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Donna Smith

Revision Goals

Introduction to the WPPSI III Update and Strengthen Theoretical

Increase Developmental Appropriateness
Dr. Donna Rury Smith
Enhance Clinical Utility
Clinical Measurement Consultant
Improve Psychometric Properties
Increase and Enhance User-Friendliness

Update Theoretical Foundations Strengthen Theoretical Foundations

Use of Factor Index Scores

Use of Factor-Based Composite Scores
Multiple factors in cognitive ability
Enhance the Measure of Fluid Consistent with WISC-III and WAIS-III
Reasoning Enhanced Measure of Fluid Reasoning
Incorporate Measures of Processing Tasks that involve manipulating abstractions,
Speed rules, generalizations, and logical relationships
require fluid intelligence (Carroll, 1993, p. 583).
Incorporate Alternative Measures of MR, Picture Concepts, and Word Reasoning
developed to enhance the measure of fluid
Memory intelligence

Increase Developmental
Strengthen Theoretical Foundations

Incorporate Measures of Processing Create the Age Bands

Speed Simplify instructions to the child
Important domain of cognitive functioning Increase teaching, queries and prompts
Predicts future scores on measures of Revise scoring criteria
intelligence (Dougherty & Haith, 1997;
Schatz, et.al., 2000; Kail, 2000) Reduce the confounding effects of speeded
Sensitive to neurological conditions performance
Dynamically related to working memory and Reduce the confounding effects of expressive
reasoning (Carpenter, et.al., 1990; Fry & language development
Hale, 1996; Kail & Salthouse, 1994) Update and modernize test materials

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Enhance Clinical Utility Improve Psychometric Properties

Extension of age range

2 years 6 months to 7 years 3 months
Updating of norms
Additional clinical studies Expand on evidence of reliability and
mental retardation, cognitive giftedness, validity
developmental delay, at-risk, language
disorder, ADHD, and reading delay. Extend floors and ceilings
Additional validity studies Re-examine item bias
Relationships to other measures: WISCIII,
Bayley, DAS, CMS, and WIAT-II.

Increase User-Friendliness WPPSI-III Organization

Ages Receptive Vocabulary

Decrease testing time 2:06 to
4 Core
Information VIQ

Simplify administration and scoring 25-35 Block Design


procedures minutes Object Assembly


Eliminate the Object Assembly shield 1 Picture Naming

Supplemental (can substitute for RV)
Divide and reorganize the manual Subtest

Divide and reorganize the record form Optional

General Language Composite
(PN + RV)

WPPSI-III Organization Subtest Modifications

Vocabulary 5 Subtests Dropped
4:00 to 7 Core Word Reasoning
7:03 Subtests Arithmetic, Animal Pegs, Geometric Design,
Block Design FSIQ
Matrix Reasoning PIQ Sentences, and Mazes dropped
40-50 Picture Concepts
minutes 7 Subtests Retained with Modifications

Symbol Search (can substitute for CD) PSQ Modifications to Verbal Subtests (IN, SI, VC, CO)
4 Similarities (can sub for IN, VC, or WR)
Comprehension (can sub for IN, VC, or WR) Modifications to Performance Subtests (BD, OA, PC)
Supplemental Object Assembly (can sub for BD, MR, or PCO)

7 New Subtests Developed

Subtests Picture Completion (can sub for BD, MR, or PCO)

2 Optional Receptive Vocabulary

Subtests Picture Naming New Verbal Subtests: PN, RV, and WR
Optional General Language Composite (PN + RV) New Performance Subtests: MR, PCO, SS, CD

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Content and Rationale of Content and Rationale of

