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Chapter 11

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Psychology 2080A/B

Psychological Testing Prof Stelian Medianu February 25thMarch 3rd 2013Chapter 11Individual Tests of Ability in Education and Special Education For assessing general intelligence in relatively normal individuals or to obtain baseline information the Binet and Wechsler scales are exceptionally good instrumentsBoth scales have limitations and are not valid for all individualsSeveral individual tests have been created to meet special problems measure specific abilities or address the limitations of the Binet and Wechsler scales o Widely used in education particularly special educationThere is quite an array of individual ability tests many of which were designed to supplement or provide alternative to the Binet or WechslerAlternative Individual Ability Tests Compared with the Binet and Wechsler ScalesThese tests are newer and less well established than Binet and Wechsler but it doesnt explain why other tests arent used as often as Binets and WechslersThere are no alternatives that are superior to Binet and Wechsler scales from psychometric standpoint o Some new alternatives are weaker in terms of representativeness or quality of standardization sample o Some are less stable and most are more limited in documented validity o Some have unclear or poorly standardized administration instructions and others provide insufficient information about psychometric adequacy appropriate uses and limitations o Few alternatives compare poorly on all accounts o None of the alternatives can really be considered better than the two major scales when all factors are considered EXCEPT for individuals with special needsMany alternatives do not rely on verbal response as much as Binet and Wechsler scales do o Many require person to point to or make response indicating yes or no and dont depend on complex integration of verbal and motor functioningAlternatives have particular relevance for special populations o Individuals with sensory limitations physical limitations language limitations certain braindamaged individuals foreignborn or nonEnglish speaking individuals and others were designed to assess learning disabilitiesBecause tests were designed for special populations or purposes existence of alternatives is justifiable o Specificity often limits range of functions or abilities that can be measured so one could consider greater specificity of some alternatives as a weakness or a strength o IQ scores based on one of the alternatives with rare exception cant be compared directly with a score from one of the major scales o Alternatives are often useful as supplements for results obtained with other scales such as for screening purposes for followup or for reevaluations or when insufficient time to administer one of the major scales o When several tests are used together limitations in one can be reduced or overcome by a particular strength in anotherSome alternatives can be administered totally without verbal instructions o Most are less reliable than Binet and Wechsler scales to reading ability and few are more almost totally independent or reading ability o Scores from many alternatives contain less variability bc of scholastic achievementAlternatives Compared with One AnotherTo construct and publish useful tests you must develop better methods than currently existTests can be developed to measure some factor not tapped by any existing measure or provide a test for a particular group for whom a current tests do not work o If new test offers no specific advantage it is often not used therefore new tests tend to differ in some way o Alternatives to major scales that do nothing different than other scales have met with little successIn comparing educational tests some apply to only young children some to older children and adolescents while some to both children and adults o Some alternatives differ in target age rangeImportant differences exist in what is being measured o Some alternatives attempt to measure language or vocabulary skills through nonverbal techniques some measure nonverbal or nonlanguage intelligence while others measure perceptual or motor skillsAlternatives also differ in types of score they produce o Some give only a single score early Binet while others produce multiple scores modern Binet and WechslerAlternatives can also differ in type of response required o MC format YesNoOther important differences mark alternative individual tests of human ability due to differing abilities o Some tests provide timed tasks some claim to have significance for personality and clinical diagnoses others are exclusively related to abilityAnother difference is amount of examiner skill and experience necessary for administration o Some tests require much skill and experience while others require only minimal skill and experience and could most likely be administered by a trained paraprofessionalSpecific Individual Ability TestsEarliest individual ability tests were designed for specific purposes or populationsThe Seguin Form Board Test was published in the 1800s and preceeded the Binet and produces a single score o Consists of a foam board with objects of various shapes placed in appropriately shaped holes o Used primarily to evaluate mentally retarded adults and emphasized speed of performance o Version of test is still availableHealyFernald Test 1911 was developed as an exclusively nonverbal test for adolescent delinquents o Produces only a single score for several types of tasks and has less emphasis on speedKnox 1914 developed a battery of tests for nonEnglish speaking adult immigrants to the US o One of the first tests that could be administered without language o Speed was not emphasizedEarly tests were designed for specific populations produced single scores and had nonverbal performance scalesEmphasis on speed gradually decreased from the earlier to the more recent testsEarly procedures demonstrated feasibility of constructing individual nonverbal performance tests that could provide an alternative to verbally dependent Binet scale and could be administered without visual instructions and used with children as well as adultsInfant ScalesImportant category of ability attempts to measure intelligence in infants and young children even though there is not much point in estimating IQ of an infant or preschool toddler
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