According to Wechsler (2009), the Wechsler Memory Scale is a neuropsychological test that helps to evaluate how effective the functioning of the memory of an individual perceived to have memory disorders is. He points out that the test is designed to be user and client friendly so as to explicitly exploit the relevant structural components of the brain that help in evaluating the effectiveness of the memory functioning. He further notes that Wechsler Memory Scale is an essential clinical assessments tool for psychologists, especially those who conduct psychological evaluation that require active memory functioning of an individual. The paper will present a detailed examination of this tool.
Basic Information of Wechsler Memory Scale
The use length of administration and the scoring procedures of the Wechsler Memory Scale have been based on its various editions. For instance, the original Wechsler Memory Scale that was invented in 1945 incorporated seven subtests that were engaged in establishing the immediate memory skills of individuals. Wechsler (2009) points out that these subtests included the evaluation of an individual’s personal and current information, his or her orientation and subjected mental control, as well as his/her forward and backward digital response.
Additionally, he notes that the test evaluated an individual’s associated learning and his or her visual reproduction. In each of these subtests, the evaluator was required to quickly recall the information without a delay for a time limit of 15-30 minutes (Wechsler, 2009). He further points out that the results obtained illustrated the individual’s memory quotient which was then converted into metrics for comparison with the standard Full Scale IQ. Contrary to the original Wechsler Memory Scale (1945), the current Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) forth edition incorporated additional subtests used in evaluating the psychometric properties of an individual’s logical memory and family values. According to Wechsler (2009), each of the subtests is administered for 15-20 minutes with a further delay of 25-35 minutes. The results produced are then evaluated and indicated as the total memory index.
Wechsler (2009) argues that this scale has been a reliable and a valid tool for effectively evaluating memory functionality, especially the invention of WMS IV. He points out that WMS IV incorporate adult battery and the old adult battery that enables effective evaluation of an individual’s memory functionality based on the age bracket. For instance, those within the age of 16-69 years fall in the adult battery and are subjected to seven memory subtests while those of 65-90 years old who fall in the old adult battery are only subjected to five memory subtests. This has helped in identifying the short term or long term memory of an individual.
Wechsler (2009), however, points out that the WMS has also posed challenges, especially to older adults based on its increased length of testing. In addition, he notes that WMS uses poor quality materials, especially for visual reproduction response, which adversely affects the examinee.
As it has been earlier pointed out, the WMS, especially the WMS IV, has incorporated the adult battery and the old adult battery, which accounted for the rationale and psychometric properties of different people. According to Wechsler (2009), an introduction of the older adult battery was not only intended to limit the testing time, but it was introduced to improve the evaluation of the rationale and psychometric functioning of the older people.
According to Napier (2010), Wechsler Memory Scale is an applicable psychological test that can be practically used to assess individuals with disability. She points out that WMS incorporate tests that measure an individual’s intelligence and memory functionality which are primarily the co-contributors to person’s disabilities. She notes that testing an individual’s memory is essential in evaluating person’s disabilities.
Wechsler Memory Scale is, thus, an essential memory evaluating instrument that helps in identifying an individual’s capability. However, there is a need to enhance Wechsler Memory Scale, especially by psychologists during their counseling activities as it simplifies their work.