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Lecture 2. Test as a tool of psychological assessment – essential concepts. Psychological traits. Types of tests, brief history of testing, ethical and.

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Presentation on theme: "Lecture 2. Test as a tool of psychological assessment – essential concepts. Psychological traits. Types of tests, brief history of testing, ethical and."— Presentation transcript:

1 Lecture 2. Test as a tool of psychological assessment – essential concepts. Psychological traits. Types of tests, brief history of testing, ethical and legal aspects of testing.

2 Reference: Murphy, K. R. & Davidshofer, C. O. (1998). Psychological testing. Principles and applications: International Edition (6/e). Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, Inc. (Chapters: 1 - 3).

3 Trait Approach (to personality)

4 Trait – an early definition “generalized and personalized determining tendencies - consistent and stable modes of an individual’s adjustment to his environment” Allport & Odbert (1936, p. 26) Allport & Odbert (1936, p. 26)

5 Traits Traits = broad dispositions to act in specific ways   disposition = tendency (e.g., people with high anxiety tend to avoid threatening experiences)   broad = abstraction (not specific instance; adjectives (helpful) rather than verbs (help)

6 Traits   abstractions based on common features (e.g., extraversion)   hypothetical – can not observed/measured directly  need to „translate” trait into something measurable (behavior)

7 Traits Personal (‘internal’) rather than situational (‘external’) Personal (‘internal’) rather than situational (‘external’) Stable rather than transitory (across time) Stable rather than transitory (across time) Consistent rather than inconsistent (across ‘similar’ situations) Consistent rather than inconsistent (across ‘similar’ situations) General rather than specific (across ‘different’ situations) General rather than specific (across ‘different’ situations) Universal dimensions: Individual differences (across people) Universal dimensions: Individual differences (across people)

8 Traits are: 1. Dimensional (ordering of people) not categorical 2. Hypothetical (not observable) 3. Causal (internal) or Descriptive (summaries) Organized in a system 5. Consistent over settings and time

9 Trait Organisation Comprehensive trait taxonomies assume traits exist at varying levels of abstraction and are organized hierarchically Comprehensive trait taxonomies assume traits exist at varying levels of abstraction and are organized hierarchically Major taxonomies Major taxonomies EysenckEysenck CattellCattell Five factor modelFive factor model

10 Measurement of Traits Hypothetical nature of trait - can not know with absolute certainty measure is tapping intended trait Many measures of same trait All with error – variance not due to trait (different types of measure have different sources of error) Trait Measure

11 Psychologial Tests as Traits Assessment Instruments Tests: Tests: ReliabilityReliability ValidityValidity ObjectivityObjectivity StandarizationStandarization NormsNorms Responsibilities of test autor and test user Responsibilities of test autor and test user

12 Use of tests – essential ethical principles Informed Consent – patient/client/ subject must voluntarily consent to the assessment Responsibility to inform about the nature and purpose of the assessment (understandable language) Children/others of limited capacity – consent obtained from parent or legal guardian

13 Use of tests – essential ethical principles Knowledge of results – right to full disclosure of test results (understandable language) Knowledge of results – right to full disclosure of test results (understandable language) Confidentiality – test results as confidential information Confidentiality – test results as confidential information Keeping test results in a secure mannerKeeping test results in a secure manner Not refering to these data outside the context and purpose for which they were obtainedNot refering to these data outside the context and purpose for which they were obtained Exceptions required by law or court actionExceptions required by law or court action Test security – keeping test material in secure environment Test security – keeping test material in secure environment Test items are not to be revealed in casual converstions and public mediaTest items are not to be revealed in casual converstions and public media

14 Use of tests – essential ethical principles Test construction and publication – maintaining high standards of test development tests are expected to have expertise regarding validity, reliability, and norms Automated scoring/interpretation systems – psychologist utilizing them retains responsibility for proper interpretation of test results Unqualified Persons – psychologist does not allow or condone the use of tests by unqualified persons Psychologist takes prudent actions obserwing such situations Test user qualifications (test purchaser qualifications) – three – tier system for test user qualifications (1950) Level A – minimal training (educational achievement and job proficiency) Level B – some knowledge of technical characteristics of tests required (group administered mental ability and interest inventories) Level C – advanced training (individually administered intelligence tests and personality tests)

15 Test administration No matter how carefully a test is constructed, the results are worthless unless it is administered and scored properly! No matter how carefully a test is constructed, the results are worthless unless it is administered and scored properly! Influence of examinier’s appearance and behavior on test results Influence of examinier’s appearance and behavior on test results Especially important in case of individual tests Especially important in case of individual tests Situation variables: Situation variables: Time and place of testingTime and place of testing Environmental conditions (illumination, temperature, noise leve, ventilation, distractions)Environmental conditions (illumination, temperature, noise leve, ventilation, distractions)

