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IQ estimate smackdown: Comparing IQ proxy measures to the WAIS-III



Brief assessments of general cognitive ability are frequently needed by neuropsychologists, and many methods of estimating intelligence quotient (IQ) have been published. While these measures typically present overall correlations with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) Full Scale IQ, it is tacitly acknowledged that these estimates are most accurate within 1 standard deviation of the mean and that accuracy diminishes moving toward the tails of the IQ distribution. However, little work has been done to systematically characterize proxy measures at the tails of the IQ distribution. Additionally, while these measures are all correlated with the WAIS, multiple proxy measures are rarely presented in one manuscript. The current article has two goals: (1) Examine various IQ proxies against Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (Third Version) scores, showing the overall accuracy of each measure against the gold standard IQ measure. This comparison will assist in selecting the best proxy measure for particular clinical constraints. (2) The sample is then divided into three groups (below, average, and above-average ability), and each group is analyzed separately to characterize proxy performance at the tails of the IQ distribution. Repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance compares the different proxy measures across ability levels. All IQ estimates are represented in tables so that they can be examined side by side. (JINS, 2009, 15, 590–596.)


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*Correspondence and reprint requests to: Ruth Spinks, Psychiatry Research, Medical Examination Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242. E-mail:


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IQ estimate smackdown: Comparing IQ proxy measures to the WAIS-III



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