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PSYC*3250 Ch 1.pdf

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PSYC 3250
Deborah Powell

Thursday, October 4, 2012 Chapter 1: Tests and Measurements - psychological test represent systematic applications of a few relatively simple principles in an attempt to measure personal attributes thought to be important in describing or understanding individual behaviour - tests are used to make important decisions about individuals - psychological tests are used to measure a wide variety of attributes - intelligence, motivation, vocational preferences, anxiety - one feature that all psychological tests share in common is their limited precision - they rarely provide exact definitive measures of variables that are believed to have important effects on human behaviour - psychological tests do not provide a basis for making completely accurate decisions about individuals - psychological testing is highly controversial - it is also a highly specialized and somewhat technical enterprise - psychological tests are manifest only in the behaviour of individuals and behaviour rarely reflects any one psychological attribute but rather a variety of physical, psychological and social forces Psychological Tests - A Definition - a psychological test is a measurement instrument that has 3 defining characteristics: 1. A psychological test is a sample of behaviour 2. The sample is obtained under standardized conditions 3. There are established rules for scoring or for obtaining quantitative information from the behaviour sample Behaviour Sampling - the subjectʼs behaviour is used to measure some specific attribute or to predict some specific outcome - the use of behaviour samples in psychological measurement has several implications - it is not an exhaustive measurement of all possible behaviours that could be used in measuring or defining a particular attribute (it attempts to approximate this procedure) - the quality of a test is largely determined by the representativeness of this sample - the behaviour elucidated by the test also much somehow be representative of behaviours that would be observed outside the testing situation Standardization - the conditions under which a test is administered are certain to affect behaviour of the person or persons taking the test - it is not possible to achieve the same degree of standardization with all psychological tests, chances are better with written tests - the greatest difficulty in standardization probably lies in the broad class of tests that are administered verbally on an individual basis - this is difficult because the examiner is an integral part of the test Thursday, October 4, 2012 Scoring Rules - the immediate aim of testing is to measure or describe in a quantitate way some attribute or set of attributes of the person taking the test - there must be some set of rules or precedes for describing in quantitative or numeric terms the subjectʼs behaviour in response to the test - most standardized tests have objective scoring (2 examiners will get the same score) - there is also subjective scoring (rely on judgment of the examiner) Types of Tests - most psychological tests can be sorted into 3 general categories: 1. Tests in which the subject performs some specific task, such as writing an essay, answering multiple-choice items, or mentally rotating images on a computer screen 2. Tests that involve observations of the subjectʼs behaviour within a particular context 3. Self-report measures, in which the subject describes his or her feelings, attitudes, beliefs, interests and the like Tests of Performance - subjects are given some well-defined task that they try their best to perform successfully and in which the test score is determined by the subjectʼs success - relates to the intent or the state of mind of the person taking the test - e.g. intelligence tests, tests of spatial ability Behaviour Observations - observing the subjectʼs behaviour and responses in a particular context - rather than assessing maximal performance, behavioural observation tests assess typical behaviour or performance within a specific context - e.g. social skills, friendship formation, job performa
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