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Assessment of Ability testing, Behavior & Personality

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1 Assessment of Ability testing, Behavior & Personality
What School Counselors Must Know In this power point, we will discuss the use of standardized intelligence and aptitude tests in the schools. We will compare aptitude tests to achievement tests which are designed to assess skills and knowledge in areas in which specific instruction has been provided. We will also discuss the aptitude-achievement discrepancy analysis and the RtI model. Leading individual and group intelligence tests will also be examined.

2 Intelligence and General Ability (Aptitude) Testing
What are Aptitude Tests? History Cattell’s Fluid and Crystal Intelligence Intelligence and General Ability (Aptitude) Testing: Aptitude Tests are designed to measure the cognitive skills, abilities, and knowledge that individuals have accumulated as the result of their overall life experiences. Both achievement and aptitude tests measure developed abilities and can be arranged along a continuum according to how dependent the abilities are on direct school experiences. Many if not most testing experts conceptualize both achievement and aptitude tests as tests of developed cognitive abilities that can be ordered along a continuum in terms of how closely linked the assessed abilities are to specific learning experiences. The continuum shows at one end, teacher constructed classroom tests that are tied directly to the instruction provided in a specific classroom course. Next are the survey batteries that measure a fairly broad range of knowledge, skills and abilities (for example, achievement tests developed be the states to specifically assess the state’s core curriculum). Next are intelligence and other aptitude tests that emphasize verbal, quantitative, and visual-spatial abilities. Many traditional intelligence tests can be placed in this category, and even though they are not linked to a specific academic curriculum, they do assess many skills that are commonly associated with academic success (WISC-IV, Stanford-Binet 5th ed., etc..). Finally, at the most general end of the continuum are the non verbal and cross cultural intelligence or aptitude tests. They typically emphasize the use of non verbal performance items and often completely avoid language based content (reading & writing). The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test- Multilevel form is an example of a test that belongs in this category. History The emergence of ability testing can be found in Biblical passages, Chinese history, and ancient Greek writings. In the early 1900’s, France intiated a compulsory education program. Recognizing that not all children had the cognitive abilities necessary to benefit from regular education classes, it was determined that special education classes should be developed to meet the needs of those children. To accomplish this, there needed to be a way to identify children who needed special services. As a result, the first individual intelligence test was pioneered in France by Alfred Binet and his colleague Theofile Simon. Thus, intelligence tests actually had their beginning in the schools. Shortly thereafter, at Stanford University, Lewis Terman gathered and analyzed normative data and made revisions to Binet’s measure. The revisions were extensive and the test was later renamed the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test. This test has stood the test of time and with many revisions, continues to be used today. Due to the often emotional debate over the meaning of intelligence, many test publishers have adopted more neutral names such as academic potential, school ability, and simply ability to designate essentially the same construct. Cattell’s Fluid and Crystal Intelligence was developed during the 1940’s after attempting to remove cultural bias from intelligence tests. He observed marked changes from the original test scores of individuals and subsequently suggested that there were two types of intelligence (Catell, 1971). He realized that as information based on learning was removed from the intelligence test ( the portion most affected by cultural influences), the raw or unlearned abilities provided a different score. He then considered that 2 general factors made up intelligence: “fluid” intelligence, or that culture free portion of intelligence that is inborn and unaffected by new learning; and “crystallized” intelligence, which is acquired as we learn and is affected by our experiences, schooling, culture, and motivation (Catell, 1979). He eventually estimated that heritability variance within families for fluid intelligence was about .92, which basically means that if your parents have it, you most likely will have it as well. Abilities such as memory and spatial capability are aspects of fluid intelligence Crystalized intelligence will generally increase with age, while many studies have found that fluid intelligence tends to decline as we get older. Therefore, many theorists believe that overall intelligence is maintained evenly across the lifespan.

