Clinical Contributions of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale

  • Joel Allison


The emergence of a psychoanalytic ego psychology secured a firm place in clinical diagnosis for the Wechsler Scales and solidified the substantial efforts already begun in exploring the nonintellective aspects of intelligence. The Wechsler Scales were well suited to the ego-psychological program to provide an integrated theory of personality organization that would include normal as well as abnormal activity, that would include not only the expression of wishes and fears associated with varying psychosexual levels but also the individual’s various skills, aptitudes, and achievements and his processes of perceiving, conceptualizing, remembering, and judging. If the major task of projective testing until then was to probe into the lower depths of personality, into highly personalized fantasies and imagery, the task now also included the more “surface” aspects of personality, and aimed to provide a “general psychology.” Various assets or functions which until then had been exclusively the province of a cognitive psychology of normal persons now became of increased interest and were systematized into a broad theory. And, in particular, it was the development of ego psychology that supplied the basis for this broad theory, beginning with Hartmann’s conceptualization of structures of primary or secondary autonomy, structures, that is, which either are relatively free of drives and conflicts from the outset or develop that way over time (Hartmann, 1958).


Digit Span Intelligence Test Digit Symbol Adult Intelligence Scale Subtest Score 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joel Allison
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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