Understanding testing!

Posted by: Klangedin

Understanding testing! - 05/11/21 02:50 AM

Hey! I've been thinking about the tests in the Wechsler series and is after 12 years of interest still not letting go. I've written a few times on this forum and I think I can say that it's the most insightful forum I've come across that deals with psychometric testing.

Now, I mostly want to rant about what I've thought about and it comes down to the division of General ability index (GAI) and Cognitive proficiency index (CPI).

Interesting fact that its common among highly scoring individuals to have a separation between these two where the CPI is far lower then the GAI. As far as I can understand GAI includes how well you can do things, its a bit odd however because I want to think of GAI and CPI as dependent on each other. For example I found that higher GAI makes you do less errors on Coding.

So one question would be, "What is the impact of lower CPI when you have a high GAI?".. I've read threads from years back and sometimes you can have a scaled score of 4-6 in coding and a 18 in similarities.

If you would pinpoint, what difference does it make to your performance if this kinds of difference is present?
My first concern would be that the process of using the "ability" would be slower and more prone to error. But what if your just a slow thinker? Is coding more reliant on executive functions?

What would be a core description of the process? Is processing speed only the speed at which things are done, thoughts, writing etc? Where does working memory come into this, as it is a part of the CPI?

Basically I believe that he CPI as an efficiency measure which tells us how good someone is at using their abilities, which is close to executive functions but wouldn't the GAI scores be lower of you couldn't use your abilities to its fullest? Maybe its the timed tests that suffer most from lower CPI..

What is the "qualitative" relationship?

These are my thoughts in covid times..
Thank you!
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/11/21 04:16 PM

With coding in particular, there is major confounding due to the need for sensory motor control (handwriting) and good visual processing & visual memory. Strengths or weakness in both these areas will also impact some of the subtests that make up the GAI (block design for example) but others may not be impacted at all.

Using the two subtests you mention is a particularly good example because a blind person with no hands could score 18 on similarities just as much as any other person might be able to, and would be completely unable to undertake the coding subtest at all, despite possibly having quite excellent executive function.
Posted by: Kai

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/11/21 04:59 PM

Originally Posted By: MumOfThree
With coding in particular, there is major confounding due to the need for sensory motor control (handwriting) and good visual processing & visual memory.


Also with coding, the person being tested has to actually be motivated to do such a thing in some sort of timely manner. Ask me how I know.
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/11/21 11:00 PM

How do you know KAI?

I read a book by Heelen Braaten about processing speed and also found her on youtube. She's a specialist on the topic. She claims that people who have deficits in processing speed are slow to complete tasks. That's all.. That's what all that stuff is about. It's not mysterious at all..

However I've suffered due to this.. All the years in school when pen and paper has been the standard I've barely received a grade. At university I aced all the online exams and got nothing when the time to sit down and write came.

It's unfair that I have all the answers but is unable to show that because of the style that we have to present information.

GAI of 125
CPI of 85
Posted by: Kai

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/12/21 07:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Klangedin
How do you know KAI?


If the person taking the test doesn't push themselves to go quickly or worse, drags their feet the entire time, the score will be lower, sometimes far lower, than if they had.

One of my kids was like this. He had us all convinced that he had a processing speed deficit that was getting worse over time. He was also homeschooled, and my impression of his processing speed was that it was sometimes lightning fast and sometimes dismally slow--and tests of processing speed seemed to be designed to bring out his dismally slow side.

Fast forward to his high school years, where he was able to finish the SAT in half the time and still get all (or almost all) of the questions right.

But more generally, when you use test results to infer something essential about a person (intelligence, for example), there is an implicit assumption that the person was trying to do their best when taking the test.
Posted by: MumOfThree

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/12/21 10:15 PM

Originally Posted By: Kai
my impression of his processing speed was that it was sometimes lightning fast and sometimes dismally slow--and tests of processing speed seemed to be designed to bring out his dismally slow side.


I have one of these! I have said the exact same thing to various professionals in their lives "Slow and deep... also, sometimes lightening fast"

Originally Posted By: Kai
Fast forward to his high school years, where he was able to finish the SAT in half the time and still get all (or almost all) of the questions right.


Mine is horrified at the suggestion that they should have (and use) extra time...

Originally Posted By: Kai
there is an implicit assumption that the person was trying to do their best when taking the test.