New Verbal Subtests New Performance Subtests

Picture Naming: The child names pictures that are

displayed singularly in the stimulus booklet. This subtest is Matrix Reasoning: The child looks at an incomplete matrix and
designed to measure expressive vocabulary ability. selects the missing section from 4 or 5 response options. This
Receptive Vocabulary: The child looks at a group of four subtest is designed to assess non-verbal fluid reasoning ability.
pictures and points to the one the examiner describes
aloud. This subtest is designed to assess receptive
Picture Concepts: The child is presented with 2 or 3 rows of
vocabulary ability.
pictures and chooses one picture from each row to form a
Word Reasoning: The child is read an increasingly group with a common organizational concept. This subtest is
specific series of one to three clues and identifies the designed to measure non-verbal fluid reasoning ability and
common object or concept being described. This subtest is abstract categorical reasoning with visual stimuli.
designed to measure fluid reasoning (inductive reasoning)

Content and Rationale of New Subtest Modifications to

Processing Speed Subtests WPPSI-III
New Recording New
Subtest Administration & Scoring Items
Symbol Search: The child scans a target symbol and a Block Design e e e
search group and indicates whether the target symbol Information e e
matches a symbol in the search group. This subtest is Matrix Reasoning e
designed to measure perceptual discrimination and Vocabulary e e
visuoperceptual processing speed and accuracy. Picture Concepts e
Symbol Search e
Coding: Using a key, the child copies symbols into simple Word Reasoning e
geometric shapes. This subtest is designed to measure Coding e
visual-motor processing speed and short-term memory of Comprehension e e
visual stimuli. Picture Completion e e
Similarities e e e
Receptive Vocabulary e
Object Assembly e e e
Picture Naming e

Start Points

Administration of each subtest begins at the Regardless of the childs performance on

age-specific start point, which is clearly items preceding the start point, full
designated in the Manual and on the Record credit is awarded if perfect scores are
obtained on the age-appropriate start
Children aged 2:6 3:11 begin each subtest, point and subsequent item.
excluding Sample items, with Item 1.
Children suspected of intellectual deficiency
should always begin with Item 1, regardless
of chronological age.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Reverse Rules Discontinue Rules

The reverse rule applies to those subtests with These rules are subtest specific and are
age-specific start points. Items prior to an stated at the beginning of each subtest.
age-appropriate start point are considered Scores obtained on items administered
reversal items. in reverse sequence count in the
If the child does not obtain a perfect score on discontinue rules.
either the first or second item administered, If you are unsure how to score an item,
then reversal items are given in reverse administer additional items until you are
sequence until the child obtains a perfect sure that the discontinue rule has been
score on two consecutive items. met.

Bonus Points

If, after review, you find that items beyond No bonus points are given for quick
the point at which testing should have performance on Block Design or Object
been discontinued were given, award no Assembly items.
points for those items beyond the Time bonuses are available only for
correct discontinue point, even if the Coding, which is a direct measure of
childs response would ordinarily have processing speed.
earned credit.

Queries, Prompts, and

Item Repetition
Block Design, Symbol Search, Coding, In general the use of queries, prompts,
and Picture Completion require accurate and repetitions is generally unrestricted.
timing with a stopwatch. Items with queries for specific responses
Begin timing after you have said the last are noted with an asterisk (*) in the
Manual and on the Record Form. A
word of instructions. query should not be used to improve a
If item instructions are repeated upon low-scoring or clearly incorrect
request, do not stop timing in order to response, unless specifically instructed
clarify or repeat instructions. to do so in the item instructions.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Using Sample Responses

Prompts are used to teach or remind the Score 2 points for a response that is
child of the subtest task. For example, if equivalent to or better than the 2-point
a child chooses more than one picture sample responses and 0 points for any
from a single row on the Picture response that is equivalent or inferior to
Concepts subtest, you can remind him
to pick only one. the 0-point response. Award 1 point for
any response that is equivalent in
Instructions for prompting are included in quality to the 1-point sample responses.
the General Directions section of the
Manual for each subtest.

