The Woodcock–Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ III COG)

The Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Abilities (WJ III COG) were designed and developed to measure broad and narrow abilities according to the Cattell-Horn-Carroll theory (see Carroll, 1993; Mather & Woodcock, 2001) of cognitive abilities. Mather and Woodcock (2001) define working memory as the narrow “ability to hold information in mind for a short time while performing some operation on it” (as cited in Leffard et al.,2006,p. 237).Two subtests of the WJ III COG, the Auditory Working Memory and Numbers Reversed, are aggregated to reflect the working memory Clinical Cluster. The Auditor)' Working Memory subtest requires the respondent to listen to a series of nouns and numbers, and to then repeat the nouns in the same order followed by the numbers in the same order. The Numbers Reversed subtest is analogous to the Digits Backward task of the Wechsler scales. Both working memory subtests on the WJ III COG are normed for persons aged 4 to 90 years.

Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition (SB5)

In the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, Fifth Edition (SB5), Roid (2003, p. 137) defines working memory as “a class of memory processes in which diverse information in short-term memory is inspected, sorted, or trans formed.”The Last Word subtest was adapted from Daneman and Carpenter’s (1980) seminal work. On levels 1—3, the respondent is required to repeat brief phrases and sentences. However, levels 1-3 appear to assess short-term memory only, as opposed to levels 4—6, which appear to more accurately reflect working memory. On levels 4-6, the respondent is required to provide brief responses to sentences (i.e.,“yes”or“no”) before recalling the last word in each sentence. The questions and their subsequent answers thus serve as the “transformation” requirement of working memory.

In order to provide a nonverbal alternative to traditional working memory tasks, the Block Span task was adapted from the original Corsi Block Test, developed by Knox (1913). On this task, the examiner taps a series of blocks with a separate block in a specified order. Then, the respondent taps the same blocks in the same order. On later tasks, the examiner taps specified blocks that are located in either red or yellow rows, and the respondent must tap the same blocks in order, but in one row (e.g., yellow) before the other row (e.g., red). Similar to the Last Word task, early levels of the Block Span task (i.e., 1—2) appear to assess short-term memory only, whereas levels 3-6 require the additional demands of working memory. As such, great care must be used when interpreting the SB5 subtests that purport to measure both verbal and nonverbal working memory, as respondents’ scores may actually be more reflective of short-term memory. These two subtests are normed for individuals aged 2 to 85 years.

 
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