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WISC IV Component: Perceptual Reasoning

By Inderbir Kaur Sandhu, Ph.D

Q: My son scored in the 99.8th percentile on the Perceptual Reasoning component of the WISC IV. What does this mean from a practical standpoint? Are there certain subjects that he will be able to better understand than others? What careers may be suited for someone with this innate ability? Does this mean he is better suited to one learning style over another?

A: The Perceptual Reasoning component of the WISC IV requires visual perception, organization and reasoning with visually presented, nonverbal material to solve the kinds of problems that are not typically taught at school. The PR Index (PRI) accounts of 45% of variance in general intelligence.

You would need to look into the sub-scores to determine his best areas. For example, the Block design requires spatial processing, visual-motor coordination and the ability to apply all skills in a quick, efficient manner. The highest scores reflect both accurate and very quick responses. However, Picture Concepts score may differ from these other subtest because of the effect of language on the performance.

Based on the PRI percentile that you indicated, your sonís nonverbal reasoning abilities are in the high range. The PRI is designed to measure fluid reasoning in the perceptual domain with tasks that assess nonverbal concept formation, visual perception and organization, simultaneous processing, visual-motor coordination, learning, and the ability to separate figure and ground in visual stimuli. As the individual scores are not indicated, it is hard to make assumptions here.

The results pretty much gives an idea of the strengths and weaknesses and is not meant for career guide, especially if the child is very young as childrenís interests and focus may change as s/he grows older. A better analysis of the scores can only be given by looking at the full report. You may want to consult a trained psychologist to interpret the full and sub scores for fair evaluation.


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