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Florida National University Psychological Testing Discussion

Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Psychological Testing
Principles, Applications, & Issues
Ninth Edition
Robert M. Kaplan
Dennis P. Saccuzzo
Stanford University
San Diego State University
Australia • Brazil • Mexico • Singapore • United Kingdom • United States
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Psychological Testing: Principles,
­Applications, and Issues, Ninth Edition
Robert M. Kaplan and Dennis P. Saccuzzo
Product Director: Star M. Burruto
Product Manager: Carly McJunkin
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Printed in the United States of America
Print Number: 02 Print Year: 2017
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Brief Contents
PRINCIPLES
PA R T I
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
PA R T I I
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
PA R T I I I
Introduction 1
Norms and Basic Statistics for Testing 23
Correlation and Regression 63
Reliability 99
Validity 133
Writing and Evaluating Test Items 159
Test Administration
187
APPLICATIONS
Interviewing Techniques 203
Theories of Intelligence and the Binet Scales 225
The Wechsler Intelligence Scales: WAIS-IV, WISC-V, and WPPSI-IV 247
Tests for Infants, Disabilities, and Special Populations 267
Standardized Tests in Education, Civil Service, and the Military 299
Applications in Clinical and Counseling Settings 329
Projective Personality Tests 371
Computers and Basic Psychological Science in Testing 401
Testing in Counseling Psychology 425
Testing in Health Psychology and Health Care 443
Testing in Industrial and Business Settings
483
ISSUES
19 Test Bias 513
20 Testing and the Law 547
21 The Future of Psychological Testing 587
iii
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Contents
P art I
Principles
1 Introduction 1
Basic Concepts 6
What a Test Is 6
Types of Tests 7
Overview of the Book
9
Principles of Psychological Testing 10
Applications of Psychological Testing 10
Issues of Psychological Testing 11
Historical Perspective 11
Early Antecedents 11
Charles Darwin and Individual Differences 12
Experimental Psychology and Psychophysical Measurement 13
The Evolution of Intelligence and Standardized Achievement Tests
Personality Tests: 1920–1940 16
The Emergence of New Approaches to Personality Testing 18
The Period of Rapid Changes in the Status of Testing 20
The Current Environment 21
14
Summary 21
2 Norms and Basic Statistics for Testing 23
Why We Need Statistics 24
Scales of Measurement 25
Properties of Scales 25
Types of Scales 27
Permissible Operations 28
Frequency Distributions 29
Percentile Ranks 32
Percentiles 36
Describing Distributions 37
Mean 37
Standard Deviation
38
iv
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Contents
Z Score 40
Standard Normal Distribution 41
McCall’s T 48
Quartiles and Deciles 50
Norms
51
Age-Related Norms 54
Tracking 54
Criterion-Referenced Tests
58
Summary 61
3 Correlation and Regression 63
The Scatter Diagram 64
Correlation 66
Regression 67
The Regression Line 67
The Best-Fitting Line 68
Testing the Statistical Significance of a Correlation Coefficient
How to Interpret a Regression Plot 76
74
Other Correlation Coefficients 80
Terms and Issues in the Use of Correlation 82
Residual 82
Standard Error of Estimate 83
Coefficient of Determination 83
Coefficient of Alienation 83
Shrinkage 84
Cross Validation 84
The Correlation-Causation Problem
Third Variable Explanation 85
Restricted Range 86
84
Multivariate Analysis (Optional) 87
General Approach 87
An Example Using Multiple Regression
Discriminant Analysis 88
Factor Analysis 89
87
Summary 92
APPENDIX 3.1: Calculation of a Regression Equation and a Correlation
Coefficient 93
Calculation of a Regression Equation (Data from Table 3.5) 94
4 Reliability 99
History and Theory of Reliability
100
Conceptualization of Error 100
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
v
vi
Contents
Spearman’s Early Studies 101
Basics of Test Score Theory 101
The Domain Sampling Model 103
Item Response Theory 104
Models of Reliability 106
Sources of Error 106
Time Sampling: The Test–Retest Method 107
Item Sampling: Parallel Forms Method 108
Split-Half Method 109
KR20 Formula 111
Coefficient Alpha 112
Reliability of a Difference Score 113
Reliability in Behavioral Observation Studies 115
Connecting Sources of Error with Reliability Assessment Method 119
Using Reliability Information 122
Standard Errors of Measurement and the Rubber Yardstick 122
How Reliable Is Reliable? 123
What to Do about Low Reliability 124
Summary 129
APPENDIX 4.1: Using Coefficient Alpha to Estimate Split-Half
Reliability When the Variances for the Two Halves of the Test Are
Unequal 130
APPENDIX 4.2: The Calculation of Reliability Using KR20 130
5 Validity 133
Defining Validity 135
Aspects of Validity 136
Face Validity 136
Content-Related Evidence for Validity 136
Criterion-Related Evidence for Validity 138
Construct-Related Evidence for Validity 149
Relationship between Reliability and Validity 155
Summary 157
6 Writing and Evaluating Test Items 159
Item Writing
160
Item Analysis
173
Item Formats 161
Guessing 163
Other Possibilities 170
Item Difficulty 173
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Contents
Discriminability 175
Pictures of Item Characteristics 177
Linking Uncommon Measures 182
Items for Criterion-Referenced Tests 184
Limitations of Item Analysis 185
Summary 186
7 Test Administration 187
Why We Changed Our Minds 188
The Examiner and the Subject 188
The Relationship Between Examiner and Test Taker 188
The Race of the Tester 189
Stereotype Threat 190
How Stereotype Threat Does Damage 191
Remedies for Stereotype Threat 192
Language of Test Taker 193
Training of Test Administrators 193
Expectancy Effects 193
Effects of Reinforcing Responses 196
Computer-Assisted Test Administration 197
Mode of Administration 199
Subject Variables 201
Summary 201
PA R T I I
APPLICATIONS
8 Interviewing Techniques 203
The Interview as a Test 207
Reciprocal Nature of Interviewing 208
Principles of Effective Interviewing 208
The Proper Attitudes 209
Responses to Avoid 209
Effective Responses 211
Responses to Keep the Interaction Flowing 212
Measuring Understanding 215
Mental Status Examination 217
Developing Interviewing Skills 218
Sources of Error in the Interview
Interview Validity 219
Interview Reliability 222
219
Summary 223
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
vii
viii
Contents
9 Theories of Intelligence and the Binet Scales 225
The Problem of Defining Intelligence 226
Binet’s Principles of Test Construction 228
Principle 1: Age Differentiation 228
Principle 2: General Mental Ability 229
Spearman’s Model of General Mental Ability
229
Implications of General Mental Intelligence (g)
The gf-gc Theory of Intelligence 230
The Early Binet Scales 231
The 1905 Binet-Simon Scale
The 1908 Scale 232
230
231
Terman’s Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
234
The 1916 Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale 234
The Intelligence Quotient (IQ) 234
The 1937 Scale 235
The 1960 Stanford-Binet Revision and Deviation IQ (SB-LM) 237
The Modern Binet Scale
238
Model for the Fourth and Fifth Editions of the Binet Scale
Characteristics of the 1986 Revision 240
Characteristics of the 2003 Fifth Edition 242
Psychometric Properties of the 2003 Fifth Edition 243
Median Validity 244
238
Summary 244
10 The Wechsler Intelligence Scales: WAIS-IV,
WISC-V, and WPPSI-IV 247
The Wechsler Intelligence Scales 249
Point and Performance Scale Concepts 249
