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Chapter 1

PSY 3307 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Takers, Lewis Terman, Bench Press

Course Code
PSY 3307
Elizabeth Kristjansson

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TEXTBOOK CHAPTER ONE: What Are Psychological Tests?
Why should we care?
-the results of psychological tests can effect our immediate environment (ie. criteria for diagnosing
mental disorders, acceptance into graduate schools)
-consequences of low-quality decisions can be significant
American Psychological Association (APA) defines a psychological test as a device or procedure in
which a sample of an examinee’s behaviour in a specified domain is obtained and subsequently
evaluated and scored using a standardized process.
Robert J. Gregory (2010) defined a test as a “standardized procedure for sampling behaviour and
describing it with categories”
Psychological tests make inferences about human attributes, traits, or characteristics.
Inferences using evidence to reach a conclusion
Differences Among Psychological Tests
-psychological tests require that you perform some behaviour to make inferences about human
attributes, traits, characteristics, or to predict future outcomes
-tests can differ in various ways: in the behaviour you perform, what they measure, their content, how
they are administered and how they are formatted, and their psychometric quality
Psychometrics: quantitative and technical aspects of testing
Construct: an attribute, trait, or characteristic that is abstracted from observable behaviours
Construct Explication: three steps for defining or explaining a psychological construct
Construct Validity: the extent to which questions on a test or survey are representative of the materials
which are meant covered
Differences Among Psychological Tests
A. Construct Measured and Outcome
-what a test measures can vary based on the construct the researcher is evaluating
-constructs may include personality, intelligence, ability, mechanical ability, motivation, etc.
-outcomes differ based on the construct
-outcomes could include discovering vocational interests, concluding a diagnosis, success in
college, etc.
B. Content
-two tests that measure the same construct can require individuals to perform significantly
different behaviour or to answer significantly different questions
-how test developers define different constructs influences how questions are created
-for example, the questions on two different intelligence tests may vary significantly because one
test defines intelligence as as the ability to reason, while other tests may refer to emotional
C. Behaviour Performed
D. Administration and Format
-tests can obviously be written in paper-and-pencil format, online, dictation, etc.
E. Scoring and Interpretation
-scannable sheets vs. human input of data
F. Psychometric Quality
-the degree of reliability and validity within the test
The History of Psychological Testing
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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