Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales
|Stanford–Binet Intelligence scales|
The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is an individually administered intelligence test that was revised from the original Binet-Simon Scale by Lewis M. Terman, a psychologist at Stanford University. The Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale is now in its Fifth Edition. It is a cognitive ability and intelligence test that is used to diagnose developmental or cognitive deficiencies in young children. The test measures five weighted factors and consists of both verbal and nonverbal subtests. The five factors being tested are knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, working memory, and fluid reasoning.
The development of the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales initiated the modern field of intelligence testing and was one of the first examples of an adaptive test. The test originated in France, then was revised in the United States. It began started with the French psychologist Alfred Binet, who---following the introduction of a law mandating universal education by the French government---undertook to develop a method of identifying "slow" children for their placement in special education programs (rather than removing them to asylums as "sick"). As Binet indicated, case studies might be more detailed and helpful, but the time required to test many people would be excessive. In 1916, at Stanford University, the psychologist Lewis Terman released a revised examination which became known as the "Stanford–Binet test".
The Stanford-Binet Intelligence scale is a modified version of the Binet-Simon Intelligence scale. The Binet-Simon scale was created by the French psychologist Alfred Binet and his student Theodore Simon (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). Due to changing education laws of the time, Binet had been requested by a government commission to come up with a way to detect children with subnormal mental abilities (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012).
To create their test, Binet and Simon first created a baseline of intelligence (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). A wide range of children were tested on a wide range of measures in an effort to discover a clear indicator of intelligence (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). Failing to find a single identifier of intelligence, children were instead compared in each category by age (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). The children’s' highest levels of achievement were sorted by age and common levels of achievements considered the normal level for that age (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). Because this testing method merely compares a person's ability to the common ability level of others their age, the general practices of the test can easily be transferred to test different populations, even if the measures used are changed (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012).
One of the first successful intelligence test, the Binet-Simon test, quickly gained support in the psychological community, many of which further spread it to the public (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). One of these individuals was Lewis. M. Terman. Terman, a psychologist at Stanford University, was one of the first to create a version of the test for people in the United States, naming the localized version the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012) (Becker, 2003). Terman also furthered the idea of using these test to not only identify children who progress slower than their peers but to also find children and adults who had intelligence above the level of their peers (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). In creating his version, Terman also tested additional methods for his Stanford revision, publishing his first official version as The Measurement of Intelligence: An Explanation of and a Complete Guide for the Use of the Stanford Revision and Extension of the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale (Becker, 2003).
The original tests in the 1905 form include:
- "Le Regard"
- Prehension Provoked by a Tactile Stimulus
- Prehension Provoked by a Visual Perception
- Recognition of Food
- Quest of Food Complicated by a Slight Mechanical Difficulty
- Execution of Simple Commands and Imitation of Simple Gestures
- Verbal Knowledge of Objects
- Verbal Knowledge of Pictures
- Naming of Designated Objects
- Immediate Comparison of Two Lines of Unequal Lengths
- Repetition of Three Figures
- Comparison of Two Weights
- Verbal Definition of Known Objects
- Repetition of Sentences of Fifteen Words
- Comparison of Known Objects from Memory
- Exercise of Memory on Pictures
- Drawing a Design from Memory
- Immediate Repetition of Figures
- Resemblances of Several Known Objects Given from Memory
- Comparison of Lengths
- Five Weights to be Placed in Order
- Gap in Weights
- Exercise upon Rhymes
- Verbal Gaps to be Filled
- Synthesis of Three Words in One Sentence
- Reply to an Abstract Question
- Reversal of the Hands of a Clock
- Paper Cutting
- Definitions of Abstract Terms
One hindrance to widespread understanding of the test is its use of a variety of different measures. In an effort to simplify the information gained from the Binet-Simon test into a more comprehensible and easier to understand form, German psychologist William Stern created the now well known Intelligence Quotient (IQ)(Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). By comparing the age a child scored at to their biological age, a ratio is created to show the rate of their mental progress as IQ (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012). Terman quickly grasped the idea for his Stanford revision with the adjustment of multiplying the ratios by 100 to make them easier to read (Fancher & Rutherford, 2012).
Terman was also one of the main forces in spreading intelligence testing in the United States (Francher & Rutherford, 2012)(Becker, 2003)(Leslie, 2000). Terman quickly promoted the use of the Stanford-Binet for schools across the United States where it saw a high rate of acceptance (Leslie, 2000). Terman’s work also had the attention of the U.S. government, who recruited him to apply the ideas from his Stanford-Binet test for military recruitment near the start of World War I (Leslie, 2000)(Fancher & Rutherford 2012). With over 1.7 million military recruits taking a version of the test and the acceptance of the test by the government, the Stanford-Binet saw an increase in awareness and acceptance (Leslie, 2000).