From the Wechsler–Bellevue Intelligence Scale to the WAIS-IV 251
Scales, Subtests, and Indexes 251
A Closer Look at Subtests 252
From Raw Scores to Scaled and Index Scale Scores
Index Scores 258
FSIQs 258
257
Interpretive Features of the Wechsler Tests 259
Index Comparisons 259
Pattern Analysis 260
Hypothetical Case Studies
260
Psychometric Properties of the Wechsler Adult Scale 262
Standardization
Reliability 263
Validity 263
262
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
ix
Contents
Evaluation of the Wechsler Adult Scales 263
Downward Extensions of the WAIS-IV: The WISC-V and the WPPSI-IV
The WISC-V 264
The WPPSI-IV 265
Summary 266
11 Tests for Infants, Disabilities, and Special
­Populations
267
Alternative Individual Ability Tests Compared With the Binet
and Wechsler Scales 268
Alternatives Compared With One Another 270
Early Tests 272
Infant Scales 272
Major Tests for Young Children 279
General Individual Ability Tests for Handicapped
and Special Populations 284
Testing Learning Disabilities 287
Visiographic Tests 292
Creativity: Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT) 294
Individual Achievement Tests: Wide Range Achievement
Test-4 (WRAT-4) 296
Summary 297
12 Standardized Tests in Education, Civil Service,
and the Military 299
Comparison of Group and Individual Ability Tests
Advantages of Individual Tests 302
Advantages of Group Tests 302
Overview of Group Tests
303
Characteristics of Group Tests
Selecting Group Tests 303
Using Group Tests 304
301
303
Group Tests in the Schools: Kindergarten Through 12th Grade 305
Achievement Tests Versus Aptitude Tests 305
Group Achievement Tests 305
Group Tests of Mental Abilities (Intelligence) 308
College Entrance Tests
312
The New (2016) SAT  312
The American College Test
313
Graduate and Professional School Entrance Tests 314
Graduate Record Examination Aptitude Test
314
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
264
x
Contents
Miller Analogies Test 318
The Law School Admission Test
Nonverbal Group Ability Tests
319
321
Raven Progressive Matrices 322
Goodenough-Harris Drawing Test (G-HDT) 324
The Culture Fair Intelligence Test 325
Standardized Tests Used in the U.S. Civil Service System 326
Standardized Tests in the U.S. Military: The Armed Services
Vocational Aptitude Battery 326
Summary 327
13 Applications in Clinical and Counseling
Settings
329
Strategies of Structured Personality Test Construction
Deductive Strategies 332
Empirical Strategies 332
Criteria Used in Selecting Tests for Discussion
The Logical-Content Strategy
334
The Criterion-Group Strategy
336
331
334
Woodworth Personal Data Sheet 334
Early Multidimensional Logical-Content Scales 335
Mooney Problem Checklist 335
Criticisms of the Logical-Content Approach 336
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory 336
California Psychological Inventory (CPI)–Third Edition 347
The Factor Analytic Strategy 349
Guilford’s Pioneer Efforts 349
Cattell’s Contribution 350
Problems With the Factor Analytic Strategy 352
The Theoretical Strategy 353
Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS) 353
Personality Research Form, Third Edition (PRF-III) and
Jackson Personality Inventory Revised (JPI-R) 355
Self-Concept 357
Combination Strategies
358
Positive Personality Measurement and the NEO Personality
Inventory–Three (NEO-PI-3) 358
The NEO Personality Inventory–Three (NEO PI-R™) 359
Frequently Used Measures of Positive Personality Traits
Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale 362
General Self-Efficacy Scale (GSE) 363
Ego Resiliency Scale Revised 363
Dispositional Resilience Scale (DRS) 363
Hope Scale 364
362
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Contents
Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R) 364
Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS) 365
Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS) 365
Coping Intervention for Stressful Situations (CISS) 366
Core Self-Evaluations 366
Future of Positive Personality Research
Summary 368
367
14 Projective Personality Tests 371
The Projective Hypothesis 373
The Rorschach Inkblot Test 374
Historical Antecedents 374
Stimuli, Administration, and Interpretation
Psychometric Properties 380
An Alternative Inkblot Test: The Holtzman
The Thematic Apperception Test 390
375
389
Stimuli, Administration, and Interpretation
Psychometric Properties 394
391
Alternative Apperception Procedures 395
Nonpictorial Projective Procedures 395
Word Association Test 396
Sentence Completion Tasks 396
Figure Drawing Tests 398
Summary 398
15 Computers and Basic Psychological Science
in Testing 401
Cognitive-Behavioral Assessment Procedures Versus the Medical
Model of Assessment 403
The Rationale for Cognitive-Behavioral Assessment 403
Early Procedures Based on Operant Conditioning 405
Self-Report Techniques 407
The Dysfunctional Attitude Scale 411
Irrational Beliefs Test 411
Irrational Beliefs Inventory (IBI) 412
Cognitive Functional Analysis 412
Psychophysiological Procedures 414
Physiological Variables With Treatment Implications 414
Evaluation of Psychophysiological Techniques 415
Computers and Psychological Testing
416
Computer-Assisted Interview 416
Computer-Administered Tests 417
Computer Diagnosis, Scoring, and Reporting of Results 418
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
xi
xii
Contents
Internet Usage for Psychological Testing 419
The Computerization of Cognitive-Behavioral Assessment 420
Tests Possible Only by Computer 420
Computer-Adaptive Testing 421
Summary 423
16 Testing in Counseling Psychology 425
Measuring Interests 426
The Strong Vocational Interest Blank 427
The Evolution of the Strong Measures 428
The Campbell Interest and Skill Survey 429
The Reemergence of the Strong Interest Inventory 430
The Kuder Occupational Interest Survey 432
The Career Assessment Inventory 436
The Self-Directed Search 436
Eliminating Gender Bias in Interest Measurement 437
Aptitudes and Interests 439
Measuring Personal Characteristics for Job Placement
Are There Stable Personality Traits? 440
Other Uses of Interest Matching Methods: The Case
of Internet Dating 440
439
Summary 441
17 Testing in Health Psychology and Health Care 443
Neuropsychological Assessment 444
Clinical Neuropsychology 444
Developmental Neuropsychology 449
Adult Neuropsychology 453
California Verbal Learning Test (CVLT) 459
Automated Neuropsychological Testing 462
Anxiety and Stress Assessment 463
Stress and Anxiety 464
The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory 464
Measures of Coping 466
Ecological Momentary Assessment 466
Depression 467
NIH Toolbox 470
Quality-of-Life Assessment
472
What Is Health-Related Quality of Life? 472
Common Methods for Measuring Quality of Life 473
mHealth and New Mobile Technologies 476
The 2015 Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) 477
Summary 482
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Contents
18 Testing in Industrial and Business
Settings
483
Personnel Psychology—The Selection of Employees 484
Employment Interview
484
Base Rates and Hit Rates
486
Taylor-Russell Tables 489
Utility Theory and Decision Analysis 493
Value-Added Employee Assessments 495
Incremental Validity 499
Personnel Psychology From the Employee’s Perspective:
Fitting People to Jobs 501
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator 501
Tests for Use in Industry: Wonderlic Personnel Test (WPT)
502
Measuring Characteristics of the Work Setting 503
Classifying Environments
503
Job Analysis 505
Measuring the Person–Situation Interaction 508
Summary 511
PA R T I I I
ISSUES
19 Test Bias 513
