Date of Award

3-29-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

BJ Scott, PsyD

Second Advisor

Shawn Davis, PhD

Third Advisor

Michel Hersen, PhD, ABPP

Abstract

The influence of verbal mediation on tasks of problem solving and abstract reasoning has been well-established in the literature. The Matrix Reasoning subtest of the WAIS-IV purports to measure perceptual reasoning and concept formation and is presented in a visuospatial format. Verbal mediation is not considered when interpreting MR test results, yet the literature has demonstrated that verbal mediation and reasoning is often utilized in similar tasks. The present study sought to examine the influence of verbal mediation on the MR subtest by correlating participants’ MR item scores with their scaled scores on the WAIS-IV Similarities subtest, as well as their Standard scores on the D-KEFS Verbal Fluency: Letter and Category subtest. Participants were 43 consecutive patients (23 male, 20 female) with a mean age of 30.35 years referred to a university doctoral clinical psychology training clinic for neuropsychological evaluation over a two-year period. Analysis using point-biserial correlations revealed that four MR items were significantly correlated with Verbal Fluency: Letter, while three MR items were significantly correlated with Verbal Fluency: Category. Six MR items were significantly correlated with the WAIS-IV Similarities subtest. Items dealing with the constructs of color and stimulus orientation were consistently correlated with verbal reasoning, suggesting that these constructs require more purposeful and deliberate thought, thereby necessitating higher levels of verbal mediation.

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