Sources of measurement error in pediatric intelligence testing

Vanessa Torres van Grinsven*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Pediatric intelligence tests, such as the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, are commonly used diagnostic tools used in the process of diagnosing learning and behavior disabilities. Decisions concerning treatment are made based on the results of these tests and they are frequently used in educational and vocational contexts for important decisions that impact persons’ academic or professional lives. Research has however shown that important errors may occur despite the application of validation processes and adherence to quality criteria for psychometric tests. At the same time this evidence seems not to be pervasively acknowledged in psychological practice and research. In this article, I will showcase research that places attention on sources of measurement error in pediatric intelligence testing, discuss a process-performance approach to measurement in intelligence testing, and propose the “pretest methods,” methods stemming from the field of survey methodology commonly used in questionnaire construction, as a method to help address the problem of sources of measurement error in pediatric intelligence testing and improve the development of these intelligence tests.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-104
Number of pages9
JournalMethodological Innovations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • child diagnostics
  • intelligence
  • measurement error
  • pretesting
  • Psychometric tests
  • IQ
  • IQ testing
  • response process
  • diagnostic instrument
  • validity


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