Assessment of Cognitive Abilities

In this unit you will review the concept and theoretical constructs of intelligence and various methods and tools used to assess cognitive ability. An understanding of intelligence testing can be facilitated by knowledge of the historical as well as contemporary forces and issues that have played a role in shaping the development and use of intelligence tests. An important issue surrounding the use of intelligence tests is the determination of how well they predict relevant outcomes, such as performance in school and vocational settings.
Cognitive theories can provide useful concepts when working with youth; however, their use, misuse, and interpretation must be evaluated including a complete psychological assessment and not simply as a score, standing alone. Understanding the limitations of what the test can measure and how the results are presented are critical to determining the appropriate use of the test results.
To successfully complete this learning unit, you will be expected to:
1. Evaluate the validity of measurement with cognitive assessment instruments.
2. Evaluate the effectiveness of assessment tools based on a review of literature.
3. Distinguish assessment techniques used within assessment tools.
4. Compare basic measurement constructs of assessment tools.
Learning Activities
Unit 6 Study 1
Cognitive Assessment
Required Reading
Use Principles and Applications of Assessment in Counseling to complete the following:
• Read Chapter 9, “Intelligence and General Ability Testing,” pages 168–192.
Optional Reading
If you choose, use the Capella University Library to complete the following:
• Read Ackerman’s 2002 article, “Gender Differences in Intelligence and Knowledge: How Should We Look at Achievement Score Differences?” from Issues in Education, volume 8, issue 1, page 21.
• Read Beier & Ackerman’s 2005 article, “Age, Ability, and the Role of Prior Knowledge on the Acquisition of New Domain Knowledge: Promising Results in a Real-World Learning Environment,” from Psychology and Aging, volume 20, issue 2, pages 341–355.
• Read Hagmann-von Arx, Meyer, and Grob’s 2008 article, “Assessing Intellectual Giftedness With the WISC-IV and the IDS,” from Zeitschrift für Psychologie/Journal of Psychology, volume 216, issue 3, pages 172–179.
• Read Sternberg’s 2003 article, “A Broad View of Intelligence: The Theory of Successful Intelligence,” from Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research, volume 55, issue 3, pages 139–154.

Discussion 1: 1 page needed with minimum of 250 words and 2 references.
Assessment of Cognitive Abilities
The assessment of cognitive abilities draws a range of opinions in terms of the validity of assessing “intelligence.” Begin by defining what is assessed. Choose one side of the argument (that intelligence can be accurately measured or that it cannot) and present and review the evidence that supports your position. Focus on professional literature to establish your position. While your personal experiences with academic assessment may influence your opinion, it is your growing professional knowledge that will help you establish a sound and well informed understanding of the relevant issues.


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