Why Is Test Bias Controversial? 514
The Traditional Defense of Testing 520
Content-Related Evidence for Validity 521
Criterion-Related Sources of Bias 524
Other Approaches to Testing Minority Group Members 529
Ignorance Versus Stupidity 529
Suggestions for Solutions 531
Ethical Concerns and the Definition of Test Bias 531
Thinking Differently: Finding New Interpretations of Data
Developing Different Criteria 535
When Tests Harm 536
Does It Matter? More Testing and Less Testing 537
Changing the Social Environment 540
535
Summary 544
20 Testing and the Law 547
Laws Governing the Use of Tests
Federal Authorities 549
Specific Laws 553
549
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
xiii
xiv
Contents
Federal Initiatives in Education
The Common Core 556
555
Major Lawsuits That Have Affected ­Psychological Testing 558
Early Desegregation Cases 558
Stell v. Savannah-Chatham County Board of Education 559
Hobson v. Hansen 560
Diana v. State Board of Education 561
Larry P. v. Wilson Riles 561
Parents in Action on Special Education v. Hannon 563
Crawford et al. v. Honig et al. 564
Marchall v. Georgia 568
Debra P. v. Turlington 568
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke 571
Golden Rule Insurance Company et al. v. Washburn et al. 571
Adarand Constructors, Inc. v. Peña, Secretary of
Transportation, et al. 572
Affirmative Action in Higher Education 572
Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger 573
Parents v. Seattle 575
Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education 576
Fisher v. University of Texas 576
Personnel Cases 577
Cases Relevant to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) 583
A Critical Look at Lawsuits 584
Summary 585
21 The Future of Psychological Testing 587
Issues Shaping the Field of Testing 588
Professional Issues 588
Moral Issues 591
Social Issues 594
Current Trends
596
Future Trends
599
The Proliferation of New Tests 596
Higher Standards, Improved Technology, and Increasing
Objectivity 597
Greater Public Awareness and Influence 598
The Computerization of Tests 599
Testing on the Internet 599
Future Prospects for Testing Are as Promising as Ever Before 600
Controversy, Disagreement, and Change Will Continue 600
The Integration of Cognitive Science and Computer Science
Will Lead to Several Innovations in Testing 601
Summary 601
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Contents
APPENDIX 1 Areas of a Standard Normal Distribution 603
APPENDIX 2 Critical Values of r for a 5 .05 and a 5 .01
(Two-Tailed Test) 606
APPENDIX 3 Critical Values of t
607
APPENDIX 4 Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education
609
GLOSSARY 614
REFERENCES 618
NAME INDEX 683
SUBJECT INDEX 700
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xv
List of Sample Test Profiles
FIGURE 9.7
Cover page of Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
FIGURE 12.1
Example of a score report for the Stanford Achievement Test 307
FIGURE 12.2
A sample student profile from the ACT 313
FIGURE 12.3
GRE verbal ability sample items 315
FIGURE 12.4
GRE quantitative ability sample items 317
FIGURE 12.5
MAT sample items 319
FIGURE 13.2
An MMPI profile sheet 337
FIGURE 13.3
An MMPI-2 profile sheet
FIGURE 13.4
Jackson Personality Inventory profile sheet 356
FIGURE 13.5
NEO Personality Inventory profile sheet 360
TABLE 14.1
Summary of Rorschach scoring 381
239
344
Focused Example 14.2
The danger of basing Rorschach interpretations on insufficient
evidence 386–387
Sentence completion tasks 396
FIGURE 17.5
Profile of a patient tested with the Luria-Nebraska battery
FIGURE 18.2
Sample questions from the Wonderlic
FIGURE 19.8
Sample SOMPA profile 525
TABLE 20.1
Examples of items from a minimum competence test 569
459
503
xvi
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Preface
P
sychology is a broad, exciting field. Psychologists work in settings ranging from
schools and clinics to basic research laboratories, pharmaceutical firms, and private international companies. Despite this diversity, all psychologists have at
least two things in common: They all study behavior, and they all depend to some
extent on its measurement. This book concerns a particular type of measurement,
psychological tests, which measure characteristics pertaining to all aspects of behavior in human beings.
Psychological Testing is the result of a long-standing partnership between the
authors. As active participants in the development and use of psychological tests,
we became disheartened because far too many undergraduate college students view
psychological testing courses as boring and unrelated to their goals or career interests. In contrast, we see psychological testing as an exciting field. It has a solid place
in the history of psychology, yet it is constantly in flux because of challenges, new
developments, and controversies. A book on testing should encourage, not dampen,
a student’s interest. Thus, we provide an overview of the many facets of psychological tests and measurement principles in a style that will appeal to the contemporary
college student.
To understand the applications and issues in psychological testing, the student
must learn some basic principles, which requires some knowledge of introductory
statistics. Therefore, some reviewing and a careful reading of Part I will pave the way
for an understanding of the applications of tests discussed in Part II. Part III examines the issues now shaping the future of testing. Such issues include test anxiety, test
bias, and the interface between testing and the law. The future of applied psychology
may depend on the ability of psychologists to face these challenging issues.
Throughout the book, we present a series of focused discussions and focused
examples. These sections illustrate the material in the book through examples or
provide a more detailed discussion of a particular issue. We also use box features
called “Psychological Testing in Everyday Life” to demonstrate material such as statistical calculations.
Increased Emphasis on Application
Students today often favor informal discussions and personally relevant examples. Consequently, we decided to use models from various fields and to write in
an informal style. However, because testing is a serious and complicated field in
xvii
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xviii
Preface
which major disagreements exist even among scholars and experts, we have treated
the controversial aspects of testing with more formal discussion and detailed
referencing.
The first edition of Psychological Testing: Principles, Applications, and Issues was
published in 1982. The world has changed in many ways in the 35 years since the
text was first introduced. For example, personal computers were new in 1982. Most
students and professors had never heard of the Internet, nobody communicated
by e-mail, and the inventor of Facebook had not yet been born. Nobody had even
imagined smart portable phones. The first edition of Psychological Testing was produced on typewriters, before word processors were commonly used. At the time,
few professors or students had access to private computers. The early editions of the
book offered instruction for preparing the submission of statistical analyses to mainframe computers. There were far fewer applications of psychological testing than
there are today. On the other hand, principles of psychological testing have remained
relatively constant. Thus, newer editions have included improvements and refinements in the Principles chapters. The later chapters on Applications and Issues have
evolved considerably.
