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Wechsler, David


WECHSLER, DAVID (1896–1981), U.S. psychologist. Born in Lespedi, Romania, he was taken to the United States in 1902. He was chief psychologist, Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital (1932–66). He was also clinical professor of the nyu College of Medicine (1942). He was the originator of several widely used intelligence tests. Wechsler's greatest contribution was in the field of mental measurement. He demonstrated that there is a change and a differential decline with age in human abilities. His intelligence tests are based upon the concept of intelligence as being much more than the sheer ability to reason, deal with symbols, abstract, and conceptualize. He stressed that there were also volitional and non-intellective factors in intelligence. Thus his tests combining verbal and performance items were based on a non-hierarchical concept of intelligence, and the iq was derived from the average of tested abilities in which equal credit was apportioned to subtests measuring abstract as well as concrete tasks. wais or Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was prepared in such a way as to underemphasize speed of response and present items of interest to most adults. The use of his scales made it possible to make quantitative as well as qualitative observations of behavior and thought processes, and permitted, through pattern analysis, a diagnostic approach to intellectual deficiencies, organic brain disorders, schizophrenia, etc. These tests were adapted for use in many countries, and hundreds of publications describing and discussing them have appeared in almost all languages.

He was the author of articles and of books on adult intelligence: The Measurement of Emotional Reactions (1925, includes bibl.); Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale (1939); Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (1949); The Range of Human Capacities (19552); Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (1955); The Measurement and Appraisal of Adult Intelligence (19584); and Wechsler Pre-school and Primary Scale of Intelligence (1968).


A. Anastasi, Psychological Testing (19683).

[Boris M. Levinson]

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