Adult verbal abstract reasoning assessment instruments and their clinimetric properties

Davis, Geoffrey and Piovesana, Adina (2016) Adult verbal abstract reasoning assessment instruments and their clinimetric properties. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 29 (7). pp. 1010-1033. ISSN 1385-4046


Objective: This systematic review aims to identify, examine, and compare tests used to measure
and assess verbal abstract reasoning (VAR). Method: Seven tests were identified through a systematic
search of electronic databases, neuropsychological textbooks, and online catalogs. Clinical
utility, normative data, and psychometric properties (internal consistency, test–retest
reliability, and construct validity) of current test versions were evaluated using recent studies. A
modified version of the CanChild Outcome Measures Rating Form, and structured quality
assessment criteria were used in the evaluation process. Results: The WAIS-IV Similarities subtest
was ranked the highest, followed by the Shipley-2 Abstraction test and Gorham’s Proverbs
test. These three tests had sufficient validity to recommend their use, however some caution is
advised for the latter two in terms of construct purity, and age of normative data, respectively.
Other tests reviewed were the Delis–Kaplan Executive Functioning System Proverbs subtest, the
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale fifth edition Verbal Analogies subtests, the Conceptual Level
Analogy Test, and the Verbal Concept Attainment Test. For the majority of tests, construct validity
was lacking while reliabilities were sufficient. Conclusions: Lack of sound psychometric evidence
limits the range of options for the practitioner to choose a test with confidence to assess
VAR. While there is merit in the clinical utility of the majority of assessment instruments evaluated
in this review, caution is recommended before deciding to use a test that does not carry sufficient
psychometric evidence to support its use. Further research is recommended to improve
the library of tests available to clinicians and researchers.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2016 01:37
Last Modified: 09 Feb 2017 06:46
Uncontrolled Keywords: verbal abstract reasoning; neuropsychological assessment; psychometric properties; WAIS-IV similarities; Gorham’s Proverbs Test; Shipley-2 Abstraction Test
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/13854046.2015.1119889

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