3 Common Assessment Practices
Aptitude-Achievement Discrepancy Analysis Response to Intervention One common assessment practice employed in schools and in clinical settings is referred to aptitude-achievement discrepancy analysis. This involves comparing students’ performance on an aptitude test with their performance on an achievement test. The rationale for this is that students’ achievement scores should be commensurate with their aptitude scores. In other words, there will not be a statistically significant discrepancy between their scores. Critics of this approach argue that ability-achievement discrepancies can usually be attributed to assessment error, differences in the content covered, and variations in student attitude and motivation on the different tests. Response to Intervention is described as follows: Students are provided with “generally effective” instruction by their classroom teacher. Their progress is monitored. Those who do not respond get something else, or something more, from a teacher or someone else. Again, their progress is monitored. Those who still do not respond either qualify for special education or for special education evaluation. RtI is purported to help struggling students sooner, not waiting for them to fail before providing assistance. It has been evaluated mostly in the area of reading and the research is generally promising but much less research is available supporting its application with other learning disorders.

4 Group Intelligence Tests:
Tests of Cognitive Skills, second edition (TCS/2)- Primary Test of Cognitive Skills (PTCS)- In View- Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, 8th edition (PLSAT-8) Cognitive Abilities Test, Form 6 (CogAT) Group Intelligence Tests are used more frequently than individual tests, particularly in school settings. These tests are often given in conjunction with group achievement tests in schools; thus their use is often connected with evaluating student performance. In some schools, these tests serve as initial screening tools to identify those children who should receive additional testing to identify a possible learning disability or developmental delay. Another use concerns evaluating entire schools as when administrators or school boards examine the difference between ability levels with academic performance. Group intelligence or ability tests can provide some information but they also have certain limitations. It is impossible to document the behaviors of an entire group and sometimes individuals are not motivated to perform at their highest level. Some examples of these tests are: Tests of Cognitive Skills, second edition (TCS/2)- designed for grades It measures verbal, nonverbal, and memory abilities that are thought to be important for academic success. Primary Test of Cognitive Skills (PTCS)-designed for grades K-1st. Requires no reading or number knowledge and produces an overall Cognitive Skills index. In View- designed for grades Assesses cognitive abilities in verbal reasoning, nonverbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. Otis-Lennon School Ability Test, 8th edition (PLSAT-8) For students K-12. Designed to measure verbal processes and nonverbal processes that are related to school success. Cognitive Abilities Test, Form 6 (CogAT)- For students K-12. Provides information about the development of verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal reasoning abilities that are related to school success.

5 Individual Aptitude/Intelligence Tests
Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV)- The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-3rd edition (WPPSI-III) The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-3rd edition (WAIS-III)- Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, 5th edition (SB5)- Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJIII)- Designed for individuals 2 to 90 years of age. Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS) Individual Aptitude/Intelligence Counselors are not typically responsible for the administration, scoring, and interpretation of individual intelligence tests. The intent of the information in this lecture is to give an overview of commonly used tests so that counselors can use the results in counseling contexts or when participating in multidisciplinary teams involving intelligence assessment. Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children, 4th edition (WISC-IV)- Empirical surveys have shown this test to be the most popular individual intelligence test used in clinical and school settings with children. The test takes 2 to 3 hours to administer and score and must be administered by professionals with extensive training in psychological assessment. It is designed for students ages The Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-3rd edition (WPPSI-III) is appropriate for children between 2 years 6 months and 7 years 3 months. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-3rd edition (WAIS-III) is appropriate for individuals between the ages of 16 and 89 years of age. Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales, 5th edition (SB5)- An appealing aspect of this Scale is the availability of an Expanded IQ scale that allows the calculation of IQs higher than It was also the first intelligence test to gain widespread acceptance in the US. It is designed to use with individuals from 2 to 85 years of age. Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Ability (WJIII)- Designed for individuals 2 to 90 years of age. Reynolds Intellectual Assessment Scales (RIAS)- Somewhat of a newcomer but is rapidly growing in popularity in the clinical and school settings. For use with individuals between 3 and 94 years of age. Takes only about 20 minutes to administer. Has a supplemental memory test. When selecting an intelligence test it is important to consider factors such as how the information will be used and how much time is available for testing. If you are interested in making aptitude-achievement comparisons, you should try to select an aptitude test that is co-normed with an achievement test that meets your specific needs.

