What does the Wechsler intelligence test measure

Hamburg-Wechsler intelligence test

1 definition

The Hamburg-Wechsler intelligence test, short HAWIE or WAIS-IV, is a test battery for measuring human intelligence first published in Germany in 1956. It examines the composite or global ability of an individual to act purposefully, to think reasonably, and to deal effectively with his environment.

2 story

Wechsler published his first version of the Wechsler test in his native language (English) in 1942. In his opinion, intelligence tests at the time were not suitable for measuring general intelligence. Based on his belief that intelligence is composed of several intellectual abilities, he developed his intelligence test consisting of 10 sub-tests. Another special feature of his test was that it did not measure intellectual development, as was customary at the time. Wechsler assumed that the IQ is constant and not age-dependent. The first German-language version was published by Hardesty and Lauber in 1956.

3 Structure of the test

The four core competencies (language comprehension, perceptual logical thinking, working memory and processing speed) are tested in 2-3 tests each.

3.1 Language comprehension

Language comprehension is tested, among other things, with the 'vocabulary test'. The test person is presented with a photo, which is then to be described by him.

3.2 Perceptual logical thinking

Perceptual logical thinking can be tested very well with the "mosaic test". The aim of the test is to recreate complex patterns using colored cubes.

3.3 working memory

Above all, the "repeat numbers test" should be mentioned here. The person is given a series of numbers that they should repeat forwards and / or backwards as error-free as possible.

3.4 Processing speed

The processing speed can be checked well with the "symbol search test". In doing so, the test person is presented with a specific symbol, which is then to be found again in a collection of symbols under time pressure.

4 The role of the Wechsler test in the Nuremberg trials

All of the defendants in the Nuremberg trials were subjected to the Wechsler test and mostly achieved above-average results. Except for Julius Streicher, all of them were highly intelligent. It was concluded that intelligence has nothing to do with moral behavior or character, as originally thought. Wechsler's understanding of intelligence, namely that intelligence is a purely mechanical ability, was thus confirmed.