16 Examiner’s duties before a test Scheduling – taking into account examinee’s activities Scheduling – taking into account examinee’s activities Right to prepare intellectually, emotionally and physicallyRight to prepare intellectually, emotionally and physically Informed consent Informed consent Becoming familiar with the test Becoming familiar with the test careful studies on manualcareful studies on manual taking the test oneselftaking the test oneself

17 Examiner’s duties before testing Ensuring satisfactory testing conditions Ensuring satisfactory testing conditions Minimizing cheating Minimizing cheating

18 Examiner’s duties during testing Following test directions Following test directions Remaining alert (cheating, unnecessary noise) Remaining alert (cheating, unnecessary noise) Establishing rapport Establishing rapport effect of examiners behavior on examinee’s motivationeffect of examiners behavior on examinee’s motivation being friendly but objectivebeing friendly but objective Preparing for special problems Preparing for special problems Examinee’s anxiety (very young, very old, mentally disturbed or retarded, physically handicapped or culturaly disadvanages persons)Examinee’s anxiety (very young, very old, mentally disturbed or retarded, physically handicapped or culturaly disadvanages persons) Flexibility Flexibility Practice on sample itemsPractice on sample items Relatively short testing periodsRelatively short testing periods Giving encouragement and positive reinforcementGiving encouragement and positive reinforcement

19 Being a psychologist and using tests in Poland – intro to ethical & legal issues Psychologists Code of Professional Ethics Towarzystwo Psychologiczne (1992). Kodeks etyczno – zawodowy psychologa. Warszawa: PTP. [http://www.ptp.org.pl/modules.php?name=News&file=article &sid=29] Psychologist profession and psychologists’ government act Ustawa z dnia 8 czerwca 2001 r. o zawodzie psychologa i samorządzie zawodowym psychologów (Dz. U. Nr 73, poz. 763) [http://www.ptp.org.pl/modules.php?name=News&file=article &sid=47] Tests and copyright Contemporary customs & regulations Standards for tests in psychology and education

20 Criterion: the form of recording the examinee’s behaviour (Cattell):  Tests of performance  Behavior observations  Self-report instruments (questionnaires/inventories) Types of tests

21 Tests of Performance Referred to as "Tests of Maximal Performance" Subjects are given a well-defined task that they try to perform successfully. Participant must know what he/she must do in response to the task. The subject exerts maximal effort to succeed. Performance tests are designed to uncover what an individual can do, given the specific test conditions. Examples - Intelligence Tests, language proficiency - Biology test, flight simulator

22 1). Tests in which the examinee performs some specific tasks - test requires „maximal performance” (inteligence tests, tests of special abilities, tests of specific skills or proficiency, tests of psychomotor performance). Typesmaximal performance tests– „power” tests, „speed” tests and tests with „strict time limits”. Performance tests

23 Behaviour Observation Naturalistic observation Naturalistic observation Involves observing the subject’s behaviour and responses in a particular context. Involves observing the subject’s behaviour and responses in a particular context. Differs from performance tests in that the subject does not have a single, well defined task. Differs from performance tests in that the subject does not have a single, well defined task. The observer can record duration & The observer can record duration &intensity Examples - Examiner might observe children interacting or an individual having a conversation or some other social interaction. - Companies recruit observers to pose as salespeople to observe employee’s behaviors. Subject’s may be unaware they are being tested.

24 Self Report Instruments - Participant is asked to report his or her feelings, attitudes, beliefs, values. When self-report makes sense: Self-report relies upon the test taker’s awareness and honesty. Self-report relies upon the test taker’s awareness and honesty. It is the best method to measure internal states - things only the person themselves can be aware of and judge. It is the best method to measure internal states - things only the person themselves can be aware of and judge. People are not always good judges of their ability People are not always good judges of their ability Provides an estimate Provides an estimate

25 Self Report Instruments Many personality inventories such as the MMPI and the 16PF measures are based on self-report. Many personality inventories such as the MMPI and the 16PF measures are based on self-report. Clinicians include self-report measures as part of their initial examinations of presenting clients. Clinicians include self-report measures as part of their initial examinations of presenting clients. Self-Report measures are frequently subject to self- censorship. Self-Report measures are frequently subject to self- censorship. People know their responses are being measured and wish to be seen in a favorable light. (self-serving bias) People know their responses are being measured and wish to be seen in a favorable light. (self-serving bias) Items are frequently included to measure the extent to which people provide socially desirable responses. Items are frequently included to measure the extent to which people provide socially desirable responses.

