Application and Interpretation of the Standard Error of Measurement and Confidence Intervals: Best Practice for Forensic Psychologists

(Pages: 07-09)

Gordon E. Taub*

University of Central Florida. 


Many psychological and legal professionals erroneously believe the full-scale intelligence quotient (FSIQ) obtained on contemporary tests of intelligence represents an examinee’s True FSIQ score, meaning an FSIQ score void of error. Unfortunately, intelligence tests are not unfalable instruments, there is error associated with each examinee’s FSIQ score. Test publisher’s provide practitioners with the standard error of measurement to account for the error within an examinee’s FSIQ score. This paper provides practitioners with best practice guidelines in the application of the standard error of measurement and confidence intervals in light of the United States Supreme Court ruling in Hall v Florida.


Atkins, Hall, SEM, Standard Error of Measurement, WAIS, Death Penalty, Wechsler, Confidence Interval.