Block Design

Item Repetition should be provided as 20 items divided into two parts

often as requested on any subtest Part A 10 items for youngest children. Uses single-
colored blocks. No penalties.
except the Word Reasoning subtest. Part B 10 items using single and two-colored blocks.
If a child responds I dont know to an 10 new items designed to improve floor, ceiling, and
items but then correctly responds to item difficulty gradient. Timed, but no time bonuses.
more difficult items on the same subtest,
re-administer the earlier item if you
believe the child knows the answer.
Provide credit if the response is correct.

Block Design Administration

Designed to measure the ability to Items 1-12 are presented as a model you
construct for the child. Leave the model intact
analyze and synthesize abstract visual
after you build it.
stimuli and nonverbal concept formation.
Item 13 is first presented as a model you
Also involves visual perception and construct from the pictured design in Stimulus
organization, visual-motor coordination, Book 1. The model is then disassembled, and
the child constructs the design according to
spatial visualization, learning, and the the presented picture.
ability to separate figure and ground in
Items 14-20 are presented to the child as a
visual stimuli. picture in the Stimulus Book.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Administration Administration

When demonstrating the construction Any pronounced rotation of 30 degrees or

of a design, always explain the more is considered an error. Note that
construction aloud. rotation and reversal errors are not penalized
on Items 1-10.
After you construct the model, move Two corrections for rotation can be made
the intact model about 7 inches from the during subtest administrationone in Part A
childs edge of the table. (slightly to the and one in Part B. Correct rotation or reversal
left for a right-handed child; slightly to errors by rotating the blocks to the correct
the right for a left-handed child) position and saying, See, it goes this way.

Information Information

34 items Designed to assess a childs ability to

6 picture items all new acquire, retain, and retrieve general factual
28 verbal items 19 retained from WPPSI-R. Some knowledge, commonly referred to as general
scoring modifications.
fund of knowledge.
Involves crystallized intelligence, long-term
memory, and the ability to retain and retrieve
knowledge from school and environment.
Also involves auditory perception and
comprehension and verbal expressive ability.

Definitions of Fluid Reasoning Matrix Reasoning

29 items child completes matrices

It is the ability to perform mental operations, such as the
manipulation of abstract symbols from four and five response options.
Sternberg, 1995
It is Gf from the HornCatell model
Catell, 1941; Horn, 1968
It encompasses the abilities of reasoning under novel
conditions: general reasoning, figural relations, semantic
relations, classifications, concept formation.
Horn & Noll, 1997

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Matrix Reasoning Administration

Measure of fluid intelligence and a It is essential to clarify the instructions

reliable estimate of general intellectual by pointing to the responses and the
ability. box with the question mark as you
Also reflects visual information speak to the child.
processing, abstract reasoning skills, Use the sample items to provide
continuous and discrete pattern feedback RE a correct or incorrect
completion, classification, analogical response.
reasoning, and serial reasoning.

Vocabulary Vocabulary

25 items Designed to assess a childs word

5 picture items designed to extend the floor of the knowledge and verbal concept formation.
subtest. Also designed to measure a childs fund of
20 verbal items 4 new items to improve item knowledge, learning ability, long-term
difficulty gradient. Scoring modifications on all items.
memory, and degree of language
What is a shoe? Other abilities that may be utilized include
auditory perception and comprehension,
verbal conceptualization, abstract thinking,
and verbal expression

Administration Picture Concepts

There are 4 general response 28 items Child chooses one picture from
situations that require further query: each row to form a group with a common
organizational concept.
marginal responses
generalized responses
functional responses
hand gestures
Query as often as necessary

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Picture Concepts Picture Concepts

Designed to measure abstract, Provide help on Sample A and B only.

categorical reasoning ability. The child may point to, name, or state
Solutions to easier items are generally the corresponding numbers of the
attained by reasoning based on chosen pictures.
concrete representations, and the If the child asks the name of a picture,
solutions to more difficult items are provide the name only.
obtained by reasoning based on more
abstract representations. Can provide prompts as often as

Symbol Search Symbol Search

120 seconds to complete Designed to measure processing

Ages 4:0 7:3 speed.
Also involves short-term visual memory,
visual-motor coordination, cognitive
flexibility, visual discrimination, and
May also tap perceptual organization,
and planning and learning ability.

