting, copying); and 4) short-term memory (memory for sentences, digits, and objects, and bead memory). While the child's attitude and behavior during the test are noted, they are not used to determine the result, which is arrived at by converting a single raw score for the entire test to a figure indicating "mental age" (the average age of a child achieving that score). A formula is then used to arrive at the intelligence quotient, or I.Q. An I.Q. of 100 means that the child's chronological and mental ages match. Traditionally, I.Q. scores of 90-109 are considered average, scores below 70 indicate mental retardation. Gifted children achieve scores of 140 or above. Most recently revised in 1986, the Stanford-Binet intelligence test can be used with children from age two, as well as with adults. Although some of its concepts— such as mental age and intelligence quotient—are being questioned, the test is still widely used to assess cognitive development and often to determine placement in special education classes.

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Psychology EncyclopediaPsychological Tests & Methods