Not only has the field of psychological testing changed, but so have the lives
of the authors. One of us (RMK) spent most of his career as a professor in a school
of medicine, eventually moved to a school of public health, then to the federal government, and back again to a school of medicine. The other (DPS) completed law
school and works extensively with attorneys and the U.S. legal system on many of
the applied issues discussed in this book. While maintaining our central identities
as psychologists, we have also had the opportunity to explore cutting-edge practice
in medicine, public health, government regulation, education, and law. The ninth
edition goes further than any previous edition in spelling out the applications of
psychological testing in a wide variety of applied fields.
In developing this edition, we have organized topics around the application
areas. Chapter 11 considers psychological testing in education and special education.
Chapter 12 looks at the use of standardized tests in education, civil service, and the
military. Chapters 13 and 14 consider the use of psychological tests in clinical and
counseling settings.
The age of computers has completely revolutionized psychological testing. We
deal with some of these issues in the Principles chapters by discussing computer-adaptive testing and item response theory. In Chapter 15, we discuss applications
of psychological science in the computer age. Chapter 16 discusses the use of psychological testing in the field of counseling psychology and focuses primarily on
interest inventories. Chapter 17 explores the rapidly developing fields of psychological assessment in health psychology, medicine, and health care. Chapter 18 reviews
psychological testing in industry and business settings. Several of these chapters discuss the role of new electronic technologies, such as cell phones and sensors, in the
acquisition of information about human behavior.
Over the last 35 years psycholological testing has faced important challenges
related to fairness and to social justice. Chapter 19 takes a careful look at these
controversies and attempts to spell out some of the differering perspectives in these
detates. Chapter 20 focuses on legal challenges to testing practices. Ethical issues
relevant to psychological tests are considered in Chapter 21.
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Preface
xix
Following a trend in our recent editions, the final chapters on issues in psychological testing have been extensively updated to reflect new developments in social
justice, law, and ethics.
Organization of the Ninth Edition:
A Note to Professors for Planning
Producing nine editions of Psychological Testing over the course of more than 35 years
has been challenging and rewarding. We are honored that hundreds of professors
have adopted our text, and that it is now used in hundreds of colleges and universities all over the world. However, some professors have suggested that we reorganize
the book to facilitate their approach to the class. To accommodate the large variety
of approaches, we have tried to keep the chapters independent enough for professors to teach them in whatever order they choose. For example, one approach to the
course is to go systematically through the chapter sequence.
Professors who wish to emphasize psychometric issues, however, might assign
Chapters 1 through 7, followed by Chapters 19 and 20. Then, they might return to
certain chapters from the Applications section. On campuses that require a strong
statistics course as a prerequisite, Chapters 2 and 3 might be dropped. Professors
who emphasize applications might assign Chapters 1 through 5 and then proceed directly to Part II, with some professors assigning only some of its chapters.
Although Chapters 9 through 13 are most likely to be used in a basic course, we
have found sufficient interest in Chapters 14 through 18 to retain them. Chapters 17
and 18 represent newer areas into which psychological testing is expanding. Finally,
Chapters 19 and 20 were written so that they could be assigned either at the end
of the course or near the beginning. For example, some professors prefer to assign
Chapters 19 and 20 after Chapter 5.
MindTap for Kaplan and Saccuzzo’s
­Psychological Testing
MindTap is a personalized teaching experience with relevant assignments that guide
students to analyze, apply, and improve thinking, allowing instructors to measure
skills and outcomes with ease.
▶▶ Guide Students: A unique learning path of relevant readings, media, and activ-
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comprehension to analysis and application.
▶▶ Personalized Teaching: Becomes yours with a Learning Path that is built with
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as-is or match to your syllabus exactly—hide, rearrange, add and create your
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▶▶ Promote Better Outcomes: Empower instructors and motivate students with
analytics and reports that provide a snapshot of class progress, time in course,
engagement and completion rates.
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xx
Preface
Supplements Beyond Compare
Cognero
Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero is a flexible, online system that
allows you to:
▶▶ author, edit, and manage test bank content from multiple Cengage Learning
solutions
▶▶ create multiple test versions in an instant
▶▶ deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom or wherever you want.
Instructor’s Resource Manual and Test Bank
The Instructor’s Resource Manual (IRM) was written by Katherine Nicolai of
Rockhurst University the Test Bank by TBD. The IRM includes suggestions for:
▶▶ designing your course,
▶▶ using psychological tests in your course,
▶▶ using student data to teach measurement,
▶▶ using class time,
▶▶ demonstrations, activities, and activity-based lectures.
The IRM also provides a description of integrative assignments found on the
instructor’s companion Web site and unique mock projectives and much more.
The test bank contains more than 800 multiple-choice questions in addition to
many “thought” essay questions.
Acknowledgments
We are highly indebted to the many reviewers and professors who provided feedback that helped shape this textbook. Special thanks go to reviewers of all editions
of the text: Glen M. Adams, Harding University, John Dale Alden III, Lipscomb
University, Steven Anolik, St. Francis College; Michael DeDonno, Barry University, John C. Hotz, St. Cloud State University, Jacqueline Massa, Kean University,
Katherine Noll, University of Illinois at Chicago; Janet Panter, Rhodes College; and
Joneis Frandele Thomas, Howard University; Virginia Allen, Idaho State University,
David Bush, Utah State University; Ira Bernstein, University of Texas, Arlington; Jeff
Conte, San Diego State University, Imogen Hall, University of Windsor, Maureen
Hannah, Siena College; Ronald McLaughlin, Juniata College; Michael Mills, Loyola
Marymount University, Philip Moberg, University of Akron; M. J. Monnot, Central
Michigan University, Jennifer Neemann, University of Baltimore; Karen Obremski
Brandon, University of South Florida; Frederick Oswald, Michigan State University,
S. Mark Pancer, Wilfrid Laurier University, Christopher Ralston, Iowa State University, Sharon Rostosky, University of Kentucky, Stefan Schulenberg, University of
Mississippi; Theresa Sparks, Clayton State University; Chockalingam Viswesvaran,
Florida International University, Mark Wagner, Wagner College; and Nancy Zook
SUNY Purchase.
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Preface
xxi
The nine editions of this book have been developed under seven different
­ engage editors. The earlier editions benefited from the patient and inspired superC
vision of Todd Lueders, C. Deborah Laughton, Phil Curson, Marianne Taflinger,
and Jim Brace-Thompson, and Tim Matray. We are most appreciative of the support
we have received from current content developer, Tangelique Williams-Grayer. She
has been patient, helpful, and very well organized in directing the development of
the current edition. Each of our editors has come to the task with a different personality and a different set of insights. We learned immensely from each of them and
the ninth edition represents a collection of what we have gained from advice and
consultations over many years. We want to give particular thanks to Kate Nicolai
for preparing the student workbook for past editions, and the ninth edition online
Instructor’s Manual. And, we also thank the editorial and production teams, including Jennifer Ziegler, content production manager; Katie Chen, product assistant;
and Sharib Asrar of Lumina Datamatics.
The ninth edition was completed while one of us (RMK) was a fellow at the
Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University.
The Center gratiously provided office space, library services, and collegial support
that greatly facilitated the timely revision of the manuscript.
