Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

January 1952


Published in Journal of Clinical Psychology 8:l (January 1952), pp. 82-85.


Recently there has been increasing interest in the use of intra-individual test discrepancies as a measure of functioning efficiency. One of the major problems in establishing scatter patterns has been that of finding a suitable internal reference point. The three reference points most commonly employed are the mean or IQ, the vocabulary score, and the altitude or maximum score. Psychologists who believe that the G factor is an ability argue for the use of the IQ as a reference point while those who believe that it is a capacity use altitude as a reference point. In regarding intelligence as a capacity or potentiality rather than an ability, vocabulary and altitude proponents consider that test scores falling significantly below the potentiality indicate mental inefficiency or personality disorganization.