The Triple Nine Society Psychometrics Committee Newsletter

August 25, 1996

To the TNS Psychometrics Committee:

Julia Cybele Cachia, Kevin Langdon, Greg Grove, Henry Milligan, Bob Kopp, Michael Madow (alternate)

From Kevin Langdon, P.O. Box 795, Berkeley, CA 97401; (510) 524-0345; 75061.3251

Welcome to the TNS Psychometrics Committee.

As my motion to establish this Committee and appoint the above members has passed, we have been charged by the Executive Committee with the task of evaluating tests to be used for admission to TNS.

As Regent, I have taken the initiative of publishing this first issue of the Psychometrics Committee Newsletter. This Newsletter is intended as the vehicle through which members of the Committee communicate with one another. Also, in keeping with the democratic tradition of the Society, this Newsletter, like the ExCom Memo, will be made available to any interested member of TNS. Only members of the Committee may make and vote on motions. Michael Madow, our alternate member, will participate as a full member of the Committee whenever a member disqualifies himself from voting on a particular matter (as I will do for all motions affecting my own tests) or if a seat on the Committee becomes vacant.

This first issue of the Newsletter is being sent to members of the newly-elected ExCom; future issues will be sent only to those who specifically request it.

I hope that another member of the Committee will volunteer to become Chairman and take over publication of this Newsletter, as I currently chair the Executive Committee and publish the ExCom Memo. Please let me know if you'd be willing to take this on. If there's more than one candidate, we'll have an election. I'll publish the next Newsletter in about three weeks, announcing candidates for Chairman, and a third issue in about six weeks, announcing who will publish the fourth issue.

Reevaluation of TNS Qualifying Scores

Our present list of tests accepted for admission includes many tests which, in my opinion, we should not accept, for a variety of reasons. I will detail my specific objections to the use of several categories of tests below.

Members of this Committee will need to do a considerable amount of research into the statistical meaning of scores on some tests whose scaling is unclear at present, but tossing some of the worst tests off our list will be a no-brainer.

Here is the complete list of tests accepted by TNS, with their respective qualifying scores (the tests have been numbered for easy reference):

1. Admission Test for Graduate Study in Business (ATGSB, GMAT)   746
2. American College Testing Program (ACT)   32
3. American Council on Education (ACE)   142
4. Bloom Analogies Test (BAT)   99.9th %ile
5. California Test of Mental Maturity (CTMM)   150
6. Cattell Culture Fair   173/149
7. Cattell Verbal   173
8. Eysenck Test (not the ones published in book form)   149
9. Graduate Record Exam (GRE aptitude, Verbal + Quantitative)   1500
10. Langdon Adult Intelligence Test (LAIT)   150
11. Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)   764
12. Mega Test   24
13. Miller Analogies Test (MAT)   93
14. Otis, form Alpha   159
15. Otis, form Beta   143
16. Otis, form Gamma   148
17. Otis-Lennon   148/75 raw
18. Pintner General Abilities Test   163
19. Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices   32
20. Stanford-Binet, 1937, form L or M   152
21. Stanford-Binet, 1957, form L-M, or later   150
22. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT, prior to April 1995)   1470
23. Skyscraper (Harding), supervised and timed   146
24. Skyscraper, certified and untimed   149
25. Terman Concept Mastery Test (CMT), Form T   160
26. U.S. Navy General Classification Test (GCT, 1942-43)   97th %ile
27. U.S. Navy General Classification Test (GCT, 1948-53)   77/80
28. U.S. Navy GCT (1944-present, except 1948-53)   74/76
29. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)   147
30. Wechsler-Bellevue   143
31. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)   147
32. Wechsler Pre-School Intelligence Scale (WPSI)   147
33. Wonderlic Personnel Test   45
34. W-87 (Harding)   149

The categories of tests which, in my opinion, should be dropped from our list of qualifying scores without detailed examination follow:

A. Tests Whose Authors Have Declined to Provide Statistical Data on Norming

4. Bloom Analogies Test (BAT)   99.9th %ile
23. Skyscraper (Harding), supervised and timed   146
24. Skyscraper, certified and untimed   149
34. W-87 (Harding)   149

Both Phil Bloom and Chris Harding were asked by the former TNS Psychometrics Committee to submit data on the norming of their tests; neither has provided such data.

B. Childhood and Age-Corrected Tests

20. Stanford-Binet, 1937, form L or M   152
21. Stanford-Binet, 1957, form L-M, or later   150
29. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)   147
31. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)   147
32. Wechsler Pre-School Intelligence Scale (WPSI)   147

The Psychometrics Committee voted not to accept age-corrected scores on any test. Score reports frequently fail to mention whether scores are age-corrected.