Robert M. Kaplan
Dennis P. Saccuzzo
September 2016
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About the Authors
ROBERT M. KAPLAN has served as Chief Science Officer at the US Agency
Robert M. Kaplan
for Health Care Research and Quality (AHRQ) and Associate Director of the
National Institutes of Health, where he led the behavioral and social sciences
programs. He is also a Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Health Services and
Medicine at UCLA, where he led the UCLA/RAND AHRQ health services
training program and the UCLA/RAND CDC Prevention Research Center.
He was Chair of the Department of Health Services from 2004 to 2009. From
1997 to 2004 he was Professor and Chair of the Department of Family and
Preventive Medicine, at the University of California, San Diego. He is a past
President of several organizations, including the American Psychological Association Division of Health Psychology, Section J of the American Association
for the Advancement of Science (Pacific), the International Society for Quality of Life Research, the Society for Behavioral Medicine, and the Academy of
Behavioral Medicine Research. Kaplan is a former Editor-in-Chief of Health
Psychology and of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. His 20 books and over 500
articles or chapters have been cited nearly 30,000 times and the ISI includes
him in the listing of the most cited authors in his field (defined as above the
99.5th percentile). Kaplan is an elected member of the National Academy of
Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine). Dr. Kaplan is currently Regenstrief Distinguished Fellow at Purdue University and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Stanford University, where he works with Stanford’s Clinical Excellence
Research Center (CERC).
Robert M. Kaplan
DENNIS P. SACCUZZO is a professor emeritus at San Diego State University, president and co-founder of Applications of Psychology to Law, Inc., an
educational corporation devoted to applying cutting-edge psychological concepts to the law, and a founding partner of Saccuzzo Johnson & Poplin, LLP, a
law firm from which he uses his knowledge of testing and his legal background
to fight for the rights of special education students and other vulnerable groups
of individuals He has been a scholar and practitioner of psychological testing
for over 40 years. He has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications and
professional presentations in the field. Dr. Saccuzzo’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Mental
Health, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Education,
xxii
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About the Authors
xxiii
the Scottish Rite Foundation, and the U.S. armed services. He is also a California-­
licensed psychologist and a California-licensed attorney. He is board certified in
clinical psychology by the American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP).
In addition, he is a diplomate of the American Board of Assessment Psychology
(ABAP). He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and American Psychological Society for outstanding and unusual contributions to the field
of psychology. Dr. Saccuzzo is the author or co-author of over 300 peer-reviewed
papers and publications, including 12 textbooks and over 20 law manuals.
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
CHAPTER
1
Introduction
LE AR N I NG O B J EC TIVES
When you have completed this chapter, you should be able to:
▶▶ Define the basic terms pertaining to psychological
and educational tests
▶▶ Distinguish between an individual test and a group test
▶▶ Define the terms achievement, aptitude, and
intelligence and identify a concept that can
encompass all three terms
▶▶ Distinguish between ability tests and personality tests
▶▶ Define the term structured personality test
▶▶ Explain how structured personality tests differ from
projective personality tests
▶▶ Explain what a normative or standardization sample
is and why such a sample is important
▶▶ Identify the major developments in the history of
psychological testing
▶▶ Explain the relevance of psychological tests in
contemporary society
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
1
2
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
Y
ou are sitting at a table. You have just been fingerprinted and have shown a
picture ID. You look around and see over 200 nervous people. A test proctor
with a stopwatch passes out booklets. You are warned not to open the booklet
until told to do so; you face possible disciplinary action if you disobey. This is not a
nightmare or some futuristic fantasy—this is real.
Finally, after what seems like an eternity, you are told to open your booklet to
page 3 and begin working. Your mouth is dry; your palms are soaking wet. You open
to page 3. You have 10 minutes to solve a five-part problem based on the following
information.1
A car drives into the center ring of a circus and exactly eight clowns—Q, R, S, T, V, W, Y,
and Z—get out of the car, one clown at a time. The order in which the clowns get out of
the car is consistent with the following conditions:
V gets out at some time before both Y and Q.
Q gets out at some time after Z.
T gets out at some time before V but at some time after R.
S gets out at some time after V.
R gets out at some time before W.
Question 1. If Q is the fifth clown to get out of the car, then each of the following could
be true except:
Z is the first clown to get out of the car.
T is the second clown to get out of the car.
V is the third clown to get out of the car.
W is the fourth clown to get out of the car.
Y is the sixth clown to get out of the car.
Not quite sure how to proceed, you look at the next question.
Question 2. If R is the second clown to get out of the car, which of the following must
be true?
S gets out of the car at some time before T does.
T gets out of the car at some time before W does.
W gets out of the car at some time before V does.
Y gets out of the car at some time before Q does.
Z gets out of the car at some time before W does.
Your heart beats a little faster and your mind starts to freeze up. You glance at your
watch and notice that 2 minutes have elapsed and you still don’t have your bearings.
The person sitting next to you looks a bit faint. Welcome to the world of competitive,
“high stakes,” standardized psychological tests. The questions you just faced were
actual problems from a past version of the LSAT—the Law School Admission Test.
Whether or not a student is admitted into law school in the United States is almost
entirely determined by that person’s score on the LSAT and undergraduate college
grade point average. Thus, one’s future can depend to a tremendous extent on a single
score from a single test given in a tension-packed morning or afternoon. Despite
1
Used by permission from the Law School Admission Test, October 2002. Answer to Question 1 is D;
answer to Question 2 is E.
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
3
efforts to improve tests like the LSAT to increase diversity (Kirkland & Hansen,
2011; Pashley, Thornton, & Duffy, 2005), standardized tests tend to disadvantage
women, test takers whose parents have lower incomes and levels of education, and
ethnic minorities (Atkinson & Geiser, 2009).
Partly because of diversity concerns, growing numbers of 4-year colleges are not
relying on the SAT test (Berger 2012; Espenshade & Chung, 2010). In 2011, the
website of the National Center for Fair and Open Testing named hundreds of 4-year
colleges that do not use the SAT test to admit substantial numbers of freshmen
(Fair Test, 2011), and updates the list to keep its website current, http://www.fairtest
.org/university/optional. As a result, there continues to be changes to the SAT to
make it more responsive to modern realities (Wainer, 2014). Similar problems have
appeared on the GRE—the Graduate Record Exam, a test that plays a major role
in determining who gets to study at the graduate level in the United States. (Later
in this book, we discuss how to prepare for such tests and what their significance,
or predictive validity, is.) ETS, creator of the GRE General Test, recently revised
the test in several significant ways. The revised GRE General Test was introduced
on August 1, 2011 (http://www.ets.org/gre/ institutions/about/general), and is now
even being used to evaluate European students (Schwager, Hülsheger, Lang, &
Bridgeman, 2015)
Today, some careers do ride on a single test. Perhaps you have already taken
the GRE or LSAT. Or perhaps you have not graduated yet but are thinking about
applying for an advanced degree or professional program and will soon be facing the
GRE, LSAT, or MCAT (Medical College Admission Test). Clearly, it will help you
have a basic understanding of the multitude of psychological tests people are asked
to take throughout their lives.
