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The future of assessment

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Presentation on theme: "The future of assessment"— Presentation transcript:

1 The future of assessment
Dr Maretha Prinsloo Discovering Talent and Potential Discovering Talent and Potential

2 The future of assessment
Demands on assessment: dynamic complexity integrated and contextualised nature of human functioning collective consciousness & the evolution of consciousness ethical considerations societal needs technology theoretical trends Discovering Talent and Potential

3 The future of assessment
Thus much room for improvement of current assessment methodologies

4 The future of assessment
Psychometrics criticised for: little innovation commercial viability “We have a relatively stable, mature, market consisting of a few standard assessment formats … which are liberally branded by a variety of companies. These tests barely differ in content, accuracy, or utility; they differ solely in terms of their marketing.” (Barrett, 2011) Barrett regards conventional psychometrics as a “pathology of science” Discovering Talent and Potential

5 The future of assessment
Psychometrics: use of limited experimental designs weak quantification weaker assessment methodologies causal inference based on correlational models Discovering Talent and Potential

6 The future of assessment
Research focus on: the number of constructs the level at which these are to be conceptualized the structure of the model (single, multiple, hierarchical, facet, phases, interactive, cube, overlapping , linear-causal, quadrants…) the statistical methods to be used (correlations or correlations) the constructs e.g. IQ, personality and EQ researched via individual differences Discovering Talent and Potential

7 The future of assessment
The Scientific status of Psychology explanatory sciences descriptive sciences speculative sciences These fields are characterized by differences in: ontology (entities / object of study) epistemology (how we get to know) methodology (investigative techniques) Discovering Talent and Potential

8 The future of assessment
Psychology: a descriptive science with a weak rational basis and only some empirical grounding David Freedman (1991), a mathematician, recommends a “low-tech” approach which “relies on intimate knowledge of the subject matter and a meticulous research design …” “Simplicity after complexity” given robust design and rigour Discovering Talent and Potential

9 The future of assessment
Why do we want to test commercial viability statistical challenges posed pragmatic considerations of HR clinical applications educational development Discovering Talent and Potential

10 The future of assessment
- Constructs Methodology - Innovation Dynamic modeling - Integration Contextualisation - Internet Statistics - Effectiveness of assessment - Legal & ethical - Practical utility International collaboration - Psychophysiological

11 The future of assessment
Future constructs: Intelligence → cognitive processing → wisdom → intuition Personality assessment → motivation → consciousness Integrity → compassion Leadership → intention Discovering Talent and Potential

12 The future of assessment
Future methodology Statistics not well suited to Psychology Johnson (1936): "Those data should be measured which can be measured; those which cannot be measured should be treated otherwise.” “Statistics has failed to demonstrate the true structure of the attributes it is studying. … It has failed to understand the difference between quantity and quality as distinguishable modes of being” (Grice, 2012) Discovering Talent and Potential

13 The future of assessment
Statistics in Psychometrics: averages group membership and category bell curve (not for random data / qualitative differences) standard deviation correlations null hypotheses (no proof) Discovering Talent and Potential

14 The future of assessment
Dilemma: meaning lost via testing and statistical analysis Resulted in: devising more complex analytical techniques without reconsidering the fundamental premises But, psychology operates in a subtle, complex, dynamic and interactive world, one that appears random because we don’t understand the dynamics involved Although statistical inference has not served psychology that well, formal analysis of data is important in any science Discovering Talent and Potential

15 The future of assessment
Statistics “Substantive methodological synergies” (Marsh et al 2009)  integrating multilevel and structural equation approaches to control measurement and sampling error Discovering Talent and Potential

16 The future of assessment
A call for Innovation: An approach which caters for the dynamic and complex nature of human functioning is required Brad Woods (2011): very little progress except for Observation Oriented Modelling (OOM) – behaviour seen as goal directed and purposeful, not mechanical and responsive Barrett (2011, 2012): Innovations include:   Cognitive Process Profile (CPP) Read et al’s (2010) neural net research in personality Gigerenzer and colleagues from the ABC group: "fast and frugal heuristics” Discovering Talent and Potential

17 The future of assessment
Dynamic modeling Move from broad generalizations into more precisely modeling the individual Not for psychometrics and statisticians, but for “scientist-philosopher-heuristics specialists” (Barrett) Consider technology platforms and business intelligence / rules for dynamic assessment Discovering Talent and Potential

18 The future of assessment
Dynamic modeling to capture the output of a "complex", self-organizing, adaptive system may require a new kind of systems-modeling where trajectory mapping for an individual is the goal rather than "measurement" of psychological attributes The issue is thus not "psychometrics - measurability", but the "outcome-consequences" of a dynamic complex system (Barrett, 2011) Discovering Talent and Potential

19 The future of assessment
Dynamic modeling techniques: Neural net applications and algorithmically based, “if-then” expert systems CPP OOM Discovering Talent and Potential

20 The future of assessment
Integration of study fields and constructs Human functioning is integrated (physiological, emotional, motivational, psychological, spiritual and collective factors) Holistic assessment practices Human functioning is contextualised Integration of disciplines (e.g. psychology & neurology / sociology …) Integration of nomological networks of concepts Discovering Talent and Potential

21 The future of assessment
Building of an integrated science Across epistemologies: both emic (meaningful to actor) and etic (objective description) perspectives Across disciplines Across schools of psychology Across constructs Discovering Talent and Potential

22 The future of assessment
Contextualisation of assessment results Human functioning involves individual, collective and contextual components Currently dealt with via: competency approach person-job-matching situational judgement methodology Challenge: cross-cultural bias Discovering Talent and Potential

23 The future of assessment
Internet options and delivery Spread to a wider audience The individual taking charge of own growth Social networks New functionalities e.g. alternative item generation Discovering Talent and Potential

24 The future of assessment
Ensuring the effectiveness of assessment Determining the actual value that tests add to the user Evidence of the utility of assessment is required to guide investment in psychometric research and application But how to measure it Maybe also systems modeling plus rigorous evidence-base designs Discovering Talent and Potential

25 The future of assessment
Ethical and legal implications Current pragmatic value of psychometrics Benefits of the test subject: self-assessment and self-development offerings, job applications Feuerstein: assessment should have a developmental impact Cross-cultural bias and fairness Addressing values of business leadership Intellectual property challenges Discovering Talent and Potential

26 The future of assessment
Practical utility of assessment Clinical purposes Legal field Moral-ethical matters Optimising the man-machine interface Advertising Learning disabilities Relationship counselling Self-development Discovering Talent and Potential

27 The future of assessment
International collaboration and group research Barrett suggests large scale international academic collaboration Discovering Talent and Potential

28 The future of assessment
Psychophysiological Medical imaging to integrate functional and structural aspects of mental functioning Discovering Talent and Potential

29 The future of assessment
Summary Theoretical integration New constructs, models and nomological networks New research methodologies (dynamic modeling) New delivery mechanisms New analytical techniques New purposes Contextualisation Practical everyday uses Ethical approach Measurement of impact Discovering Talent and Potential

30 The future of assessment
Conclusion The psychometrics paradigm thus needs to make way for something more: comprehensive relevant dynamic purposeful Discovering Talent and Potential

31 Thank you for your valuable time
011 – Discovering Talent and Potential


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