6 College Admissions Tests
Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)- American College Test (ACT)- College Admissions tests- Were specifically designed to predict academic performance in college. Higher education admission decisions are usually based on a number of factors including GPA, letters of recommendation, personal interviews, written statements, and extracurricular activities, but in many situations scores on standardized admission tests are a prominent factor. The two most widely used are: Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT)- First developed by the College Entrance Examination Board in It assesses Critical Reading, Mathematics and Writing. They also produced the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) which was designed to provide practice for the SAT and is typically taken in the Junior year of high school. American College Test (ACT)- was initiated in 1959 to assess the academic development of high school students and predict their ability to complete college work. It is the major competitor of the SAT. It covers 4 skill areas: English, Mathematics, Reading, and Science Reasoning

7 Assessment of Behavior and Personality
Maximum Performance Tests- Typical Response Tests- History Response Sets Assessment of Behavior and Personality: When we attempt to define personality, we find that it is a somewhat elusive construct. Personality comes from the Greek word persona, which was a role play by an actor. Like other psychological constructs, there are varied theoretical views about the facets of personality. Gray (1999) defines personality as “the relative consistent patterns of thought, feeling, and behavior that characterize each person as a unique individual”. Although we know more about personality than we did 20 years ago, there is still debate about the precise definition and how to best measure it. The assessment of personality has existed for thousands of years. The early hunters and gatherers may have assessed each other’s personalities to determine who would be best suited to be a hunter or a gatherer. Incorporating personality assessment into the counseling process can be very beneficial. Personality assessment can, at times, provide a shortcut in identifying student problems and selecting interventions that will be most effective. Personality probably influences coping styles, needs and desires, responses to environmental stressors, interpersonal patterns, and intrapersonal sensitivity. We have previously discussed ability testing which is often referred to as Maximum Performance Tests. On these tests, items are usually scored as either correct or incorrect. In contrast, Typical Response Tests attempt to measure the typical behavior and characteristics of examinees. These tests usually assess constructs such as personality, behavior, attitudes, or interests. Because Public Law mandates that schools provide special education and related services to students with emotional disorders, schools must now use assessments that focus on the evaluation of personality and behavior. Teachers and other school employees who have a lot of contact with the student are often asked to complete rating scales on students to help get a bigger picture of what is going on with the student. The development of the first formal instrument for assessing personality is typically traced to the efforts of Robert Woodworth. In 1918, he developed the Woodworth Personal Data sheet which was designed to collect personal information about military recruits. Response Sets or response biases are test responses that misrepresent a person’s true characteristic. If a teacher wants a student out of his or her classroom, he or she might be inclined to exaggerate the student’s misbehavior in order to hasten the student’s removal. When response sets are present, the validity of the test results may be compromised. Many typical performance tests incorporate some type of validity scale designed to detect the presence of response sets.

8 Structured Personality Inventories or Objective Personality Tests
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2: NEO Personality Inventory-R: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: There are numerous informal and formal personality assessment tools. Within the formal personality assessment, there are 2 major categories: structured personality instruments and projective techniques. Structured instruments (e.g. the MMPI-2) are formalized assessments in which clients respond to a fixed set of questions or items. Projective techniques vary from standardized instruments in that the client is asked to describe, tell a story, or respond in some way to relatively unstructured stimuli. The intent of the personality assessment is less obvious with projective techniques than with a structured inventory. Proponents consider them to be an effective method of uncovering latent, hidden, or unconscious aspects of personality. Structured Personality Inventories or Objective Personality Tests: These are tests that are usually administered by a clinician outside of the school. They may sometimes be shared in IEP meetings or by parents wanting some accommodations for their child. The 3 major Inventories are: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 2: The MMPI-2 manual reflects that it is a broad based test to assess a number of the major patterns of personality and emotional disorders. It has an 8th grade reading level and 567 items. The adolescent version, MMPI-A has 478 items and an audio tape version is available for both tests if clients are unable to read the questions. A recent decline in the use of this test has been noted because of its length. NEO Personality Inventory-R: The NEO-PI-R uses 5 factors on its inventory; Surgency or Extroversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Emotional Stability or Neuroticism, and Intellect or Openness to Experience. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: The MBTI is a widely used instrument based on Jungian theory. The theory suggests that variations in behavior are related to basic differences in the way individuals prefer to perceive and then make judgments about what they have perceived. It is designed to assist people in understanding their preferences as measured by four dichotomies. The dichotomies are extroversion-introversion, sensing-intuition, thinking-feeling, and judging-perceiving. Usually used for clients 14 and older. There is an instrument that measures the same four preferences for children called The Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children.