From birth, tests have a major influence on our lives. When the pediatrician
strokes the palms of our hands and the soles of our feet, he or she is performing a
test. When we enter school, tests decide whether we pass or fail classes. Testing may
determine if we need special education. In the United States, Europe, and many
other industrialized countries, competence tests determine if students will graduate
from high school (Lamb, 2011; Reardon, Nicole, Allison, & Michal, 2010). More
tests determine which college we may attend. And, of course, we still face more tests
once we are in college.
After graduation, those who choose to avoid tests such as the GRE may need
to take tests to determine where they will work. In the modern world, a large part of
everyone’s life and success depends on test results. Indeed, tests even have worldwide
significance.
For example, 15-year-old children in 32 nations were given problems such as
the following from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
(OECD) and the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
(Schleicher & Tamassia, 2000):
A result of global warming is that ice of some glaciers is melting.
Twelve years after the ice disappears, tiny plants, called lichen, start to grow on the
rocks. Each lichen grows approximately in the shape of a circle.
The relationship between the diameter of the circles and the age of the lichen can
be approximated with the formula: d = 7.0 3 the square root of (t 2 12) for any/less
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4
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
FIGURE 1.1
Approximate average
scores of 15-year-old
students on the OECD
mathematical
literacy test.
International Mathematical Literacy
Scores
Brazil
Mexico
Luxembourg
Greece
Portugal
Italy
Latvia
Poland
Spain
Russia
Hungary
Germany
U.S.A.
Czech Rep.
Norway
Ireland
Sweden
Liechtenstein
Iceland
Denmark
Austria
France
Belgium
U.K.
Switzerland
Canada
Australia
Finland
New Zealand
Japan
Korea
300
350
400
450
Points
500
550
600
Statistics used by permission of the OECD and PISA. Figure courtesy of W. J. Koen
than or equal to 12, where d represents the diameter of the lichen in millimeters, and t
represents the number of years after the ice has disappeared.
Calculate the diameter of the lichen 16 years after the ice disappeared. The complete and correct answer is:
d 5 7.0 3 the square root of 116212 mm2
d 5 7.0 3 the square root of 4 mm
d 5 14 mm
Eighteen countries ranked above the United States in the percentage of 15-yearolds who had mastered such concepts (see Figure 1.1).
The results were similar for an OECD science literacy test (see Figure 1.2),
which had questions such as the following:
A bus is moving along a straight stretch of road. The bus driver, named Ray, has a cup
of water resting in a holder on the dashboard. Suddenly Ray has to slam on the brakes.
Copyright 2018 Cengage Learning. All Rights Reserved. May not be copied, scanned, or duplicated, in whole or in part. WCN 02-200-203
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
FIGURE 1.2
Approximate average
scores of 15-year-old
students on the OECD
scientific literacy test.
5
International Scientific Literacy
Scores
Brazil
Mexico
Luxembourg
Portugal
Latvia
Russia
Greece
Liechtenstein
Italy
Denmark
Poland
Germany
Spain
Switzerland
Belgium
Iceland
Hungary
U.S.A.
Norway
France
Czech Rep.
Sweden
Ireland
Austria
Australia
New Zealand
Canada
U.K.
Finland
Japan
Korea
300
350
400
450
Points
500
550
600
Statistics used by permission of the OECD and PISA. Figure courtesy of W. J. Koen
What is most likely to happen to the water in the cup immediately after Ray slams on
the brakes?
A. The water will stay horizontal.
B. The water will spill over side 1.
C. The water will spill over side 2.
D. The water will spill but you cannot tell if it will spill over side 1 or side 2.
The correct answer is C.
How useful are tests such as these? Do they measure anything meaningful?
How accurate are they? Such questions concern not only every U.S. citizen but also
all members of the highly competitive international community. To answer them, you
must understand the principles of psychological testing that you are about to learn.
To answer questions about tests, you must understand the concepts presented
in this book, such as reliability, validity, item analysis, and test construction. A full
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6
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
understanding of these concepts will require careful study and knowledge of basic
statistics, but your efforts will be richly rewarded. When you finish this book, you
will be a better consumer of tests.
Basic Concepts
You are probably already familiar with some of the elementary concepts of psychological testing. For the sake of clarity, however, we shall begin with definitions of the
most basic terms so that you will know how they are used in this textbook.
What a Test Is
Everyone has had experience with tests. A test is a measurement device or technique used to quantify behavior or aid in the understanding and prediction of behavior. A spelling test, for example, measures how well someone spells or the extent
to which someone has learned to spell a specific list of words. At some time during
the next few weeks, your instructor will likely want to measure how well you have
learned the material in this book. To accomplish this, your instructor may give you
a test.
As you well know, the test your instructor gives may not measure your full
understanding of the material. This is because a test measures only a sample of
behavior, and error is always associated with a sampling process. Test scores are not
perfect measures of a behavior or characteristic, but they do add significantly to the
prediction process, as you will see.
An item is a specific stimulus to which a person responds overtly; this response
can be scored or evaluated (e.g., classified, graded on a scale, or counted). Because
psychological and educational tests are made up of items, the data they produce are
explicit and hence subject to scientific inquiry.
In simple terms, items are the specific questions or problems that make up a
test. The problems presented at the beginning of this chapter are examples of test
items. The overt response would be to fill in or blacken one of the spaces:
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
A psychological test or educational test is a set of items that are designed
to measure characteristics of human beings that pertain to behavior. There are
many types of behavior. Overt behavior is an individual’s observable activity. Some
psychological tests attempt to measure the extent to which someone might engage
in or “emit” a particular overt behavior. Other tests measure how much a person has
previously engaged in some overt behavior. Behavior can also be covert—that is, it
takes place within an individual and cannot be directly observed. For example, your
feelings and thoughts are types of covert behavior. Some tests attempt to measure
such behavior. Psychological and educational tests thus measure past or current
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
7
behavior. Some also attempt to predict future behavior, such as success in college or
in an advanced degree program.
Scores on tests may be related to traits, which are enduring characteristics or
tendencies to respond in a certain manner. “Determination,” sometimes seen as
“stubbornness,” is an example of a trait; “shyness” is another. Test scores may also be
related to the state, or the specific condition or status, of an individual. A determined
individual after many setbacks may, for instance, be in a weakened state and therefore be
less inclined than usual to manifest determination. Tests measure many types of behavior.
What does it mean when someone gets 75 items correct on a 100-item test?
One thing it means, of course, is that 75% of the items were answered correctly. In
many situations, however, knowing the percentage of correct items a person obtained
can be misleading. Consider two extreme examples. In one case, out of 100 students
who took the exam, 99 had 90% correct or higher, and 1 had 75% correct. In another
case, 99 of the 100 students had scores of 25% or lower, while 1 had 75% correct.
The meaning of the scores can change dramatically, depending on how a welldefined sample of individuals scores on a test. In the first case, a score of 75% is poor
because it is in the bottom of the distribution; in the second case, 75% is actually a
top score. To deal with such problems of interpretation, psychologists make use of
scales, which relate raw scores on test items to some defined theoretical or empirical
distribution. Later in the book you will learn about such distributions.