Administration Administration

Accurate timing is essential. Begin timing Do not proceed with the actual test
after you have said the last word of the
items if the child does not understand
instructions. Stop timing when the child
completes all the items or after 120 seconds the task. Discontinue the subtest.
have elapsed. If the child makes an error on the
Use the sample items to explain and practice items, correct the error
demonstrate the task. You can repeat the
explanation and demonstrate the task a immediately.
second time if the child does not understand Do not provide an eraser.
or seems confused. Then allow the child to
complete the Practice Items.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Administration Administration

If the child skips a row, point to the Use the Symbol Search scoring key to
omitted row and say, Do them in order. check responses. Mark a correct
Dont skip any. response with a +, incorrect with a -.
You can remind the child to continue If the total score is equal to or less than
until told to stop if necessary. 0, enter 0 as the subtest total raw score.
Skipped items should not be counted in
the correct or incorrect total.

Word Reasoning Word Reasoning

28 items Examiner reads increasingly specific Measures verbal deductive reasoning.

series of one to three clues and the child is asked to
identify the common concept being described in a Skills that contribute to success include
series of clues. verbal comprehension, analogical and
general reasoning ability, the ability to
integrate and synthesize different types of
information, verbal abstraction, domain
knowledge, the ability to generate alternative

Administration Administration

Clues for all items appear on the Record If the child provides the correct
Form. response before all clues have been
Allow the child approximately 5 seconds to presented, score 1 point, and proceed
respond after each clue. to the next item. If the child does not
You may repeat each clue one time only. provide a correct response, present the
The repetition can be provided at the childs next clue or item as appropriate.
request or after a 5-second delay in
responding. Allow an additional 5 seconds for Synonyms and specific name brands or
a response, then move on to the next clue. objects also receive credit.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Administration Coding

If you notice a left-handed child partially If a child omits an item, point to the
blocking the key with his hand while omitted item and say, Do them in order.
completing the task, place an extra Response Dont skip any.
Booklet to the right of the childs Response
Booklet so the extra key is aligned with the You may remind the child to continue
one that the childs hand is blocking. until told to stop if necessary.
Do not provide an eraser. If the child asks Use the Coding Scoring Key to check
what he should do if he makes a mistake, responses. A symbol receives credit if it
say, Thats OK. Just keep working as fast as is correctly drawn or if it is clearly
you can.
identifiable as the keyed symbol.

Administration Administration

Time bonuses are awarded for perfect Do not proceed with the test items until
performance when completion time is 115 the child understands the task. If it is
seconds or less. (see Record Form) clear that the child will not be able to
Teach the task by modeling and talking understand the task with further
through responses for the first 2 shapes instruction, discontinue the subtest.
(circle and star).
Then allow the child to practice the remaining
sample items. If the child makes a mistake,
correct the error immediately.

Comprehension Comprehension

20 items all items require the child to Designed to assess verbal reasoning and
answer questions. conceptualization, the ability to evaluate and
utilize past experiences, verbal
15 new items and 5 items retained. comprehension and expression, and the
ability to demonstrate practical information.
Also involves knowledge of conventional
standards of behavior, social judgment and
maturity, and common sense.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Administration Administration

Read each question slowly to the child. You The sample responses in the Manual
may repeat a question as often as necessary,
are not an exhaustive list. Evaluate
but do not alter or abbreviate the wording.
unusual responses carefully and refer to
If a child does not provide a 1-point response
on either Item 1 or Item 2, provide the 1-point the General Scoring Principle. The
response as instructed for these items. principle is stated after each item in the
Unclear or too vague responses should be Manual.
queried. Always note with (Q) on the Record
Items 1 and 2 are scored 1 or 0.
Form. If an improved (correct) response is
offered after the query, score the improved Items 3 20 are scores 2, 1, or 0.
response accordingly.