Given the perceived importance of intelligence and with new ways to measure intelligence, many influential individuals, including Terman, began promoting controversial ideas to increase the nation's overall intelligence (Leslie, 2000). These ideas included things such as discouraging individuals with low IQ from having children and granting important positions based on high IQ scores (Leslie, 2000). While there was much strong opposition, many institutions proceeded to adjust student's education based on their IQ scores, often with a heavy influence on future career possibilities (Leslie, 2000).
Revisions of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
Since the first publication in 1916, there have been four additional revised editions of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. As previously mentioned, Lewis Terman produced the first edition. Over twenty years later, Maud Merrill was accepted into Stanford’s education program just shortly before Terman became the head of the psychology department. She completed both her masters and Ph.D. under Terman and quickly became a colleague of his as they started the revisions of the second edition together. There were 3,200 examinees, aged one and a half to eighteen years, ranging in different geographic regions as well as socioeconomic levels in attempts to comprise a broader normative sample (Roid & Barram, 2004). This edition included more objectified scoring methods while placing less emphasis on recall memory and it included a greater range of nonverbal abilities (Roid & Barram, 2004) compared to the 1916 edition.
Merrill and Terman continued to work together until his death in 1956. The revisions for the third edition had already been well on its way by this time though and Merrill was able to publish the final revision in 1960 (Roid & Barram, 2004). The use of the deviation IQ made its first appearance in this third edition by replacing the ratio IQ. While new features were added, there were no newly created items included in this revision. Instead, any items from the 1937 form that showed no substantial change in difficulty from the 1930’s to the 1950’s were either eliminated or adjusted (Roid & Barram, 2004).
Robert Thorndike was asked to take over after Merrill’s retirement. With the help of Elizabeth Hagen and Jerome Sattler, Thorndike produced the fourth edition of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale in 1986. This edition covers the ages two through twenty-three and has some considerable changes compared to its predecessors (Graham & Naglieri, 2003). This edition was the first to use the fifteen subtests with point scales in place of using the previous age scale format. In an attempt to broaden cognitive ability, the subtests were grouped and resulted in four area scores, which improved flexibility for administration and interpretation (Youngstrom, Glutting, & Watkins, 2003). The fourth edition is known for assessing children that may be referred for gifted programs. This edition includes a broad range of abilities which provides more challenging items for those in their early adolescent years, whereas other intelligence tests of the time did not provide difficult enough items for the older children (Laurent, Swerdlik, & Ryburn, 1992).
Gale Roid published the most recent edition of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Roid attended Harvard University where he was a research assistant to David McClelland. McClelland is well known for his studies on the need for achievement. While the fifth edition incorporates some of the classical traditions of these scales, there were several significant changes made.
- April 1905: Development of Binet-Simon Test announced at a conference in Rome
- June 1905: Binet-Simon Intelligence Test introduced
- 1908 and 1911: New Versions of Binet-Simon Intelligence Test
- 1916: Stanford-Binet First Edition by Terman
- 1937: Second Edition by Terman and Merrill
- 1973: Third Edition by Merrill
- 1986: Fourth Edition by Thorndike, Hagen, and Sattler
- 2003: Fifth Edition by Roid
The Modern Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
Just as it was used when Binet first developed the IQ test, the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale: Fifth Edition (SB5) is still rooted in the schooling process to assess intelligence. It continuously and efficiently assesses all levels of ability in individuals with a broader range in age. It is also capable of measuring multiple dimensions of abilities (Ruf, 2003).
The SB5 can be administered to individuals two through eighty-five plus years of age. There are ten subsets included in this revision including both verbal and nonverbal domains. Five factors are also incorporated in this scale, which are directly related to Cattell-Horn-Carroll (CHC) hierarchical model of cognitive abilities. These factors include fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing, and working memory (Bain & Allin, 2005). Many of the familiar picture absurdities, vocabulary, memory for sentences, and verbal absurdities still remain from the previous editions (Janzen, Obrzut, & Marusiak, 2003) however with more modern artwork and item content for the revised fifth edition.
For every verbal subtest that is used there is a nonverbal counterpart across all factors. These nonverbal tasks consist of making movement responses such as pointing or assembling manipulatives (Bain & Allin, 2005). These counterparts have been included in order to address the language-reduced assessments in multicultural societies. Depending on age and ability, administration can range from fifteen minutes to an hour and fifteen minutes.
