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Chapter 4

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Connie Boudens

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Chapter 4: Personality Assessment Personality Assessment: measurement of the individual characteristics of a person WHAT MAKES A GOOD PERSONALITY TEST? Test Reliability:  Reliability- extent to which test scores are consistent and reproducible with repeated measures  Temporary consistency reliability- checked by having respondents take the test a 2 time to see if their scores are similar  Test-retest reliability- need to be sure participants are not merely remembering what they originally said in the first test-taking session, also be sure there are not practice effects where participants perform better merely because they’ve seen the test before  Internal consistency reliability- checked to see if different items of the test give similar results  Parallel-forms reliability- 2 versions of a test that are comparable and checked to see that the scores on the parallel forms of the test were similar  Split-half reliability- a test is split in half and see if test-takers’ scores on one half correlated with scores on the other half  Cronbach’s alpha- (α) taking the correlation between the scores of 2 halves of a test and calculating the average correlation of all possible halves of the test (researchers will try to make sure that their measures have an alpha of .70 to .80)  Interrater reliability- (to make sure measures are reliable across multiple raters) might have 2 separate judges rate the personality or behaviour of a 3 person. Researchers will often calculate average correlation among the scores of all raters or the percentage agreement among raters. If the raters are consistent in their judgments, then these correlations ought to be high Test Validity:  Validity- extent to which a test measures what it is supposed to measure  Construct validity- successfully measures the theoretical concept it was designed to measure  Face validity- when it appears to measure the construct of interest  Criterion validity- determines how good a test is, by comparing the results of the test to an external standard like another personality test or some behavioural outcome  Convergent validity- to see if our test is similar to other tests of the same construct or to tests of related constructs  Discriminant validity- to be sure that our test is different from tests of constructs that we theorize to be unrelated to the one we are interested in  Barnum effect- fact that people readily believe feedback (ex: participants that were quick to trust a test that gave general statements about their personalities) Test Generalizability:  Generalizability- establishes the boundaries or limitations of a test  Cannot use a test for a use other than what it was intended for, nor administer the test to a group of people it was not validated on To check for test-retest reliability, college students took the NEO-PI-R at 2 different times, 3 months apart. The correlations were quite high indicating good reliability There are significantly high correlations between a person’s score on the NEO-Pi-R and their friend’s or spouse’s ratings of their personality. These findings demonstrate that the NEO-Pi-R has criterion validity PERSONALITY TRAITS Types and Formats of Personality Tests:  Self-report  Respondents answer questions about themselves  Response formats and question styles can vary depending on the purpose of the test and the construct the researcher is trying to measure  Self-report personality measures may use a dichotomous 2-choice scale (true/false, Yes/no) or a Likert-type rating scale  Other possible formats include checklists, forced-choice scales (presents respondents with a limited # of choices rather than a rating scale), and visual analog scales  Performance-based  Use an unstructured format in which participants must respond to a stimulus in as much detail as they would like, often within certain parameters set by the researcher  Because the stimuli used in these test are ambiguous, respondents must project their own meanings, significances, patterns, feelings, interpretations, concerns, or worldviews onto the stimulus
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