Our recent report explicitly states that child worked hard and it was a "Valid" and accurate result... No actual explanation for the very bizarre pattern of strengths and weaknesses. We often hear about a child with some indexes very strong, other's weaker (ie strong VCI, weaker PS or WM). My child managed to have nearly two standard deviations between the two subtests in most indexes (except VCI which was even, and VSI with only one deviation). Even AEH struggled to find a pattern if I recall correctly. Tests that might normally clump together just don't (ie two tests which rely heavily on visual memory and no motor component) and areas that I know are personal strengths have scored relatively poorly compared to relative weakness in day to day life.

I don't think this was a conscious act on the part of my child. But I am not fully on board with the psychologist that the test results accurately reflect best effort or accurately capture my child's strengths and weaknesses. Except in so far as my child has a problem with very variable engagement and performance.
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/13/21 05:17 AM

My thoughts goes to the form of expression desired.. For example I scored low on Coding which measures speed, fine motor and visual memory but high on block design which also measure speed, fine motor and something similar to visual memory.. I don't know if the difference is that its visual vs spatial but that's the pattern

Concerning what you're good out the mode of output is important. Coding is doing something boring which taxes your flexibility (executive function) a lot while block design is more complex and requires problem solving to a larger degree.
Posted by: aeh

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/13/21 12:30 PM

I think it's extremely important as an assessment professional to maintain a level of humility with regard to any client, but especially for low-incidence learners like twice-exceptional students. Even for those of us who may have encountered a few more of them than others. There's an old principle in assessment along these lines: interpret the test in the context of the child, not the child through the lens of the test.
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 06/26/21 04:45 AM

I've come to understand how processing speed works on a deeper level and my interpretation is that processing speed is the speed with which we can make basic information useful to us.

A way to explain this is to give someone a number, say 1. This is a basic piece of information and its easy to interpret. How quickly did you make sense of the 1?

Now the spread would be that all information requires making sense of before we can use it and I have found that I have an excellent spatial working memory but slow "coding" or visual processing speed.

This means that I can take huge stretches of information but it takes time for me before that information becomes understandable.
This shows up in the behavior of necessary contemplation afterwards in which I go through my impressions during the day and use that information to learn.

This explanation also sheds some light as to how people can have high verbal comprehension and performance index while not having good processing speed. Processing speed if low hampers performance index to some degree but less when it comes to verbal skills.

Some thoughts of mine.. I've had periods where my visual processing speed has been extremely high which during the time made me able to react much faster to people and my surrounding.
I think that having a balanced profile allows us to find our level of function easier but mine fluctuate a lot!
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/15/22 02:20 AM

Recently been thinking about my approach to life and how it coalesce with testing scores..

I'm someone who has difficulties functioning in certain areas.. I seem to be better at randomly jostling around looking for "clues" or details that I need? I think of myself as unable to attend a university because of my poor performance in school subjects that are associated with writing and reading.. So I've been thinking about this and trying to adapt to my circumstance..

I wonder what my weakness is and what it is that makes me unable to do what would be more successful in a modern society. I'm not successful at all it would seem but I work hard every day to achieve something.

Similar to what other people talked about with ADHD it's like I have to work twice as hard but get half the result and I want to question why this is..

I believe results from the WAIS-test is more important then tests of executive functions when it comes to predicting success but the executive tests tells me more about how my process works? In what way am I attending to information well?

I've done TMT B for example online and recieved a score of 7/10 people.. That indicates a good executive function but when I tested my verbal flexibility with a psychologist i recieved a bottom result.. 1/10 I would say.. So one question is if executive flexibility is one thing or is dependent on different areas of the brain..

I do a massive amount of thinking and real life excursions because I don't think I am executively disabled, at least not in a standard sense so there are a lot of things I can do "visually". I have no problem planing a route or finding new patterns in movement. I think this is correct because of my high score in spatial working memory which is a good indicator of executive function. This with the TMT B result indicates I do well with visual orientation. I also don't have problems with visual computer games that I play..

Verbally I was thinking there might be something to my low score. Mostly I've been trying to imagine what someone with poor verbal flexibility would be able to say or interact with. I wonder if there is any truth to my poor result because I've been finding that I can have success even though my poor results have led me to believe I am useless..

A question for Aeh would be how I detect poor verbal flexibility as measured by the D-kefs verbal fluency collection. A question is also why executive functions matter on a practical level. One psychologist said it was decision making? Is it the speed at which we make new decision based either one verbal or visual information? "New choices" with which we direct out behavior?

I think that doing an IQ-test is not very reliant on Executive functions and I've read about it that the correlations between D-kefs and Wechsler subtests is in the 0.20 range if not lower.