26 History of Test Development circa 1000 BC. : Chinese introduced written tests to help fill civil service positions Civil Laws, Military Affairs, Agriculture, Geography 1850 : The United States begins civil service examinations : Germans tested people for brain damage 1890 : James Cattell develops a "mental test" to assess college students. Test includes measures of strength, resistance to pain, and reaction time : Binet-Simon scale of mental development used to classify mentally retarded children in France : World War I produces need in U.S. to quickly classify incoming recruits. Army Alpha test and Army Beta test developed. Looked at psychopathology : Terman develops Stanford - Binet test and develops the idea of Intelligence Quotient

27 History of Test Development (cont.) : factor analysis, projective tests, and personality inventories first appear : vocational interest measures developed : item response theory and neuropsychological testing developed Present : Wide spread adaptation of computerized testing. "Smart" Tests which can give each individual different test items develop

28 Formal classification of tests One-dimensional tests (one-scale instruments) – interpretation in terms of trait’ intensity (quantitative diagnosis) or typological (qualitative diagnosis). One-dimensional tests (one-scale instruments) – interpretation in terms of trait’ intensity (quantitative diagnosis) or typological (qualitative diagnosis). Multi-dimensional tests (multi-scales instruments) – interpretation in terms of profile (model of parallel or hierarchical traits), which may lead to the typological or differential (within subject) diagnosis. Multi-dimensional tests (multi-scales instruments) – interpretation in terms of profile (model of parallel or hierarchical traits), which may lead to the typological or differential (within subject) diagnosis.

29 Fig 1. The test scores, assessing the trait intensity Average score – moderate trait intensity Low score – low trait intensityHigh score – high trait intensity

30 Fig. 2. One-scale test scores, serving for typological diagnosis Test score similar to the upper groupTest score similar to the lower group

31 Typological diagnosis of one-scales scores Typological (one-scale diagnosis) refers to the special one-type. Typological (one-scale diagnosis) refers to the special one-type. Typological diagnosis may refer also to two- types classification: Typological diagnosis may refer also to two- types classification: abnormal (type I) – normal – abnormal (type II, opposite to type I) abnormal (type I) – normal – abnormal (type II, opposite to type I) Block’s concept of personality types, based on the dimension of self-control: overcontrolled (inhibited) type vs underconstrolled (impulsive) type (normal type of personality is between clinical types). Block’s concept of personality types, based on the dimension of self-control: overcontrolled (inhibited) type vs underconstrolled (impulsive) type (normal type of personality is between clinical types).

32 Fig. 3. Multi-scale test scores, serving for profile diagnosis (parallel traits)

33 Fig. 4. Multi-scale test scores (hierarchical model with parallel subtraits) General Sensation Seeking Thrill and Adventure Seeking Experience seeking Boredom Susceptibility Disinhibition

34 Differential diagnosis of the test profile Comparisons of the scales within one subject, like comparison between verbal IQ and nonverbal IQ (strictly quantitative assessment). Comparisons of the scales within one subject, like comparison between verbal IQ and nonverbal IQ (strictly quantitative assessment).

35 Typological diagnosis of the test profile On the basis of OCEAN traits: On the basis of OCEAN traits:  Overcontrolled type: neuroticism & introversion (high N & low E);  Undercontrolled type: low agreeableness and conscientiousness (low A & C);  Resilient type: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness & low neuroticism (high E, A, C & low N).

36 The history of well-known tests  1905: Binet & Simon – the first intelligence scale  1906: Heymans & Wiersma – the first personality assessment (peer-rating);  1917: Woodworth – the first personality inventory (psychopathology);  : Strong/Kuder – the first vocational inventories;

37 The history of well-known tests  1939: Wechsler – Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale ( WAIS-III);  1943: Hathaway & McKinley – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory ( MMPI 2);  1949: Cattell – 16 PF (Personality Factors);  Eysenckian inventories;  1990 – 2000 – Big Five inventories (Costa & McCrae).

38 Present status of tests  Thousands of tests in different fields (even in Poland);  Test market: In Poland - Laboratory of Tests from Polish Psychological Society.

39 Information about tests  Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (1985 and 1999);  Mental Measurements Yearbook and Test Critiques;

40 Journals presenting tests (and psychometric problems)  Psychometrika  Educational and Psychological Measurement  Applied Psychological Measurement  Journal of Educational Measurement  Journal of Educational Psychology  Journal of Applied Psychology  Personnel Psychology  Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology.

41 Advantages and disadvantages of the tests Tests „represent the best, fairest, and the most accurate technology available for making many important decisions about individuals”, but at a time the „psychological testing is highly controversial” (Murphy & Davidshofer, 1989, p. 2).

42 Ethical (controversial) aspects of testing  The impact of testing on society (artificial or real differences, efficiency or equity, helping or hurting people);  Invasion of privacy (information about private life, problem of confidentiality and informed consent);  The fair use of tests (the equal availability of the test material – testing disabled examinees).


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