By David A. Grant, PhD and Esta A. Berg, PhD
Professional Manual by Robert K. Heaton, PhD, Gordon J. Chelune, PhD, Jack L. Talley, PhD, Gary G. Kay, PhD, and Glenn Curtiss, PhD
Purpose: Assess perseveration and abstract reasoning
Age: 7 to 89 years
Time: 20-30 minutes
Scoring Time: 25 minutes
Qualification Level: A (Psychologist)
Used primarily to assess perseveration and abstract thinking, the WCST is also considered a measure of executive function because of its reported sensitivity to frontal lobe dysfunction. As such, the WCST allows you to assess your client’s strategic planning; organised searching; and ability to utilise environmental feedback to shift cognitive sets, direct behaviour toward achieving a goal, and modulate impulsive responding.
Features and benefits
- Completion of the WCST requires the ability to develop and maintain an appropriate problem-solving strategy across changing stimulus conditions in order to achieve a future goal.
- Unlike other measures of abstraction, the WCST provides objective measures of overall success and identifies particular sources of difficulty on the task (e.g., inefficient initial conceptualisation, perseveration, failure to maintain a cognitive set, inefficient learning across stages of the test).
- When used with more comprehensive ability testing, the WCST is helpful in discriminating frontal from nonfrontal lesions.
Four stimulus cards incorporate three stimulus parameters (colour, form, and number). Respondents are required to sort numbered response cards according to different principles and to alter their approach during test administration. To complete the task, clients should have normal or corrected vision and hearing sufficient to adequately comprehend the instructions and to visually discriminate the stimulus parameters.
- Raw score to normalised standard, percentile, and T-score conversions are provided.
- Normative data were derived from a sample of 899 normal children, adolescents, and adults.