The interesting thing is that I believe in IQ-testing a lot, to the degree that it's a certainty of ability in tasks. I had a poor coding result and I've been analyzing why that could be. There are multiple things that you need to be good at to be a "fast coder"..

Anyhow, having a executive detriment slows down coding or more generally, "the speed with which you accomplish something" and in the coding test they estimate how many digit/symbols you can finish within a short time frame.. I believe this to be a good estimate of how fast you progress with tasks.. What do you think Aeh?

The question that I've been pondering from the beginning is if the full scale IQ score is most important or if the CPI/GAI rule is relevant. The rule is that is you have to much variation in your profile the full scale IQ doesn't accurately represent your actual ability. A question would be if most my GAI scores are in the 120-130 range and coding is in the 80 range. Hmm.. I think the rule applies. Is this correct?

When I look at my real life pattern of verbal interaction I'm a person that doesn't answer and take my time to ponder the conundrum.. This would be a description of someone with low verbal processing speed but high verbal logical ability. I spend hours every day after I've come home analyzing thoughts and ideas I've picked up during the day, it seems there is endless learning..

It's not entirely accurate.. Executive functions are used to make new knowledge, stuff that I already know aren't a problem, i have enough verbal fluency for that (average).. I believe that the definition of "slow but deep" applies to me. Some people prefer quick surface interaction while I want accurate and to the point interaction, Quality of quantity I've said at some times..

Anyone else ponders this way?

I think the accurate description is "slow but accurate".. Takes time to develop ideas but they are very good when they are! This is because logical tests such a similarities measure the accuracy of you verbal thinking or "verbal logical reasoning" while coding assess speed of completion.. My low coding, the doctor claimed was due to poor executive functioning which means that my process of making a decision is really slow but since I'm very intelligent I make accurate conclusions about things.. I just can't wrap my head around the executive limitations based on how the test measures it..

You are asked to name one piece of fruit and then "switch" to a piece of furniture. Where does this process show up in real life? I think I tend to stick to one topic for a long time based in task itself.. The test assesses how many times you can switch and how many items you get accurately. I failed miserably at both. Does this test have anything to do with intelligence? Why do we use this test in the first place? What is executive verbal flexibility?
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 05/21/22 12:49 AM

Executive functions is the amount of decisions you can make.. a low score with executive flexibility means you can only make a few choices when you work or other before your decision-making fades away.. It has nothing to do with "doing" your decisions but all to do with how many decisions you can make before you run out of stamina.. What happens is that if your decision doesn't lead to a good behavior you don't have the capacity to change that behavior so much!

I understand through Barkleys executive model that people who aren't executively strong sometimes becomes perseverant which means they continue with a behavior that doesn't work. This is not good as you can imagine and it can make you tread water for long periods of time before you find the right track.. I've been treading water for a long time and is probably the reason why I take shortcuts, because small errors are to executively demanding to change in comparison to the reward!

The most important thing to remember if you are executively challenged while highly intelligent is that some things are replenesive while some things drain and when things are to executively demanding I dont dare to pursue that "topic" because working with change becomes extra hard.. That's why I have a lot of personal interests and almost no "career" success.. Probably because making decisions is such a large part of working that my ability to do so isn't good enough to keep the tempo!
Posted by: Jonnywalte5

Re: Understanding testing! - 06/27/22 03:31 AM

cool
Posted by: Jonnywalte5

Re: Understanding testing! - 06/27/22 03:33 AM

cool
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 08/02/22 05:12 AM

Some more reflections on being executively dysfunctioned..

I recently learned one of the problems I have with executive functions. From my own studies I've shown that I have an excellent spatial working memory and that in turn means I can handle "finding my way around" very well.

Working memory is sometimes used as a part of executive functions but I discovered that it's actually "updating" that is executive. The updating is what allows you to shift the information in your working memory to something new, like a new topic or action.

The estimates done on my executive functions are extremely poor but my logic seems unharmed. What I found out today due to self reflections is that I tend to answer questions with the wrong mindset.

The scenario is that they are asking about how I can do laundry and other housework but my mind is set on something I was remembering.

My biggest strength in IQ was similarities, basically that's the ability to find commons between different subjects and when I answer questions asked by the healthcare they think I switch topic after each subject but I don't. I'm keeping in mind every question and use my similarities logic to make an answer for all three "different subjects" at once.

