PDF Handbook of Psychological Testing

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See also the Turabian citation guide. See also the official Chicago Manual of Style website. A citation is a reference to a source. A citation consists of an abbreviated alphanumeric expression e. Generally the combination of both the in-body citation and the bibliographic entry constitutes what is commonly thought of as a citation whereas bibliographic entries by themselves are not. In your text, when you need to give a reference for a claim or assertion, you would use a citation , linked to your full bibliography at the end of your work. There are two main systems for doing this:.

The Oxford Referencing System relies on footnotes. The first time you reference a publication, you would give a footnote reference, for example:. Leading clinical scientists summarize the state of the science of assessment paradigms, instruments, and methods. With an emphasis on practical clinical considerations, chapters also delve into issues related to test development, psychometrics, and bias. Conveniently designed for reference or text use, this vast knowledge base has been synthesized into two volumes which may be purchased separately or together.


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Don't want the mobile site? Switch to the full site. Discount is applied to the list price. Are the test items relevant and appropriate for measuring the construct and congruent with the purpose of testing? Relation to other variables : Is there a relationship between test scores and other criterion or constructs that are expected to be related?

Internal structure : Does the actual structure of the test match the theoretically based structure of the construct?

Handbook of Psychological Testing

Response processes : Are respondents applying the theoretical constructs or processes the test is designed to measure? Consequences of testing : What are the intended and unintended consequences of testing? As part of the development of any psychometrically sound measure, explicit methods and procedures by which tasks should be administered are determined and clearly spelled out. This is what is commonly known as standardization. Typical standardized administration procedures or expectations include 1 a quiet, relatively distraction-free environment, 2 precise reading of scripted instructions, and 3 provision of necessary tools or stimuli.

All examiners use such methods and procedures during the process of collecting the normative data, and such procedures normally should be used in any other administration, which enables application of normative data to the individual being evaluated Lezak et al. Standardized tests provide a set of normative data i. Norms consist of transformed scores such as percentiles, cumulative percentiles, and standard scores e.

Without standardized administration, the individual's performance may not accurately reflect his or her ability. For example, an individual's abilities may be overestimated if the examiner provides additional information or guidance than what is outlined in the test administration manual. Conversely, a claimant's abilities may be underestimated if appropriate instructions, examples, or prompts are not presented. When nonstandardized administration techniques must be used, norms should be used with caution due to the systematic error that may be introduced into the testing process; this topic is discussed in detail later in the chapter.


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It is important to clearly understand the population for which a particular test is intended. The standardization sample is another name for the norm group. Norms enable one to make meaningful interpretations of obtained test scores, such as making predictions based on evidence. Developing appropriate norms depends on size and representativeness of the sample.

In general, the more people in the norm group the closer the approximation to a population distribution so long as they represent the group who will be taking the test. Norms should be based upon representative samples of individuals from the intended test population, as each person should have an equal chance of being in the standardization sample. Stratified samples enable the test developer to identify particular demographic characteristics represented in the population and more closely approximate these features in proportion to the population.

For example, intelligence test scores are often established based upon census-based norming with proportional representation of demographic features including race and ethnic group membership, parental education, socioeconomic status, and geographic region of the country. When tests are applied to individuals for whom the test was not intended and, hence, were not included as part of the norm group, inaccurate scores and subsequent misinterpretations may result.

Tests administered to persons with disabilities often raise complex issues. Test users sometimes use psychological tests that were not developed or normed for individuals with disabilities. It is critical that tests used with such persons including SSA disability claimants include attention to representative norming samples; when such norming samples are not available, it is important for the assessor to note that the test or tests used are not based on representative norming samples and the potential implications for interpretation Turner et al.

Performance on psychological tests often has significant implications high stakes in our society.


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  • Tests are in part the gatekeepers for educational and occupational opportunities and play a role in SSA determinations. As such, results of psychological testing may have positive or negative consequences for an individual. Often such consequences are intended; however, there is the possibility for unintended negative consequences.