Types of Tests
Just as there are many types of behavior, so there are many types of tests. Those
that can be given to only one person at a time are known as individual tests (see
­F igure 1.3). The examiner or test administrator (the person giving the test) gives
FIGURE 1.3
An individual test
administration.
Steve Debenport/Getty Images
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8
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
the test to only one person at a time, the same way that psychotherapists see only
one person at a time. A group test, by contrast, can be administered to more than
one person at a time by a single examiner, such as when an instructor gives everyone
in the class a test at the same time.
One can also categorize tests according to the type of behavior they measure.
Ability tests contain items that can be scored in terms of speed, accuracy, or both.
On an ability test, the faster or the more accurate your responses, the better your
scores on a particular characteristic. The more algebra problems you can correctly
solve in a given amount of time, the higher you score in ability to solve such
problems.
Historically, experts have distinguished among achievement, aptitude, and
intelligence as different types of ability. Achievement refers to previous learning.
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. A spelling aptitude test measures how many words you
might be able to spell given a certain amount of training, education, and experience.
Your musical aptitude refers in part to how well you might be able to learn to play
a musical instrument given a certain number of lessons. Traditionally distinguished
from achievement and aptitude, intelligence refers to a person’s general potential to
solve problems, adapt to changing circumstances, think abstractly, and profit from
experience. When we say a person is “smart,” we are usually referring to intelligence.
When a father scolds his daughter because she has not done as well in school as she
can, he most likely believes that she has not used her intelligence (general potential)
to achieve (acquire new knowledge).
The distinctions among achievement, aptitude, and intelligence are not always
so cut-and-dried because all three are highly interrelated. Attempts to separate prior
learning from potential for learning, for example, have not succeeded. In view of
the considerable overlap of achievement, aptitude, and intelligence tests, all three
concepts are encompassed by the term human ability.
There is a clear-cut distinction between ability tests and personality tests.
Whereas ability tests are related to capacity or potential, personality tests are related
to the overt and covert dispositions of the individual—for example, the tendency of
a person to show a particular behavior or response in a given situation. Remaining
isolated from others, for instance, does not require any special skill or ability, but
some people typically prefer or tend to remain thus isolated. Personality tests
measure typical behavior.
There are several types of personality tests. In Chapter 13, you will learn
about structured, or objective, personality tests. Structured personality tests
provide a statement, usually of the “self-report” variety, and require the subject to
choose between two or more alternative responses such as ‘True” or “False” (see
Figure 1.4).
In contrast to structured personality tests, projective personality tests are
unstructured. In a projective personality test, either the stimulus (test materials)
or the required response—or both—are ambiguous. For example, in the highly
controversial Rorschach test, the stimulus is an inkblot. Furthermore, rather than
being asked to choose among alternative responses, as in structured personality tests,
the individual is asked to provide a spontaneous response. The inkblot is presented
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
FIGURE 1.4
Self-report test items.
True
9
False
1. I like heavy metal music.
2. I believe that honesty is the best policy.
3. I am in good health.
4. I am easily fatigued.
5. I sleep well at night.
TABLE 1.1
Types of Tests
I. Ability tests: Measure skills in terms of speed, accuracy, or both.
A. Achievement: Measures previous learning.
B. Aptitude: Measures potential for acquiring a specific skill.
C. Intelligence: Measures potential to solve problems, adapt to changing
circumstances, and profit from experience.
II. Personality tests: Measure typical behavior—traits, temperaments, and
dispositions.
A. Structured (objective): Provides a self-report statement to which the person
responds “True” or “False,” “Yes” or “No.”
B. 
Projective: Provides an ambiguous test stimulus; response requirements are
unclear.
to the subject, who is asked, “What might this be?” Projective tests assume that a
person’s interpretation of an ambiguous stimulus will reflect his or her unique
characteristics (see Chapter 14).
See Table 1.1 for a brief overview of ability and personality tests.
Psychological testing refers to all the possible uses, applications, and
underlying concepts of psychological and educational tests. The main use of these
tests, though, is to evaluate individual differences or variations among individuals.
Such tests measure individual differences in ability and personality and assume that
the differences shown on the test reflect actual differences among individuals. For
instance, individuals who score high on an IQ test are assumed to have a higher
degree of intelligence than those who obtain low scores. Thus, the most important
purpose of testing is to differentiate among those taking the tests. We shall discuss
the idea of individual differences later in this chapter.
Overview of the Book
This book is divided into three parts: Principles, Applications, and Issues. Together,
these parts cover psychological testing from the most basic ideas to the most complex. Basic ideas and events are introduced early and stressed throughout to reinforce
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10
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
what you have just learned. In covering principles, applications, and issues, we intend
to provide not only the who’s of psychological testing but also the how’s and why’s
of major developments in the field. We also address an important concern of many
students—relevance—by examining the diverse uses of tests and the resulting data.
Principles of Psychological Testing
By principles of psychological testing, we mean the basic concepts and fundamental
ideas that underlie all psychological and educational tests. Chapters 2 and 3 present
statistical concepts that provide the foundation for understanding tests. Chapters 4
and 5 cover two of the most fundamental concepts in testing: reliability and validity.
Reliability refers to the accuracy, dependability, consistency, or repeatability of test
results. In more technical terms, reliability refers to the degree to which test scores are
free of measurement errors. As you will learn, there are many ways a test can be reliable. For example, test results may be reliable over time, which means that when the
same test is given twice within any given time interval, the results tend to be the same
or highly similar. Validity refers to the meaning and usefulness of test results. More
specifically, validity refers to the degree to which a certain inference or interpretation
based on a test is appropriate. When one asks the question, “What does this psychological test measure?” one is essentially asking “For what inference is this test valid?”
Another principle of psychological testing concerns how a test is created or
constructed. In Chapter 6, we present the principles of test construction. The act of
giving a test is known as test administration, which is the main topic of Chapter 7.
Though some tests are easy to administer, others must be administered in a highly
specific way. The final chapter of Part I covers the fundamentals of administering a
psychological test.
Applications of Psychological Testing
Part II, on applications, provides a detailed analysis of many of the most popular
tests and how they are used or applied. It begins with an overview of the essential
terms and concepts that relate to the application of tests. Chapter 8 discusses interviewing techniques. An interview is a method of gathering information through
verbal interaction, such as direct questions. Not only has the interview traditionally
served as a major technique of gathering psychological information in general, but
also data from interviews provide an important complement to test results.
Chapters 9 and 10 cover individual tests of human ability. In these chapters,
you will learn not only about tests but also about the theories of intelligence that
underlie them. In Chapter 11, we cover testing in education with an emphasis on
special education. In Chapter 12, we present group tests of human ability. Chapter 13
covers structured personality tests, and Chapter 14 covers projective personality
tests. In Chapter 15, we discuss the important role of computers in the testing field.
We also consider the influence of cognitive psychology, which today is the most
prominent of the various schools of thought within psychology (Gentner, 2010;
Klauer, Voss, & Stahl, 2011; Rips, 2011).
These chapters not only provide descriptive information but also delve into
the ideas underlying the various tests. Chapter 16 examines interest tests, which
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction 11
measure behavior relevant to such factors as occupational preferences. Chapter 17
reviews the relatively new area of medical testing for brain damage and health status.