9 Behavior Rating Scales
What are they? Some draw backs with parent and teacher responders What are they best at diagnosing? A behavior rating scale is essentially an inventory that asks an informant, usually a parent or a teacher, to rate a child on a number of dimensions. There are some limitations associated with the use of behavior rating scales. Even though the use of adult informants to rate children provides some degree of objectivity, these scales are still subject to response sets that may distort the true characteristics of the child. Often times a teacher may exaggerate the degree of a student’s problematic behavior in hopes of hastening a referral for special education services. Accordingly, parents may not be willing or able to acknowledge that their child has significant emotional or behavioral problems and tend to underrate the degree and nature of problem behaviors. Although behavior rating scales are particularly useful in diagnosing externalizing problems such as aggression and hyperactivity, which are easily observed by adults, they are less helpful when assessing internalizing problems such as depression and anxiety, which are not as apparent to observers. Over the past two decades, behavior rating scales have gained popularity and become increasingly important in the psychological assessment of children and adolescents. School psychologists will frequently ask not only parents but classroom teachers as well to help with the evaluations by completing a behavior rating scale on one of their students.

10 Some Popular Scales Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition (BASC-2) Conners’ Rating Scales, Third Edition (CRS-3) Child behavior Checklist and Teacher Report Form (CBCL and TRF) What is an omnibus rating scale? What is comorbidity? Some of the most popular scales are: Behavior Assessment System for Children, Second Edition- (BASC-2)This is an integrated set of instruments that includes a Teacher rating scale (TRS) and a parent rating scale (PRS), self report scales, a classroom observation system, and a structured developmental history. It has been the most frequently used behavior rating scales in the public schools. It is appropriate for children 2-21. Conners’ Rating Scales, Third Edition- (CRS-3) The Conners has been used since the late 1960’s when the early version of the scale was developed to measure the effectiveness of medication in the treatment of hyperactive children. Child Behavior Checklist and Teacher Report Form (CBCL and TRF)- There are 2 forms of the CBCL, one for children from 2-3 and one for children The TRF is appropriate for children These forms continue to be among the most frequently used psychological tests in school today All of these scales are typically referred to as omnibus rating scales meaning that they measure a wide range of symptoms and behaviors that are associated with different emotional and behavioral disorders. Ideally, an omnibus rating scale should be sensitive to symptoms of both externalizing (e.g., ADHD, conduct disorder) and internalizing (e.g., anxiety and depression) disorders to ensure that the clinician is not missing any indicators of a pathology. This is particularly important when assessing children and adolescents because there is a high degree of comorbidity (the presence of two or more disorders occurring simultaneously) with this population.

11 Self Report Measures What are they? What are they good at assessing?
A self report measure is an instrument completed by individuals that allows them to describe their own subjective experiences, including emotional, motivational, interpersonal, and attitudinal characteristics. Their use with children is a relatively new development because it was long believed that children did not have the personal insights necessary to accurately report their subjective experiences. Self report measures have proven to be particularly useful in the assessment of internalizing disorders such as depression and anxiety that have symptoms that are not always readily apparent to observers.

12 The Most Popular Self Reporting Measures
BASC-2 Youth Self Report Some of the most popular self reporting measures are: BASC-2 Self Report of Personality (SRP)- The BASC-2, which we talked about earlier, is the most popular self report measure for school psychologists. It has a 3rd grade reading level and the material can be presented using audio. Youth Self Report- Is a component of Achenbach’s assessment system that includes the CBCL and TRF described earlier. It can be used with children from 11 to 18 years of age. As with behavior rating scales, self report measures come in omnibus and single domain (just looking at one domain such as depression) formats. Both the SRP and the YSR are omnibus self report measures.

