Can a Computer Administer a Wechsler Intelligence Test?


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Abstract

Prompted by the rapid development of Pearson’s iPad-based Q-interactive platform for administering individual tests of cognitive ability (Pearson, 2016c), this article speculates about what it would take for a computer to administer the current versions of the Wechsler individual intelligence tests without the involvement of a psychologist or psychometrist. We consider the mechanics of administering and scoring each subtest and the more general clinical skills of motivating the client to perform, making observations of verbal and nonverbal behavior, and responding to the client’s off-task comments, questions, and nonverbal cues. It is concluded that we are very close to the point, given current hardware and artificial intelligence capabilities, at which administration of all subtests of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Fourth Edition (PsychCorp, 2008) and Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Fifth Edition (PsychCorp, 2014), and all assessment functions of the human examiner, could be performed by a computer. Potential acceptability of computer administration by clients and the psychological community are considered.

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