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Psychology 2080A/B Chapter Notes -James Mckeen Cattell, Statistical Inference, 16Pf Questionnaire

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Stelian Medianu

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PSYCH 2080B Exam Review
What is a Test
Test: a measurement device or technique used to quantify behabiour or aid in the
understanding and prediction of behaviour
Item: specific stimulus to which a person responds overtly
o Response can be scored or evaluated
o Specific questions/problems that make up a test
Psychological Test: or educational test, is a set of items that are designed to measure
characteristics of human beings that pertain to behaviour
Overt behaviour: an individual’s observable activity
Covert behaviour: takes place within an individual
Scales: relate raw scores on test items to some defined theoretical or empirical
Types of Tests
Individual tests: tests that can be given to only one person at a time
Test administrator: person giving the test
Group test: can be administered to more than one person at a time by a single
examiner (everyone in class is given test at same time)
Ability test: contains items that can be stored in terms of speed, accuracy or both
o The faster or more accurate your responses, the better your scores on a
particular characteristic
Achievement: refers to previous learning
o Ex. A test that measures or evaluates how many words you can spell
correctly is called a spelling achievement test
Aptitude: by contrast, refers to the potential for learning or acquiring a specific skill
o Ex. Spelling aptitude test measures how many words you might be able to
spell given a certain amount of training, education and experience
Intelligence: refers to a person’s general potential to solve problems, adapt to
changing circumstances, think abstractly and profit from experience
Human Ability: achievement, aptitude and intelligence tests overlap
Personality tests:related to the over and cover dispositions of the individual
Structured personality tests: provide a statement usually of the “self-report” varitety
and require the subject to choose b/t two or more alternative responses such as
true or false

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Projective personality test: the stimulus (test materials) or the required response or
both are ambiguous
o Ex. Instead of choose among alternative responses, individual is asked to
provide a spontaneous response
Psychological Testing: refers to all the possible uses, applications, and underlying
concepts of psychological and educational tests
o Main use of these tests is to evaluate individual differences/variations
Principles of Psychological Testing
Reliability: refers to accuracy, dependability, consistency or a repeatability of test
o Reliability refers to the degree to which the test scores can be reliable
Validity: refers to the meaning and usefulness of test results
o Degree to which a certain inference or interpretation on a test is appropriate
Test administration: act of giving a test
Historical Perspective
Chinese had a relatively sophisticated civil service testing program more than 4000
years ago
Earliest tests were related to topics such as civil law, military affairs, agriculture,
revenue and geography
In 1883 the U.S. government established the American Civil Service Commission
which developed and administered competitive examinations for certain gov’t jobs
Charles Darwin The Origin of the Species
o individuals members of a species possess different characteristics some that
are more adaptive and successful in certain environments
o survival of the fittest has lead to current complex and higher intelligence
levels (survivors pass on these characteristics
Galton Hereditary Genius
o some people possess characteristics that are more fit for survival
o initiated a search for knowledge concerning human individual differences,
which is now one of the most important domains of scientific psychology
James McKeen Cattell extended Galton’s work
o Coined the term mental test, individual differences in reaction time, helped
lead to development of modern tests
Early attempts to unlock mysteries of human consciousness through the scientific
Herbart mathematical models of the mind

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Weber attempted to demonstrate the existence of a psychological threshold, the
minimum stimulus necessary to activate a sensory system
Fechner devised the law that strength of a sensation grows as the logarithm of the
stimulus intensity
Psychological testing developed from at least 2 lines of linear inquiry: one based on
the work of Darwin, Galton and Cattell on the measurement of individual differences
and the other (more theoretically relevant and stronger) based on the work of the
German psychophysicists Herbart, Weber, Fechner and Wundt
Testing requires rigorous experimental control*
Seguin Form Board Test evaluate the mentally disabled
Kraepelin test for emotionally impaired people
Binet and Simon 1ST major general intelligence test evaluating individual
differences (individual test)
Evolution of Intelligence and Standardization Achievement Tests
Binet Simon Scale
o Comparison/standardization sample of 30 items of increasing difficulty
Standardization sample must rep’ the population – rather than comparing an
individual with a group that does not have the same characteristics as the individual
Interview: method of gathering info through verbal interaction. Ie. Direct questions
o Psychological testing is becoming increasingly under the scrutiny of the law
b/c of bias
Representative sample: comprises individuals similar to those for whom the test is
being used
o When used for the general population, a rep’ sample must reflect all
segments of the population in proportion to their actual numbers
Mental age: measurement of a childs performance on the test relative to other
children of that particular age group (Binet Simon Scale)
Achievement Tests Kelley, Ruch, Terman
Standardized achievement tests provide multiple-choice questions that are
standardized on a large sample to produce norms against which the results of new
examinees can be compared
Easy to administer and score; lack of favoritism, inexpensive, efficient subjectivity
that occur on written or essay tests
Rising to the Challenge
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