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    It is imperative that issues of test fairness be addressed so no individual or group is disadvantaged in the testing process based upon factors unrelated to the areas measured by the test. Biases simply cannot be present in these kinds of professional determinations. Moreover, it is imperative that research demonstrates that measures can be fairly and equivalently used with members of the various subgroups in our population. It is important to note that there are people from many language and cultural groups for whom there are no available tests with norms that are appropriately representative for them.

    As noted above, in such cases it is important for assessors to include a statement about this situation whenever it applies and potential implications on scores and resultant interpretation.

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    While all tests reflect what is valued within a particular cultural context i. Bias leads to inaccurate test results given that scores reflect either overestimations or underestimations of what is being measured. When bias occurs based upon culturally related variables e. Relevant considerations pertain to issues of equivalence in psychological testing as characterized by the following Suzuki et al.

    Functional : Whether the construct being measured occurs with equal frequency across groups;. Conceptual : Whether the item information is familiar across groups and means the same thing in various cultures;. Scalar : Whether average score differences reflect the same degree, intensity, or magnitude for different cultural groups;.

    Linguistic : Whether the language used has similar meaning across groups; and.

    The handbook of psychological testing

    Metric : Whether the scale measures the same behavioral qualities or characteristics and the measure has similar psychometric properties in different cultures. It must be established that the measure is operating appropriately in various cultural contexts. Test developers address issues of equivalence through procedures including.

    Cultural equivalence is a higher order form of equivalence that is dependent on measures meeting specific criteria indicating that a measure may be appropriately used with other cultural groups beyond the one for which it was originally developed. Trimble notes that there may be upward of 50 or more types of equivalence that affect interpretive and procedural practices in order to establish cultural equivalence.

    For most of the 20th century, the dominant measurement model was called classical test theory. This model was based on the notion that all scores were composed of two components: true score and error. The model further assumes that all error is random and that any correlation between error and some other variable, such as true scores, is effectively zero Geisinger, The approach leans heavily on reliability theory, which is largely derived from the premises mentioned above.

    Since the s and largely since the s, a newer mathematically sophisticated model developed called item response theory IRT. The premise of these IRT models is most easily understood in the context of cognitive tests, where there is a correct answer to questions. The simplest IRT model is based on the notion that the answering of a question is generally based on only two factors: the difficulty of the question and the ability level of the test-taker. Computer-adaptive testing estimates scores of the test-taker after each response to a question and adjusts the administration of the next question accordingly.

    For example, if a test-taker answers a question correctly, he or she is likely to receive a more difficult question next. It has been found that such computer-adaptive tests can be very efficient. IRT models have made the equating of test forms far easier. Equating tests permits one to use different forms of the same examination with different test items to yield fully comparable scores due to slightly different item difficulties across forms. To convert the values of item difficulty to determine the test-taker's ability scores one needs to have some common items across various tests; these common items are known as anchor items.

    Using such items, one can essentially establish a fixed reference group and base judgments from other groups on these values. As noted above, there are a number of common IRT models. Among the most common are the one-, two-, and three-parameter models. The one-parameter model is the one already described; the only item parameter is item difficulty.

    A two-parameter model adds a second parameter to the first, related to item discrimination. Item discrimination is the ability of the item to differentiate those lacking the ability in high degree from those holding it. Such two-parameter models are often used for tests like essay tests where one cannot achieve a high score by guessing or using other means to answer currently.

    The three-parameter IRT model contains a third parameter, that factor related to chance level correct scoring. This parameter is sometimes called the pseudo-guessing parameter, and this model is generally used for large-scale multiple-choice testing programs.

    Psychological Assessment- Lesson 2 - History of Psychological Testing

    These models, because of their lessened reliance on the sampling of test-takers, are very useful in the equating of tests that is the setting of scores to be equivalent regardless of the form of the test one takes. The test user is generally considered the person responsible for appropriate use of psychological tests, including selection, administration, interpretation, and use of results AERA et al. Test user qualifications include attention to the purchase of psychological measures that specify levels of training, educational degree, areas of knowledge within domain of assessment e.

    Test user qualifications require psychometric knowledge and skills as well as training regarding the responsible use of tests e.