It seems I've been miss judged a lot because of this. I was recently in contact with a doctor who didn't realize this. She wasn't a specialist in psychiatry and she admitted me into hospital for symptoms that she thought I had but after the psychiatrist had spoken to me he realized that I have a very uncommon pattern that she couldn't discern.
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 08/02/22 05:38 AM

Another "funny" thing that has happened today is that when I was shopping a girl showed interest but I was stuck on my mission to get my medicine the I just walked past her without giving any notice.

Now that I'm home I think of all the things I've ignored one my mission and some of it really hurts. Like the girl for example, it's like my mind remembers where she was, what she looked like and what she wanted but I was so set on doing my thing that I walked right by!

How is it supposed to make sense all of this? My rigidity has caused me so much pain and suffering simply because I see the opportunity but I don't act on it. I cause so much suffering for people because they don't understand how to approach me and I don't want to go around unhinged stepping on peoples toes.

I've been active in "daily activities" for a long time and they haven't been able to find me at all. I'm like a rock that never changes, but I've continued to learn, each pain has meant something different and each time I go back their something happens and I get hurt.

I've solved this through thinking that I can't have people in my life. People ALWAYS fail to meet me where I'm at and I've had the most skilled people in psychiatry trying to help me.

It's odd, even as I write I can't adapt to pain. I feel that my emotions tries to say "If you write this nobody will truly understand how you feel because you know it isn't write, this is impulsive writing/expression". I feel like it's impossible and I've seen so many psychiatrists that all give me something new that I just think about and still nothing changes.

I don't know? Is this a common experience for people?
Posted by: aeh

Re: Understanding testing! - 08/02/22 09:35 AM

Glad you added a new post to this thread...I remembered that someone had asked me a question a while back, but didn't get a chance to answer it at the time, and then couldn't find the question!

Taking into consideration a number of things you've shared, it sounds like the critical executive function that impacts your daily life may be the one we call shift or cognitive flexibility (switching, on the assessment you completed). This can result in or combine with low processing speed to generate the "slow but accurate" presentation you describe, as well as the single-minded focus that sometimes causes you to respond to the unexpected poorly, late, or not at all. I find that it can be helpful

1. to be patient with yourself. Extend some grace to yourself when you realize after the fact that you've arrowed past something that you wish you had responded to. And then try to think if there's a more planful avenue still open to you to go back and offer an appropriate response. Sometimes there will be, and other times there won't. That's okay. In the second case, look for any small skill that you might be able to learn from it for a future similar situation, such as a short, civil comment you might be able to make, either internally to yourself, or aloud to the other person, to communicate that you would love to respond further, but after you finish this task. To do this, it helps to

2. prepare a menu of standard, pleasant responses to situations that arise repeatedly. You note that you don't have difficulty with things you already know; it's novelty that throws off your cognitive flexibility. So, when you encouter a new situation, learn what you can about appropriate responses for it, and practice them (preferably with a friend or therapist) until they don't feel new anymore. Quite a number of mental health professionals can help you generally with what they'll recognize as social skills training/coaching, but for more tailored practice, you'll want to detail the kinds of situations that affect you the most, so your practice partner can work with you on those.

3. Managing your environment also helps, such as by learning some verbal stalling tactics, to give yourself more time to process incoming information and shift your thinking. Some people use phrases such as, "give me a moment," "explain that again," "so you're saying...[and repeat or restate what they just said], or even take the direct approach with, "let's slow this down."

Both cognition and executive function are important to daily life needs. One way to think about it is that EF is the collection of skills that allow efficient, on-demand access to your other skills (including cognition). And yes, just as most have patterns of strengths and weaknesses among cognitive skills, one can have strengths and weaknesses among the EFs, such as good planning but weak flexibility. It's also important to note that we've made some artificial and arbitrary distinctions between executive and cognitive skills. The reality is almost certainly that they are intertwined (and, well, they're all in your brain!).

All formal measures are attempts to access incompletely understood and interconnected skills in a complex system. IOW, none of them are ultimate descriptors of you or your abilities. That being said, the FSIQ does appear to be the most robust predictor of academic function for most people--but you are not most people. EF is probably a better predictor of general life function, since it affects all dimensions, but it's also a set of skills that can be learned and accommodated. Which is to say, it's all of the above. The GAI is a purer measure of reasoning, but the FSIQ includes estimates of the impact of some EF skills (in the form of the CPI). One might say that, when your EF vulnerabilities are well-accommodated or remediated, you are capable of functioning at the level of your GAI, but when they are not, your performance is likely to fall somewhere between your CPI and your GAI.

