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psychological test
measurement instrument that attempts to measure personal attributes in understanding/describing human behavior

Three characteristics of Psychological Tests
 1. sample of behavior
 2. obtained under standardized conditions
 3. established rules for scoring

Types of psychological tests
performance, behavioral observations, selfreports

Scoring Rules
describe subject behavior in response to test in quantitative/numerical terms

Objective Scoring
2 people with the same set of scoring rules applied will arrive at the same score

Subjective Scoring
relies on examiner judgement

Types of Decisions  Individual Decisions
benefits and societal concerns
test results influence individual's actions
 benefit  feedback, guides for decision making
 concerns  testing can have undue impact

Types of Decisions  Institutional Decisions
benefits and concerns
results used by organizations for placement purposes
 benefits  can be used for employment
 concerns  accuracy and fairness questionable

Types of Decisions  Comparative
selection of individuals from a group of test takers
ex. employment test

Types of Decisions  Absolute
based on single person on test based on demonstration of mastery
ex. promotion testing

What are the THREE PRIMARY ISSUES of testing?
 1. impact of ability testing
 2. fair use of tests and outcomes
 3. invasion of privacy and confidentiality

Bias
difference in scores that aren't attributed to the construct

Impact
group mean difference after removal of potential bias
reflect REAL differences on the construct

Tests are most likely to be called "unfair" when:
 1. there are obstacles for some groups (ex. gender, physically/mentally impaired)
 2. they are the SOLE basis for decisions
 3. poor performance = harsh consequences

Ways to make tests more "fair":
multiple assessment procedures, hurdle system, compensatory system

Ways to make tests more "fair": Hurdle System
multistage decision model with more intensive screening for some groups

Ways to make tests more "fair": Compensatory System
low performance in one area can be made up for by high performance in another

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
requires "reasonable accommodation" when testing/employing disabled individuals

What is a STAKEHOLDER and who are the two most common stakeholders?
individuals directly affected by decisions of tests
most common: testtakers, testdevelopers

Concerns of Testdevelopers
fairness from institutional perspective
comparative decisions
success of test and longterm results

Concerns of TestTakers
personal consequences
absolute decisions
costeffectiveness and shortterm results

What are the 4 Levels of Measurement?
Nominal, Ordinal, Interval, Ratio

Nominal Measurement
numbers or labels to identify objects, persons, groups
ex. football player jersey numbers

Ordinal Measurement
rank order  order of numbers correspond to order of objects (not mathematically manipulated)
ex. school percentiles

Interval Measurement
uses equal units for differences in which objects are ordered
ex. temperature

Ratio Measurement
meaningful differences using an absolute zero
can be mathematically manipulated
ex. money

Central Tendency
a statistical measure to determine a single score that defines the center of distribution

Mode
the most frequently occurring value in a data set (can be more than one)

Symmetric vs. Skewed Distributions
symmetric  mirror images
skewed  asymmetrical; median used for measure of central tendency

Deviation Score
deviation score = mean  each person's score

Variability:
definition
what determines it?
types of measures
the extent to which scores in a distribution differ from one another
determined by the amount that values differ from the mean
types of measures: range, variance, standard deviation

Variability  Variance
indicates how far individual values are from the expected value (mean)
average of the SQUARED deviation scores

Large vs. Small Variance
Large  individuals differ in score and from each other
Small  individuals are similar

Steps in Computing Variance
 1. COMPUTE the MEAN
 2. SUBTRACT the mean from every observed value
 3. SQUARE the values and SUM them
 4. DIVIDE the sum by the NUMBER OF VALUES

Standard Deviation
square root of the variance

Covariance
the extent to which two variables are systematically related, quantitative estimates