13 Projective Techniques
Rorschach Inkblot test- Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)- Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank- Projective Techniques address some of the limitations of standardized instruments by providing clients with a relatively unstructured stimulus to which they respond. The intent of this technique is to make it more difficult for clients to fake their responses because they will be unsure what the unstructured stimuli is designed to measure. The use of projective assessments can be traced to the early 1900s and the rise of psychoanalytic theory. The psychoanalytic concept of projection concerns individuals’ tendency to project their own drives, defenses, desires, and conflicts onto external situations and stimuli. Projective techniques are thought to uncover more of the client’s unconscious and thus, provide an indication of covert or latent traits. Some of the most popular projective techniques are: Rorschach Inkblot test- This is a well known association technique. It consists of 10 inkblots, with five cards in shades of black and gray with additional touches of bright red; and the remaining 3 in several pastel colors. Typically the inkblots are presented in 2 phases. First, the association phase, the cards are presented and the examinee responds. Second, the inquiry phase, the examiner asks what prompted his or her answers. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)- This is an example of a constructive projective technique, in which examinees construct a story based on a picture shown to them by the examiner. It contains 31 cards Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank- This is a completion technique where the examinees are provided an incomplete verbal stimulus that they must complete.

14 Projective Drawings Draw-A-Person Test (DAP).
House-Tree-Person (H-T-P) Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD). Projective drawings: Some of the most popular projective techniques used with children and adolescents involve the interpretation of projective drawings. Young children with limited verbal abilities are hampered in their ability to respond to clinical interviews, objective self-report measures, and even most other projective techniques. However, these children can produce drawings because this activity is largely nonverbal. Another positive aspect of this technique is that children are usually familiar with and enjoy drawing and find it non threatening. The most popular of these projective drawing techniques in use today are: Draw-A-Person Test (DAP). This is the most widely used. The child is given a blank piece of paper and a pencil and asked to draw a whole person. The figure in the drawing is often interpreted as a representation of “self”. House-Tree-Person (H-T-P). Child is asked to draw a house, a tree, and a person of each gender, all on separate sheets of paper. The house typically is interpreted as reflecting feeling associated with home life and family relationships. The tree and person are thought to reflect aspects of the self, with the tree representing deep unconscious feelings about the self and the Person reflecting a closer to conscious view of the self. Kinetic Family Drawing (KFD). Children are asked to draw a picture of everyone in their family, including themselves, doing something. Thought to provide information regarding the children’s view of their family and their interactions

15 Summary Standardized Intelligence Tests What are they designed to do?
How are they different from Achievement tests? Aptitude-achievement discrepancy analysis RtI model Individual Intelligence tests Group Intelligence tests We have discussed the use of standardized intelligence and aptitude tests in the schools. These tests are designed to assess the cognitive skills, abilities, and knowledge that are acquired as the result of broad, cumulative life experiences. We compared aptitude tests to achievement tests that are designed to assess skills and knowledge in areas in which specific instruction has been provided. Achievement tests should measure abilities that are developed as a direct result of formal instruction and training whereas aptitude tests should usually measure abilities acquired from all life experiences, not only formal. We also discussed the aptitude-achievement discrepancy analysis and the RtI model. Leading individual and group intelligence tests were also examined.

16 Summary Public Law and subsequent legislation require that schools provide special education services to students with emotional disorders. How do we identify these students? Behavior Rating Scales Self Report measures Projective Techniques Public Law and subsequent legislation require that schools provide special education services to students with emotional disorders. Before these services can be provided, the schools must be able to identify children with these disorders. We noted 3 major types of instruments used in assessing personality and behavior in children and adolescents: Behavior Rating Scales, Self Report Measures, and Projective Techniques.

17 Resources Whiston, S. C. (2008). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. Neukrug, E., & Fawcett, R. (2010). Essentials of testing and assessment: a practical guide for counselors, social workers, and psychologists / Edward S. Neukrug, R. Charles Fawcett. Australia ; Belmont, CA : Thomas/Brooks/Cole, c2010. Reynolds, C. R., Livingston, R. B., & Wilson, V. (2009). Measurement and Assessment in Education (2nd ed.). New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. For further information on these topics please refer to the Resource list for this Unit and the reference list on the last slide.

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