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Social Processes: Methodology · Types of test

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This article provides an overview of the intelligence measure. Details of each version, are available in seperate articles.

Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) is a general test of intelligence (IQ), published in February 1955 as a revision of the Wechsler-Bellevue test (1939), a battery of tests that is composed from subtests Wechsler "adopted" from the Army Tests (Yerkes, 1921). Wechsler defined intelligence as "The global capacity of a person to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with his/her environment."[1] The fourth edition of the test was released in 2008 by Pearson.


The WAIS has undergone steady development over the years and has been published as a number of versions.

  • WAIS
  • WAIS-R or WAIS-Revised was standardised in 1981 on a sample of 1,880 US subjects, ranging from 16 to 89 years of age, broken down into 9 different age groups.
  • WAIS-III (1997).
  • WAIS-IV is the current version first published in 2008.


The full scale IQ test is broken down into 14 sub tests, comprising the verbal (seven sub tests) and performance scales (seven sub tests). Wechsler's tests provide three scores:

  1. a verbal IQ (VIQ)
  2. a performance IQ (PIQ)
  3. a composite, single full-scale IQ score based on the combined scores.

The median full-scale IQ is centered at 100[2], with a standard deviation of 15. In a normal distribution this IQ range (1σ above and below the mean - that is, between 85 and 115) is where approximately 68% of adults would fall.

See also[]


  1. Wechsler, David (1939). The measurement of adult intelligence, 229, Baltimore: Williams & Wilkins.
  2. Distribution of IQ Scores. MSN Encarta. URL accessed on 2007-07-08.

External links[]

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