In his excellent book A Question of Intelligence: The IQ Debate in America, former Fortune magazine editor Daniel Seligman describes what it’s like to take the WAIS-R IQ test.  One page 8, he describes taking the Similarities subtest.  According to the school board I attended as a kid, this test measures:

Verbal abstract reasoning
Ability to generalize, to make inferences and associations.
Reveals level of thinking: descriptive, functional, conceptual

Seligman writes:

The final subtest, Similarities, is a measure of abstract reasoning ability.  It all seemed very easy.  The examiner mentioned two nouns–like say, chicken and pigeon–and the testee responds by saying what they have in common.  (In this made-up example, the answer would be that they’re both birds.)  Nothing to it.

Unfortunately there’s no way to infer Seligman’s score on this subtest from the above paragraph so this test must be excluded when I calculate his IQ.  It’s likely he did very well, but one can find the test very easy without getting full credit on all or even any of the items and partial credits make a big difference

 

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