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Chapter 9

Psychology- Chapter 9 Book Notes.docx

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PSYC 1010
Rebecca Jubis

Psychology- Chapter 9: Intelligence and Psychological Testing Key Concepts in Psychological Testing A psychological test is a standardized measure of a sample of a persons behaviour. They are used to measure the individual differences that exist among people in abilities, interests, and aspects of personality. Responses to a psychological test represent a sample of your behaviour. Principal Types of Tests Psychological tests are used extensively in research, but most of them were developed to serve a practical purpose outside of the laboratory. Most tests can be placed in one of two broad categories: mental ability tests and personality tests. Mental Ability Tests Intelligence tests measure general mental ability. Theyre intended to assess intellectual potential rather than previous learning or accumulated knowledge. Aptitude tests are also designed to measure potential more than knowledge, but they break mental ability into separate components. Thus, aptitude tests assess specific types of mental abilities. For example, the Differential Aptitude Tests assess verbal reasoning, numerical ability, abstract reasoning, perceptual speed, and accuracy, mechanical reasoning, space relationships, spelling and language usage. Like aptitude tests, achievement tests have a specific focus, but theyre supposed to measure previous learning instead of potential. Thus, achievement tests gauge a persons mastery and knowledge of various subjects (such as reading, English, or history). Personality Tests Personality tests measure various aspects of personality, including motives, interests, values, and attitudes. Many psychologists prefer to call these tests personality scales because the questions do not have right and wrong answers. Standardization and Norms Standardization refers to the uniform procedures used in the administration and scoring of a test. All subjects get the same instructions, the same questions, and the same time limits so that their scores can be compared meaningfully. Test norms provide information about where a score on psychological tests ranks in relation to other scores on that test. Test norms are needed since everything in psychological tests are relevant. Psychological tests tell you how you score relative to other people. A percentile score indicates the percentage of people who score at or below the score one has obtained. The sample of people that the norms are based on is called a tests standardization group. Ideally, tests norms are based on a large sample of people who were carefully selected to be representative of the broader population. Reliability Reliability refers to the measurement consistency of a test (or of other kinds of measurement technique). A tests reliability can be estimated in several ways. One widely used approach is to check test-retest reliability, which is estimated by comparing subjects scores on two administrations of a test. A correlation coefficient is a numerical index of the degree of relationship between two variables. In estimating test- retest reliability, the two variables that must be correlated are the two sets of scores from the two administrations of the test. The closer the correlation comes to +1.00, the more reliable the test is. Validity Validity refers to the ability of a test to measure what it was designed to measure. The term validity is also used to refer to the accuracy or usefulness of the interferences or decisions based on a test. This broader conception of validity highlights the fact that a specific test might be valid for one purpose and invalid for another purpose. Content Validity Content validity refers to the degree to which the content of a test is representative of the domain its supposed to cover. Content validity is evaluated with logic more than with statistics. Criterion-Related Validity Criterion-related validity is estimated by correlating subjects scores on a test with their scores on an independent criterion (another measure) of the trait assessed by the test. Construct Validity Construct validity is the extent to which there is evidence that a test measures a particular hypothetical construct. Demonstrating construct validity can be complicated. It usually requires a series of studies that examine correlations between the test and various measures related to the trait in question. A thorough demonstration of construct validity requires looking at the relationship between a test and many other measures. The Evolution of Intelligence Testing Galtons Studies of Hereditary Genius In Galtons book Hereditary Genius, Galton concluded that success runs in families because great intelligence is passed from generation to generation through genetic inheritance. He assumed that the contents of the mind are built out of elementary sensations, and he hypothesized that exceptionally bright people should exhibit exceptional sensory acuity. His efforts met with little success. Research eventually showed that the sensory processes that he measured were largely unrelated to other criteria of mental ability that he was trying to predict, such as success in school or in professional life. Binets Breakthrough The Binet-Simon scale expressed a childs score in terms of mental level or mental age. A childs mental age indicated that he or she displayed the mental ability typical of a child of that chronological (actual) age. Binet realized that his scale was a somewhat crude initial effort at measuring mental ability. His death put an abrupt end to revising his scale, but other psychologists continued to build on Binets work. Terman and the Stanford-Binet An intelligence quotient (IQ) is a childs mental age divi
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