Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
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Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales
The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale is a standardized test that assesses intelligence and cognitive abilities in children and adults aged two to 23.
The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale is used as a tool in school placement, in determining the presence of a learning disability or a developmental delay, and in tracking intellectual development. In addition, it is sometimes included in neuropsychological testing to assess the brain function of individuals with neurological impairments.
Although the Stanford-Binet was developed for children as young as two, examiners should be cautious in using the test to screen very young children for developmental delays or disabilities. The test cannot be used to diagnose mental retardation in children aged three and under, and the scoring design may not detect developmental problems in preschool-age children.
Intelligence testing requires a clinically trained examiner. The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale should be administered and interpreted by a trained professional, preferably a psychologist.
The Stanford-Binet intelligence scale is a direct descendent of the Binet-Simon scale, the first intelligence scale created in 1905 by psychologist Alfred Binet and Dr. Theophilus Simon. This revised edition, released in 1986, was designed with a larger, more diverse, representative sample to minimize the gender and racial inequities that had been criticized in earlier versions of the test.
The Stanford-Binet scale tests intelligence across four areas: verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, abstract/visual reasoning, and short-term memory. The areas are covered by 15 subtests, including vocabulary, comprehension, verbal absurdities, pattern analysis, matrices, paper folding and cutting, copying, quantitative, number series, equation building, memory for sentences, memory for digits, memory for objects, and bead memory.
All test subjects take an initial vocabulary test, which along with the subject's age, determines the number and level of subtests to be administered. Total testing time is 45-90 minutes, depending on the subject's age and the number of subtests given. Raw scores are based on the number of items answered, and are converted into a standard age score corresponding to age group, similar to an IQ measure.
The 1997 Medicare reimbursement rate for psychological and neuropsychological testing, including intelligence testing, is $58.35 an hour. Billing time typically includes test administration, scoring and interpretation, and reporting. Many insurance plans cover all or a portion of diagnostic psychological testing.
The Stanford-Binet is a standardized test, meaning that norms were established during the design phase of the test by administering the test to a large, representative sample of the test population. The test has a mean, or average, standard score of 100 and a standard deviation of 16 (subtests have a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 8). The standard deviation indicates how far above or below the norm the subject's score is. For example, an eight-year-old is assessed with the Stanford-Binet scale and achieves a standard age score of 116. The mean score of 100 is the average level at which all eight-year-olds in the representative sample performed. This child's score would be one standard deviation above that norm.
While standard age scores provide a reference point for evaluation, they represent an average of a variety of skill areas. A trained psychologist will evaluate and interpret an individual's performance on the scale's subtests to discover strengths and weaknesses and offer recommendations based upon these findings.
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Norms — Normative or mean score for a particular age group.
Representative sample — A random sample of people that adequately represents the test-taking population in age, gender, race, and socioeconomic standing.
Standard deviation — A measure of the distribution of scores around the average (mean). In a normal distribution, two standard deviations above and below the mean includes about 95% of all samples.
Standardization — The process of determining established norms and procedures for a test to act as a standard reference point for future test results. The Stanford-Binet test was standardized on a national representative sample of 5,000 subjects.
Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.