Early-childhood scores are known to correlate poorly with adult I.Q. scores. I believe that TNS, as a matter of policy, should seek to provide a vehicle for those with ability at or above the 99.9th percentile of the adult population to make contact with one another and pursue common interests. The presence of children in the society has the potential to place the children at risk and to inhibit discussion.

C. Tests with Changed or Confusing Scoring Systems

6. Cattell Culture Fair   173/149
14. Otis, form Alpha   159
15. Otis, form Beta   143
16. Otis, form Gamma   148
17. Otis-Lennon   148/75 raw
23. Skyscraper (Harding), supervised and timed   146
24. Skyscraper, certified and untimed   149
26. U.S. Navy General Classification Test (GCT, 1942-43)   97th %ile
27. U.S. Navy General Classification Test (GCT, 1948-53)   77/80
28. U.S. Navy GCT (1944-present, except 1948-53)   74/76
34. W-87 (Harding)   149

Score reports submitted are often ambiguous with regard to which form of a test was administered or the scale according to which scores are reported.

D. Tests with Insufficient Ceiling

20. Stanford-Binet, 1937, form L or M   152
21. Stanford-Binet, 1957, form L-M, or later   150
26. U.S. Navy General Classification Test (GCT, 1942-43)   97th %ile
27. U.S. Navy General Classification Test (GCT, 1948-53)   77/80
28. U.S. Navy GCT (1944-present, except 1948-53)   74/76

Qualifying scores on all of these tests are within less than five I.Q. points of the test ceilings. The ceilings of various forms of the Stanford-Binet range from 147 to 155 for adults.

Additionally, it is questionable whether the Mensa tests (the CTMM and the Cattell Verbal), the Miller Analogies, and the Wonderlic have sufficient ceiling for TNS admission purposes. Other tests on the list may also have ceiling problems. We will need to examine these tests in more detail later. "Recentered" SAT scores (from April 1995 onward) also do not possess sufficient ceiling to discriminate at the 99.9th percentile.

E. Obscure Tests

8. Eysenck Test (not the ones published in book form)   149
18. Pintner General Abilities Test   163
29. Wechsler-Bellevue   143
33. Wonderlic Personnel Test   45

We almost never receive reports of scores on these tests; research will be needed to establish the statistical meaning of these scores. It should also be noted that the scoring key for the Wonderlic is not secure; it is available to tens of thousands of employees of employment agencies. In addition to the tests listed above, the Bloom Analogies, the Cattell Culture Fair, and the various forms of the Harding, Otis, and Navy tests could also be considered somewhat obscure.

Please note that there is some overlap among the five categories above.

I hereby make five motions, each of the form: Scores on the tests contained in category [letter A-E] shall not be accepted for admission to TNS. Please submit your arguments on these motions for publication in the next issue of this Newsletter. Then we'll vote on them. We can always reevaluate particular tests later, but it's important that we tighten our entrance requirements now to deal with known problems. A new TNS brochure is needed, but it would not be a good idea to include tests which are not suitable for TNS admission purposes.

The tests we'll be left with, assuming all five motions are carried, fall into four categories:

F. High-Range Standard Tests

19. Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices   32
25. Terman Concept Mastery Test (CMT), Form T   160

G. Mensa Tests

5. California Test of Mental Maturity (CTMM)   150
7. Cattell Verbal   173

H. College Admission Tests

1. Admission Test for Graduate Study in Business (ATGSB, GMAT)   746
2. American College Testing Program (ACT)   32
3. American Council on Education (ACE)   142
9. Graduate Record Exam (GRE aptitude, Verbal + Quantitative)   1500
11. Law School Admissions Test (LSAT)   764
13. Miller Analogies Test (MAT)   93
22. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT, prior to April 1995)   1470

I. High-Range, Unsupervised and Untimed, "Home-Brew" Tests

10. Langdon Adult Intelligence Test (LAIT)   150
12. Mega Test   24

Some of these tests, particularly those in categories G and H, may also turn out to be unsuitable for TNS admission purposes. Also, we will need to reevaluate our qualifying scores on the tests we do accept; it seems prudent to pare the list before we undertake this research effort.

There are, of course, many tests which are not on our list. Many of them are not properly designed or normed or not intended to discriminate at high ranges, but we will need to examine various new tests by Dr. Ronald K. Hoeflin, Alan Aax and me. Please submit your suggestions for tests we should look at.

Journal of Right Tail Psychometrics

Within the next few weeks, I expect to publish the first issue of the Journal of Right Tail Psychometrics, which will be devoted to the examination of issues in the measurement of intelligence above the 99th percentile, particularly at the highest levels. All members of this Committee will receive free subscriptions to this journal.

[Note: Publication of this journal did not take place at the time of this memo. It is being prepared as a Web-based publication at the present time.]

 

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