The fifth edition incorporated a new scoring system, which can provide a wide range of information such as four intelligence score composites, five factor indices, and ten subtest scores. Additional scoring information includes percentile ranks, age equivalents, and a change-sensitive score (Janzen, Obrzut, & Marusiak, 2003). Extended IQ scores and gifted composite scores are available with the SB5 in order to optimize the assessment for gifted programs (Ruf, 2003). In order to reduce errors and increase diagnostic precision, scores are obtained electronically through the use of computers now.
The standardization sample for the SB5 included 4,800 participants varying in age, sex, race/ethnicity, geographic region, and socioeconomic level (Bain & Allin, 2005).
Reliability of the Modern Scale
Several reliability tests have been performed on the SB5 including split-half reliability, standard error of measurement, plotting of test information curves, test-retest stability, and inter-scorer agreement. On average, the IQ scores for this scale have been found to be quite stable across time (Janzen, Obrzut, & Marusiak, 2003). Internal consistency was tested by split-half reliability and was reported to be substantial and comparable to other cognitive batteries (Bain & Allin, 2005). The median interscorer correlation was found to be .90 on average (Janzen, Obrzut, & Marusiak, 2003). The SB5 has also been found to have great precision at advanced levels of performance meaning that the test is especially useful in testing children for giftedness (Bain & Allin, 2005). There have only been a small amount of practice effects and familiarity of testing procedures with retest reliability, however, these have proven to be insignificant. Readministration of the SB5 can occur in a six-month interval rather than one year due to the small mean differences in reliability (Bain & Allin, 2005).
Validity of the Modern Scale
Content validity has been found based on the professional judgments Roid received concerning fairness of items and item content as well as items concerning the assessment of giftedness (Bain & Allin, 2005). With an examination of age trends, construct validity was supported along with empirical justification of a more substantial gloading for the SB5 compared to previous editions. The potential for a variety of comparisons, especially for within or across factors and verbal/nonverbal domains, has been appreciated with the scores received from the SB5 (Bain & Allin, 2005).
Despite changes in the individual types of intelligence tests, criticism of the testing methods still exist. One problem with intelligence tests is the failure to measure adaptive decision-making skills. Such tests focus on IQ measurements and are used as educational placement tools. Certain rational thinking skills are a critical part of daily life but are not evaluated by the tests and are not taught in the educational system. These intelligence tests ignore a large part of cognitive functioning that is the foundation of rational thought and action. This cognitive functioning is used in the important process of making decisions in one's life (Stanovich, 2009).
Another criticism of intelligence testing is that the tests do not assess some psychological functions that are equally as important as the cognitive functions. These non-cognitive domains include motivation, empathy, emotion, and others. These domains are an important part of one's mental ability but are not shown in intelligence test. The use of IQ measurements have become so common that the result of a low IQ score has bad connotations. This outcome can be considered an unfair assessment when the tests do not cover all aspects of a person’s ability (Stanovich, 2009).
Since the inception of the Stanford–Binet, it has been revised several times. Currently, the test is in its fifth edition, which is called the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition, or SB5. According to the publisher's website, "The SB5 was normed on a stratified random sample of 4,800 individuals that matches the 2000 U.S. Census". By administering the Stanford–Binet test to large numbers of individuals selected at random from different parts of the United States, it has been found that the scores approximate a normal distribution. The revised edition of the Stanford-Binet over time has devised substantial changes in the way the tests are presented. The test has improved when looking at the introduction of a more parallel form and more demonstrative standards. For one, a non-verbal IQ component is included in the present day tests whereas in the past, there was only a verbal component. In fact, it now has equal balance of verbal and non-verbal content in the tests. It is also more animated than the other tests, providing the test-takers with more colourful artwork, toys and manipulatives. This allows the test to have a higher range in the age of the test takers. This test is very useful in assessing the intellectual capabilities of people ranging from young children all the way to young adults. However, the test has come under criticism for not being able to compare people of different age categories, since each category gets a different set of tests. furthermore, very young children tend to do poorly on the test due to the fact that they are lacking in the concentration needed to finish the test.
Current uses for the test include clinical and neuropsychological assessment, educational placement, compensation evaluations, career assessment, adult neuropsychological treatment, forensics, and research on aptitude. Various high-IQ societies also accept this test for admission into their ranks; for example, the Triple Nine Society accepts a minimum qualifying score of 151 for Form L or M, 149 for Form LM if taken in 1986 or earlier, 149 for SB-IV, and 146 for SB-V; in all cases the applicant must have been at least 16 years old at the date of the test.
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