Ability Testing

  1. What are the main uses of ability tests?
    Clinical applications (diagnosis, measuring change etc.)

    • Educational applications (e.g. SATS, allocating teaching resources, special
    • needs).

    • Occupational applications (predicting work suitability; measuring work
    • competence)

    • Legal applications, e.g. determining competence to manage one’s affairs (this
    • can overlap with all three of the above).
  2. What is biodata?
    • The use of facts from one’s personal history, such as:
    • Age
    • Education
    • Health, athletic activities, height and weight 
    • Marital status
    • Domestic situation (e.g. kids, housing)
    • Financial commitments
    • Father and mother’s education
  3. Who investigated biodata in department stores?
    • Mosel (1952)
    • Looked at the lives of department store salespeople
    • Found that the most successful people were:
    • widowed
    • female
    • 35-54 years old
    • between 4 foot 11 inches and 5 foot 2 inches
    • eighed at least 160 pounds
    • lived in a boarding house
    • had dependants
    • had a high-school education
    • had at least five years sales experience but had been in the previous post for less than five years with no time off for illness.
  4. Who investigated the efficacy of biodata and what did they find?
    Hunter & Hunter (1984)

    • Supervisor ratings r=0.37
    • Promotion r=0.26
    • Training success r=0.30
    • Tenure r=0.26

    These are significantly greater than 0 but do not suggest a strong relationship at an individual level 

    It could be that certain factors are better for certain jobs
  5. Who investigated IQ and job performance?
    • Furnham 1992 
    • Correlations between IQ and job performance criteria range from r = 0.15 to r = 0.30 
    • Only 10% of variance appears to be accounted for by ability 
    • 30-45% is down to other factors
  6. What are the strengths of IQ testing?
    • Quick, easy and cheap
    • Less likely to be influenced by examiner.
    • Predicts performance across different jobs
    • rather than giving information specific to only one.
    • Difficult to fake.
  7. What is the the two two factor theory?
    • Developed by Spearman in 1927
    • The general mental ability that enters into performance in all types of mental task 
    • The best indicators of g were those tests that reflected what he called the eduction of relations and correlates
    • This included abilities such as..
    • deduction
    • induction
    • problem solving
    • grasping relationships
    • inferring rules
    • spotting differences and similarities
  8. Who argued that there were 120 factors to intelligence?
    • Guilford (1967)
    • Structure of Intellect theory 
    • 5 kinds of operations:
    • cognition
    • memory
    • divergent production
    • convergent production
    • evaluation
    • 6 kinds of products:
    • units
    • classes
    • relations
    • systems
    • transformations
    • implications
    • 5 kinds of contents:
    • visual
    • auditory
    • symbolic
    • semantic
    • behavioral
    • As each is independent there are 150 facets in total
  9. What is the hierarchy of factors?
    • Vernon (1971) 
    • Intelligence A: Intelligence caused by genes 
    • Intelligence B: The behavioural manifestation of intelligence (learning, thinking and problem solving)
    • Intelligence C: The score or IQ gained from a particular test
  10. How do lawyers, clients and doctors relate to ability testing?
    • Sternberg (1983)
    • Analytical intelligence: the processes that occur during the lawyer:client:doctor puzzle 
    • Encoding:figure out each word 
    • Inference: figure out their relationships 
    • Encoding shows a decrease in processing time then an increase with older children realising that more time is required to be invested 
    • Poorer reasoners tend to spend more time planning as they go through a problem, with superior ones apparently doing so beforehand
  11. Who investigated intelligence changes with age?
    Piaget (1952, 1972)
  12. What is the sensorimotor stage of development?
    • Birth-2
    • Initially possess reflex movements and a set of perceptual systems
    • Quickly begin to build up direct knowledge of world around them by relating physical actions to perceived results of those actions
    • Through the processes of assimilation and accommodation, these actions become progressively adapted to the world
  13. What is the Pre-operational period?
    • 2-7
    • Can mentally represent events and objects
    • Thoughts and desires are egocentric 
    • Assume that everyone sees, hears and feels exactly what they do
  14. What is the Concrete operations period?
    • 7-11
    • Can use logic but can only apply it to physical objects 
    • Less egocentric and better at conservation tasks (understand that something is the same even though it has changed appearance)
  15. What is the Formal Operations stage?
    • 11-16
    • Can think in an abstract manner
    • Can manipulate ideas mentally 
    • Can imagine the outcome of actions
  16. Who argued for culture sensitivity for ability testing and what did they argue?
    • Cole et al (1971) found why Kpelle (liberian tribespeople) were poor at maths 
    • American tests were being used, when the quoestions were framed in a way more suited to them, the Kpelle did better than US residents 
    • This shows that there is a schooling effect on some IQ tests and biases are evident
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Ability Testing