This should not be discouraging, btw, since it simply describes one variation of the state of every finite, imperfect human, and underlines our need for each other, and to seek completion in community.
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 08/05/22 09:34 AM

I've been in contact with the psychiatry in this town and I'm to see a psychologist on Monday next week. I'm sure he has some input, I've written to him about my issues and now we are to meet.

Something I've picked up and that I'm afraid of is a theory of connection and why people with high "g" don't function with regular people.

I know that I have a disease that complicates things but the theory suggests two things. One is that people who aren't within 20 IQ points won't be able to connect in a meaningful way.
I dont know if this is true but I have scores in the 140's and I suppose that my IQ would be higher then "high average" if I weren't sick.

All my friends before the disease are academics that play instruments and has by now started families, I haven't but that's a long story.
Somewhere I want to say that my inability to connect with people is due to me being "too" intelligent. I have a friend who is also intelligent and we click.

Problem is that I feel so odd, even with people who work with mental health. Im very hard on myself for my failures with people I meet and I can't help but remembering my past social failures. Even if someone just looks at me I feel like it's an opportunity but you never see that people approach each other where I live. Im socially isolated and can't find a way forward. Everyone is set with their friends and won't let anyone in. I feel abandoned because my mother moved to a different city 100 miles away.

Meeting with this psychologist will be a good time to get a sense of where I'm at now. I suppose things could be worse mentally but I have to rely on my medications to get me through the day.

I'm helpless and I need to abandon me belief of being intelligent.
Posted by: Klangedin

Re: Understanding testing! - 08/09/22 12:20 PM

I've made some progress with my thoughts, or rather I've connected some dots.

Something I've had trouble with is feeling that abiding by social rules. I'm always walking around with a troubled mind about this and that and I carry fantasies about people I have no real connection with.

It's weird because I spent a lot of time in isolation/solitude and I've been trying to break that feeling and get a hold of my life again.

I've come to the conclusion that a measure of intelligence doesn't have much value to it and that I'd be better of focusing on the life that's in front of me. I'm seeing a psychologist about it and I've been talking about how I feel entrenched by psychiatry and testing at large.

Know my mental aptitude and have IQ and personality theory as a hobby has led me to become criticizing and negative towards others, so it hasn't been a good thing to learn this type of thing. It's mostly arrogance in my estimation and that maintaining the image of being and intellectual has hampered me to believe that nothing besides intellectual efforts will be worth my time.

I've spent time developing people skills and trying to learn how to be with people at all. Something I find a bit hard to do. I know that if I spend to much time with my own thoughts I become estranged from dealing with people and I really need to have normal balanced people in my life and I also need to stop thinking about the limitations of the options in front of me.

Something about feeling intellectually superior makes me not want to chose and that isn't good. Im always scanning for understanding and I make interpretations in the moment that after a few hours becomes obvious that the problem wasn't that intellectual at all. It was something simple that I build into an adventure.

Today I spent time with my grandma and she's a aged widow who has a lot of what I'm searching for. She was once like me, inquisitive and abstract and she told me that she was the same way when she was my age. She is someone that I connect with on a "wisdom" level.

This train of thought came to be because I was starting to wonder if I was smart enough already. I've been starting to look at IQ tests again and I've been writing a lot about my topics of interest. I feel it may have been a mistake, that I somewhere discarded some of my social safety.

This is part of my personal diary :P.

The conclusion of this train of thought is that once again I've discarded what I can get in search for a new opportunities. There has been some initiative that I should start working but I'm afraid that my intellectualism will cause trouble with the process, I feel like I'm going into work with all the knowledge already because I'm so smart.

So I wonder if I will ever be suited for a regular job "in my mind" because I've spent so much time developing the "smart kid aura".

I have been trying to work on my emotional self...
Posted by: giftedamateur

Re: Understanding testing! - 08/17/22 12:26 PM

Since your old friends are academics, I wonder if you could spend some time with them and try to connect with friends of friends.

I'm curious to see how it works out for you, because I'm afraid I will be in exactly the same situation 10 years from now. I find it very hard to connect with people who aren't very intelligent in a meaningful way. I realize that I bottle up all of my substantial thoughts or things I find interesting to read because I know most people will not get it. And then I feel a sense of rejection when I don't get any enthusiasm from their side. This can kill interest for me in a way that little else does.

Work is a bit different from day to day life. Professionally, if you come across as smart and capable right out the gate, people will be willing to hire you. After all, it is good for their bottom line. There are horror stories of envious coworkers but I don't think that's the norm, unless they feel intimidated by your presence or see you as a threat to their source of income.