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Chapter 4

Chapter 4.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Connie Boudens

Personality Psychology – Foundations and Findings Chapter 4 – Personality Assessment - Personality assessment is the measurement of the individual characteristics of a person - Personality tests are most commonly used What Makes a Good Personality Test? - Personality test developers must demonstrate that the test is valid and reliable, and specify the conditions, populations and cultures that the test applies to o They have to provide theoretical background and research evidence confirming that the test is related to certain outcomes - Legitimate personality tests have reliability, validity, and generalizability - Test Reliability: Generalizability Across Time, Items, and Raters o Reliability - an estimate of how consistent a test is, a prerequisite for validity, describes the extent to which test scores are consistent and reproducible with repeated measurements  A test should give consistent results across time, items, and raters o Temporal consistency reliability: when an assessment gives consistent results over time, demonstrated through test-retest reliability (participants taking the test a second time)  In test-retest, the second test has to be far enough removed in time so that there are no memory or practice effects, but not so far that the participants have changed in the interim o Internal consistency reliability: when an assessment gives consistent results items, demonstrated with parallel forms reliability (make up parallel versions of a test and check for similar scores), split-half reliability (see if scores on one half of a test correlate to scores on the other half), or Cronbach’s alpha (statistic that estimates the generalizability of the score from one set of items to the other)  An alpha of 0.7-0.8 suggests a reliable test o Interrater reliability: when an assessment gives consistent results across raters (i.e. two separate judges rate the personality of a third person) - Test Validity o Validity is the extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure o A test has validity if it is grounded in research evidence; if it correlates with some standard o Construct validity: when as assessment measures the theoretical concept it was designed to measure, to be established – must demonstrate what a test measures and doesn’t measure o Face validity: when an assessment appears to measure the concept it was designed to measure based on the kinds of questions it contains  When a test has face validity, respondents view the content of a test as fair and relevant to a situation or particular outcome, they also take the test more seriously  Researchers often disguise content of a test to avoid participants faking answers, this compromises face validity to establish other kinds of validity o Criterion validity: when an assessment’s results are compared to the results of an external standard (i.e. another personality test)  Convergent validity: compares an assessment’s results to other tests of the same or related constructs to see how good it is  Discriminant validity: compares an assessment’s results to other tests of unrelated constructs to see how good it is o Predictive validity: when an assessment can provide feedback that is specific to a person or group of people who share a certain characteristic o Barnum Effect: when people believe feedback from an invalid personality because it is so general that it can apply to many people at the same time - Test Generalizability o Generalizability establishes the boundaries or limitations of a test; we can’t use a test for other than what it was intended or administer it to people it was not validated on  i.e. many tests specify that they are intended for children or adults, but not both - Research Methods Illustrated: Is the NEO-PI-R a Good Personality Test? o Alphas ranged from 0.56-0.81 for the various facets, acceptable for scales of only 8 items; good reliability o Valid for use in many populations and in many settings Personality Tests - Types and Formats of Personality Tests o Self-report tests: respondents answer questions about themselves, formats and question styles can vary depending on the purpose of the test, a.k.a. objective tests o Performance-based tests: unstructured format where participants respond to an ambiguous stimulus in as much detail as they would like, a.k.a. projective tests o Self-report Tests: measures may use a 2-choice scale or a Likert-type rating scale (i.e. strongly disagree-strongly agree)  Forced-choice format: respondents get a limited number of c
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