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Chapter 13

Chapter 13

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Chapter 13: Applications in Clinical and Counselling Settings Personality as the relatively stable and distinctive patterns of behaviour that characterize an individual and hisher reactions to the environment Structured personality tests attempt to evaluate personality traits, personality types, personality states, and other aspects of personality, such as self-concept Personality traits refer to relatively enduring dispositions tendencies to act, think, or feel in a certain manner in any given circumstance and that distinguish one person from another Personality types refer to general descriptions of people; personality states refer to emotional reactions that vary from one situation to another Self-concept refers to a persons self-definition or, according to Carl Rogers, an organized and relatively consistent set of assumptions that a person has about himself or herself STRATEGIES OF STRUCTURED PERSONALITY-TEST CONSTRUCTION At the broadest level, the strategies are deductive and empirical. One can in turn divide each of these strategies as follows. Deductive strategies comprise the logical-content and the theoretical approach. Empirical strategies comprise the criterion-group and the factor analysis method Deductive Strategies Deductive strategies use reason and deductive logic to determine the meaning of a test response The logical-content method has test designers select items on the basis of simple face validity; in theoretical approach, test construction is guided by a particular psychological theory Logical-Content Strategy It uses reason and deductive logic in the development of personality measures In the most general use of this strategy, the test designer tried to logically deduce the type of content that should measure the characteristic to be assessed For example, if one wants to measure eating behaviour, it makes sense to include statements such as I frequently eat between meals. States that have no direct logical relevance to eating behaviours would not be included in test that used the logical-content strategy The principal distinguishing characteristic of this strategy is that it assumes that the test item describes the subjects personality and behaviour Initial efforts to measure personality used the logical-content approach as the primary strategy Theoretical Strategy The theoretical strategy begins with a theory about the nature of the particular characteristic to be measured In theoretical approach, items must be consistent with the theory. If the theory hypothesizes that personality can be broken down into six major areas, then developers strive to create items that tap each of these six areas Theoretical strategies demand that every item in a scale be related to the characteristic being measured The theoretical approach attempts to create a homogeneous scale and, toward this end, may use statistical procedures such as item analysis Empirical Strategies Empirical strategy rely on data collection and statistical analyses to determine the meaning of a test response or the nature of personality and psychopathology Subjects are asked to respond to items that describe their own views, opinions, and feelings. However, empirical strategies attempt to use experimental research to determine empirically the meaning of a test response, the major dimensions of personality, or both In the criterion-group approach, test designers choose items to distinguish a group of individuals with certain characteristics, the criterion group, from a control group; factor analytic approach uses the statistical technique of factor analysis to determine the meaning of test items www.notesolution.com Criterion-Group Strategy The criterion-group strategy begins with a criterion group, or a collection of individuals who share a characteristic Test constructors select and administer a group of items to all the people in this criterion group as well as to a control group that represents the general population Constructors then attempt to locate items that distinguish the criterion and control groups, or how the two groups contrast The actual content or face validity of an item in the criterion-group strategy is of little importance. Instead, the approach attempts to determine which items discriminate the criterion and control group Once distinguishing items have been determined for one sample of subjects to represent the criterion group, the next step is to cross-validate the scale by checking how well it distinguishes an independent criterion sample individuals also know to possess the characteristics to be measured from a control group If the scale significantly distinguishes the two groups, then it is said to have been cross-validated Once a scale has been developed, data from the normal controls can be used to obtain standard scores. One can then determine how far above or below the mean of the normal group each new subject scores in standardized units. A subjects score on each scale can be converted to percentiles After a scale has been constructed and cross-validated, a third step in the criterion approach is to conduct additional research to ascertain empirically what it means when subjects endorse a large number of items on a particular scale Factor Analytic Strategy The factor analytic strategy uses factor analysis to derive empirically the basic dimensions of personality Factor analysts begin with an empirical database consisting of the intercorrelation of a large number of items or tests. They then factor analyze these intercorrelations, typically to find the minimum number of factors that account for as much of the variability in the data as possible The then attempt to label these factors by ascertaining what the items related to a particular factor have in common Criteria Used in Selecting Tests for Discussion All available structured personality tests can be classified according to whether they use one or some combination of the four stategies just discussed: logical-content, theoretical, criterion-group, and factor analytic The tests in the discussion that follows have been chosen because (1) they illustrate each of the major strategies; (2) they are widely used;(3) they interest the research community, and (4) they show historical value LOGICAL CONTENT STRATEGY Woodworth Personal Data Sheet The first personality inventory ever, the Woodworth Personal Data Sheet, was developed during World War I and published in its final form after the war Its purpose was to identify military recruits who would be likely to break down in combat The final form of the Woodworth contained 116 questions which the individual responded Yes or No The items were selected from lists of known symptoms of emotional disorders and from the questions asked by psychiatrists in their screening interviews The Woodworth yielded a single score, providing a global measure of functioning Although its items were selected through the logical-content approach, the Woodworth has two additional features. First, items endorsed by 25% or more of a normal sample in the scored direction were excluded from the test. This technique tended to reduce the number of false www.notesolution.com
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