Picture Completion Administration

32 items all artwork has been redrawn, Accurate timing is essential. The time limit for
enlarged and colorized. each item is 20 seconds. Begin timing after
presenting the item and saying the last word
20 items retained, 12 new items to of the instructions.
improve difficulty gradient.
Provide the stated queries (page 149 in
Designed to measure visual perception Manual) as often as necessary.
and organization, concentration, and Examples of verbal responses that also
visual recognition of essential details of require the child to point correctly in order to
objects. earn 1 point are listed on pages 153-156 in
the Manual.

Administration Similarities

Synonyms for the missing part are awarded Supplemental Subtest for Ages 4:0 to 7:3
1 point. 24 items only includes sentence
If a child points to the correct place in the completion.
picture but gives a verbal elaboration that 16 new items Scoring criteria modified.
spoils the response, score 0 points.
Score 1 point if the child correctly identifies
the missing part within 20 seconds. Score 0 if
he does not respond within the time limit.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Similarities Administration

Designed to measure verbal reasoning and Each item may be repeated as often as
concept formation. necessary, but do not alter the wording
in any way.
Also involves auditory comprehension, Signal the missing portion of the
memory, distinguishing non-essential and sentence by emphasizing the word both.
essential features, and verbal expression.
Responses that require a query are
noted in the sample responses. Use the
total response for scoring.

Administration Receptive Vocabulary

Items 1 and 2 are designed as teaching Core for 2:06 3:11; Optional for 4:00 7:03.
items, and each has 2 trials. Corrective 30 items Child names a displayed picture.
feedback is provided if the child
provides an incorrect response or a
response without the target word. Award
full credit if the child provides a 1-point
response on either Trail 1 or 2.
Use the General Scoring Principles to
aware 2, 1, or 0 points.

Receptive Vocabulary Administration

Designed to assess the ability to Allow approximately 30 seconds for a

comprehend verbal directives, auditory response, then move on to the next
and visual discrimination, auditory item. Score the item as 0.
memory, auditory processing, and the Provide a correct response on Item 1 if
integration of visual perception and the child does not provide one.
auditory input.
You may repeat an item as often as
Also involves minimal motor or verbal necessary.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Object Assembly Administration

Designed to assess visual-perceptual Make sure that you and the child are
seated directly opposite from each
organization, integration and synthesis
of part-whole relationships, nonverbal
reasoning, and trial and error learning. Before beginning an item, sequentially
sort the puzzles pieces in your hand out
Also involves spatial ability, visual-motor of the childs view. Stack the pieces
coordination, cognitive flexibility, and face-down in sequential order, starting
persistence. with the highest-numbered piece and
ending with the piece numbered 1.

Administration Administration

Working from your left to right, place the pieces After the pieces are properly aligned,
in sequential order, with the number side visible
expose the pattern side of the pieces
and the numbers upright from your perspective.
The underlines beneath the numbers should be sequentially, beginning with the piece
parallel to the edge of the table. Place the numbered 1. Rotate the pieces on an
pieces with 1 underline in the first row, closest to imaginary axis parallel to the edge of the
the child. Place those with double underlines in
the next row, closest to you.
table. The pieces are flipped from top to
bottom, not from left to right.
When properly aligned, an imaginary lines can
be drawn through the underlines on the back of
each piece in the row.

Administration Administration

Begin timing after saying the last word If the child turns a puzzle piece over
of instructions. during the task, unobtrusively turn the
You can allow the child a few additional piece right-side up again.
seconds to complete an item if he is You may remind the child to work as
nearing completion when the time fast as you can if he is off task.
expires. Credit is awarded only for Remove the puzzle pieces from the
junctures that were correctly joined at childs view at the completion of each
the end of the time limit. puzzle before presenting the next item.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Administration Administration

Record the completion time in seconds Children are not penalized for gaps
for each item. and/or misalignments between adjacent
A juncture is the place where 2 pieces less than or equal to inch.
adjacent pieces meet. Two pieces are For Items 1 and 2 (where there are 2
considered correctly joined even when trials), enter 1 point if junctures are
they are formed in isolation and not correctly joined or either Trial 1 or 2.
integrated with other puzzle pieces. For Items 13 and 14, the score is the
Pictures of junctures are in Figure 3.12 number of junctures correctly joined
in the Manual. multiplied by . Scores are rounded up.

