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Chapter 1. Psychological Testing and Assessment. Twelve Assumptions in Psychological Testing and Assessment. Assumption 1: Psychological traits and states exist Observed (manifest) vs. latent Can you study something invisible? Logical positivism, Behaviorism

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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Psychological Testing and Assessment


Twelve assumptions in psychological testing and assessment

Twelve Assumptions in Psychological Testing and Assessment

  • Assumption 1: Psychological traits and states exist

    • Observed (manifest) vs. latent

    • Can you study something invisible?

    • Logical positivism, Behaviorism

  • Assumption 2: Psychological traits and states can be quantified and measured

    • Can you really assign a numeric value to everything?

    • Rasch: objective measurement

  • Assumption 3: Various approaches to measuring aspects of the same thing can be useful (MethodologyTriangulation)


Twelve assumptions in psychological testing and assessment1

Twelve Assumptions in Psychological Testing and Assessment

  • Assumption 4: Assessment can provide answers to some of life’s most momentous questions

    • Tracking (in the UK system)

    • screening and placement

  • Assumption 5: Assessment can pinpoint phenomena that require further attention or study

    • National (?) assessment: No Child Left behind (The objective of assessment is…)

    • International assessment: PISA, TIMSS


What is pisa not these

What is PISA? Not these

  • PISA: Program for International Student Assessment is a series of assessments on reading literacy, mathematics literacy, and science literacy, sponsored by Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and administered internationally to 15-year-olds

  • TIMSS: The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) is administered every four years internationally to both fourth and eighth grade students.


Chapter 1

Source: OECD/PISA and Wikipedia


Chapter 1

Source: TIMSS and Wikipedia


Obama s sputnik moment

Obama's "Sputnik Moment"

  • In 1957 the USSR launched the first artificial Earth satellite, Sputnik. In order to fill the technological gap, the US government awarded financial support to promote math and science education.

  • In response to the performance gap between the US students and Asian/European students, President Obama introduced the phrase "Sputnik moment" to argue for more investment in science, technology, engineering, and technology (STEM) education.


Twelve assumptions in psychological testing and assessment cont d

Twelve Assumptions in Psychological Testing and Assessment (Cont’d)

  • Assumption 6: Various sources of data enrich and are part of the assessment process(Data triangulation)

  • Assumption 7: Various sources of error are part of the assessment process


Error is everywhere

Error is everywhere!

  • Sources of error

    • Measurement error

    • Sampling error

  • Types of error

    • Bias: Systematic e.g. self-report height and weight

    • Variance: Random


Twelve assumptions in psychological testing and assessment cont d1

Twelve Assumptions in Psychological Testing and Assessment (Cont’d)

  • Assumption 8: Tests and other measurement techniques have strengths and weaknesses

    • Classical test theory

    • Item response theory

    • Rasch model


Twelve assumptions

Twelve Assumptions

  • Assumption 9: Test-related behavior predicts non–test-related behavior

  • Assumption 10: Present-daybehavior sampling predicts future behavior

    • Academically adrift: Limited learning on college campuses -- After 4 years, 36% college graduates showed no gains in higher order thinking skills. US corporations complain that college graduates don’t have the critical thinking skill required by the jobs.

    • Corporations launch their own assessment programs e.g. MCSE, CCNA.


Examples of industry certification assessment program

Examples of industry certification/assessment program


Twelve assumptions in psychological testing and assessment cont d2

Twelve Assumptions in Psychological Testing and Assessment (Cont’d)

  • Assumption 11: Testing and assessment can be conducted in a fair and unbiased manner

  • Assumption 12: Testing and assessment benefit society


Who what and why

Who, What and Why?

  • Who Are the Parties?

    • The test developer

    • The test user

    • The test taker

    • Society at large


The test developer

The test developer

  • Subject matter expert/content expert: item authoring

  • Psychometrician: item analysis, factor analysis

  • Database programmer/IT personnel: item banking

  • Program manager: put all together


Evaluating the quality of tests

Evaluating the Quality of Tests

  • What is a “Good” Test?

    • Reliability

    • Validity

    • Other settings

  • Reference Sources for Test Information

    • Test catalogues

    • Test manuals

    • Journal articles

    • Online and CD-Rom databases

    • Other sources


Chapter 1

  • http://www.creative-wisdom.com/pub/efficacy.pdf


Exercise 2 points

Exercise (2 points)

  • Form a group consisting of 3-4 people. One or two must have a Web-enabled laptop.

  • Access the APU library

  • Look for Mental Measurements Yearbook (the electronic version)

  • Search for instruments that measure psychological constructs (e.g. anxiety, depression, happiness…etc)

  • Read the comments at the end

  • Discuss which one is the best.


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