Your friend recently completed a psychological assessment to determine if she meets criteria for ADHD. Given your newly found love of all things related to psychological testing you asked about her experience. She stated that when she entered the room, she was greeted by the therapist who was friendly and professional. Your friend explained that she immediately felt comfortable in the setting and the anxiety she initially felt faded within the first 10-15 minutes of the session. She said the testing session was scheduled for 3:00 in the afternoon and lasted about 3 hours. Your friend attends college and scheduled the session on a Friday after having (what she described as) two of the hardest mid-terms she had ever taken. She further stated that she forgot to eat prior to the testing session but wanted to get it over with so she did not ask to take a break during the three hour long session, despite the offers from the testing therapist. Your friend also commented on how cool the therapist’s office was decorated. She described all the interesting pictures on the wall and the unique display items around the room. She stated the view from the office window was breathtaking with a view of a beautiful lake where swans visited frequently. She laughed a bit when she recalled the noise they made when a couple of the birds started fighting. Overall, she described the experience as good and was eager to find out her results.
A few weeks later, your friend approaches you again and shows you the results of her testing. She explained that she now knows she was given an IQ test along with other measures to assess her cognitive abilities, executive functioning, and attention. She told you that the therapist stated that her scores were mostly in the Low Average to Below Average range. Your friend seemed confused and somewhat upset by this information. What would you tell her about what that range means? Use your understanding of mean and standard deviation to explain what those scores mean. Also, given your understanding of her testing experience, what concerns do you have about the validity of those scores? Do you think that testing experience provided the best possible environment to understand your friend’s current level of cognitive functioning?