Picture Naming Picture Naming

Supplemental verbal subtest for 2:6 3:11,

and Optional for 4:0 7:3 Designed to assess expressive
30 items Child names the picture displayed. language ability, word-finding skills,
word retrieval from long-term memory,
and association of visual stimuli with

Administration For Ages 6:0 7:3

Children receive credit if it is apparent that Use WPPSI III instead of WISC III/IV:
they know the correct name of an object,
despite their inability to pronounce the name When you suspect below-average
correctly. cognitive ability
Item 9 requires a specific response With child with limited English
(toothpaste) that requires additional query. proficiency, language impairment, or
Follow the 4 general response situations (in verbal/expressive difficulties
Manual) that require further query.
Use WISC III for a child of high ability.
Personalized responses (I have one) are
scored 0.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Testing Children with

For Ages 2:6 3:11
Special Needs
Use Bayley Scales of Infant Development Child with motor impairments:
instead of WPPSI III: consider giving only the Verbal subtests
When you suspect below-average and those Performance subtests that
cognitive ability require simple or no motor skills (e.g.,
Use WPPSI III instead of BSID: Picture Concepts and Matrix Reasoning)
When the young child has high abilities Symbol Search may be substituted for
(e.g., giftedness) Coding in deriving the FSIQ

Testing Children with Testing Children with

Special Needs Special Needs
Child with a language deficiency: Any and all modifications from the
consider placing more weight on the standardized administration and scoring
Performance subtests as estimates of the instructions (e.g., use of an interpreter,
childs cognitive abilities
translation of items, prompts, non-
Picture Naming and Receptive Vocabulary standardized administration order, etc.)
can be useful for older children suspected of
having an expressive or other language delay
need to be documented on the protocol
because they rely less on oral expression and included in the report.

Reevaluations Practice Effects

Practice effects on the Performance Test-retest results from standardization indicate

subtests are minimized after an interval that when the second testing was within a 2-7
of 1-2 years, and less than that for the week time interval, Performance IQ scores
Verbal subtests increased by 5.0 points on average for the
overall sample.
If a retest is necessary in a shorter time
frame, supplemental subtests that were Some increase in scores can also be attributed
not used in the initial evaluation should to the rapid development of cognitive abilities
be substituted for those administered in and language acquisition in very young
the initial evaluation children.

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WPPSI III Dr. Donna Smith

Evidence of Validity Special Group Validity Studies

Evidence based on relationships with other Attention Deficit Disorder

variables Aspergers/Autistic Spectrum Disorders
Relationships to other measures Developmentally Delayed
WPPSI-R Expressive Language Disorder
WISC-III Gifted and Talented
BSID-II Limited English Proficiency
Motor Impaired
Mentally Retarded
Receptive/Expressive Language Disorder
Risk Children (At-Risk Children)

Profile Analysis Profile Analysis

1. Report and Describe the FSIQ 8. Perform Pairwise Comparisons of

2. Report and Describe the VIQ Selected Subtest Scaled Scores
3. Report and Describe the PIQ 9. Evaluate the Pattern of Scores Within
4. Report and Describe the PSQ Subtests
5. Report and Describe the GLC 10. Qualitative Analysis of Individual
6. Perform Pairwise Comparisons of the Responses
7. Determine Strengths and Weaknesses

For more information:

Donna Rury Smith, Ed.D.

Clinical Measurement Consultant
The Psychological Corporation
2817 Berry Trace
Schertz, TX 78154
Phone: (210) 566-566-6812
Fax: (210) 566-
Email: donna_smith@harcourt.com
URL: http://www.PsychCorp

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