It also covers important recent advancements in developmental neuropsychology.
Finally, Chapter 18 covers tests for industrial and organizational psychology and
business.
Issues of Psychological Testing
Many social and theoretical issues, such as the controversial topic of racial differences
in ability, accompany testing. Part III covers many of these issues. As a compromise
between breadth and depth of coverage, we focus on a comprehensive discussion of
those issues that have particular importance in the current professional, social, and
political environment.
Chapter 19 examines test bias, one of the most volatile issues in the field
(Cormier, McGrew, & Evans, 2011; Moreno & Mickie, 2011). Because psychological
tests have been accused of being discriminatory or biased against certain groups,
this chapter takes a careful look at both sides of the argument. Because of charges
of bias and other problems, psychological testing is increasingly coming under the
scrutiny of the law (Caffrey, 2009; Saccuzzo, 1999). Chapter 20 examines test bias
as related to legal issues and discusses testing and the law. Chapter 21 presents a
general overview of other major issues currently shaping the future of psychological
testing in the United States with an emphasis on ethics. From our review of the
issues, we also speculate on what the future holds for psychological testing.
Historical Perspective
We now briefly provide the historical context of psychological testing. This discussion touches on some of the material presented earlier in this chapter.
Early Antecedents
Most of the major developments in testing have occurred over the last century, many
of them in the United States. The origins of testing, however, are neither recent nor
American. Evidence suggests that the Chinese had a relatively sophisticated civil
service testing program more than 4000 years ago (DuBois, 1970, 1972). Every third
year in China, oral examinations were given to help determine work evaluations and
promotion decisions.
By the Han Dynasty (206–220 B.C.E.), the use of test batteries (two or more
tests used in conjunction) was quite common. These early tests related to such
diverse topics as civil law, military affairs, agriculture, revenue, and geography. Tests
had become quite well developed by the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644 C.E.). During
this period, a national multistage testing program involved local and regional testing
centers equipped with special testing booths. Those who did well on the tests at
the local level went on to provincial capitals for more extensive essay examinations.
After this second testing, those with the highest test scores went on to the nation’s
capital for a final round. Only those who passed this third set of tests were eligible
for public office.
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
The Western world most likely learned about testing programs through the
Chinese. Reports by British missionaries and diplomats encouraged the English
East India Company in 1832 to copy the Chinese system as a method of selecting
employees for overseas duty. Because testing programs worked well for the company,
the British government adopted a similar system of testing for its civil service in
1855. After the British endorsement of a civil service testing system, the French
and German governments followed suit. In 1883, the U.S. government established
the American Civil Service Commission, which developed and administered
competitive examinations for certain government jobs. The impetus of the testing
movement in the Western world grew rapidly at that time (Wiggins, 1973).
Charles Darwin and Individual Differences
FIGURE 1.5
Sir Francis Galton.
Perhaps the most basic concept underlying psychological and educational testing
pertains to individual differences. No two snowflakes are identical, no two fingerprints the same. Similarly, no two people are exactly alike in ability and typical behavior. As we have noted, tests are specifically designed to measure these individual
differences in ability and personality among people.
Although human beings realized long ago that individuals differ, developing
tools for measuring such differences was no easy matter. To develop a measuring
device, we must understand what we want to measure. An important step toward
understanding individual differences came with the publication of Charles Darwin’s
highly influential book The Origin of Species in 1859. According to Darwin’s theory,
higher forms of life evolved partially because of differences among individual forms
of life within a species. Given that individual members of a species differ, some
possess characteristics that are more adaptive or successful in a given environment
than are those of other members. Darwin also believed that those with the best or
most adaptive characteristics survive at the expense of those who are less fit and
that the survivors pass their characteristics on to the next generation. Through this
process, he argued, life has evolved to its currently complex and intelligent levels.
Sir Francis Galton, a relative of Darwin, soon began applying Darwin’s theories
to the study of human beings (see Figure 1.5).
Given the concepts of survival of the fittest and
individual differences, Galton set out to show that
some people possessed characteristics that made
them more fit than others, a theory he articulated
in his book Hereditary Genius, published in 1869.
Galton (1883) subsequently began a series of
experimental studies to document the validity of
his position. He concentrated on demonstrating
that individual differences exist in human
sensory and motor functioning, such as reaction
time, visual acuity, and physical strength. In
doing so, Galton initiated a search for knowledge
concerning human individual differences, which
is now one of the most important domains of
scientific psychology.
(From the National Library of Medicine)
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction 13
Galton’s work was extended by the U.S. psychologist James McKeen Cattell, who
coined the term mental test (Cattell, 1890). Cattell’s doctoral dissertation was based on
Galton’s work on individual differences in reaction time. As such, Cattell perpetuated
and stimulated the forces that ultimately led to the development of modern tests.
Experimental Psychology and Psychophysical Measurement
A second major foundation of testing can be found in experimental psychology and
early attempts to unlock the mysteries of human consciousness through the scientific
method. Before psychology was practiced as a science, mathematical models of the
mind were developed, in particular those of J. E. Herbart. Herbart eventually used
these models as the basis for educational theories that strongly influenced 19th-century educational practices. Following Herbart, E. H. Weber attempted to demonstrate the existence of a psychological threshold, the minimum stimulus necessary to
activate a sensory system. Then, following Weber, G. T. Fechner devised the law that
the strength of a sensation grows as the logarithm of the stimulus intensity.
Wilhelm Wundt, who set up a laboratory at the University of Leipzig in 1879,
is credited with founding the science of psychology, following in the tradition of
Weber and Fechner (Hearst, 1979). Wundt was succeeded by E. B. Titchner, whose
student, G. Whipple, recruited L. L. Thurstone. Whipple provided the basis for
immense changes in the field of testing by conducting a seminar at the Carnegie
Institute in 1919 attended by Thurstone, E. Strong, and other early prominent U.S.
psychologists. From this seminar came the Carnegie Interest Inventory and later the
Strong Vocational Interest Blank. Later in this book, we discuss in greater detail the
work of these pioneers and the tests they helped develop.
Thus, psychological testing developed from at least two lines of inquiry: one
based on the work of Darwin, Galton, and Cattell on the measurement of individual
differences, and the other (more theoretically relevant and probably stronger) based
on the work of the German psychophysicists Herbart, Weber, Fechner, and Wundt.
Experimental psychology developed from the latter. From this work also came the idea
that testing, like an experiment, requires rigorous experimental control. Such control,
as you will see, comes from administering tests under highly standardized conditions.
The efforts of these researchers, however necessary, did not by themselves lead
to the creation of modern psychological tests. Such tests also arose in response to
important needs such as classifying and identifying the mentally and emotionally
handicapped. One of the earliest tests resembling current procedures, the Seguin
Form Board Test (Seguin, 1866/1907), was developed in an effort to educate and
evaluate the mentally disabled. Similarly, Kraepelin (1912) devised a series of
examinations for evaluating emotionally impaired people.
An important breakthrough in the creation of modern tests came at the turn of
the 20th century. The French minister of public instruction appointed a commission
to study ways of identifying intellectually subnormal individuals in order to provide
them with appropriate educational experiences. One member of that commission
was Alfred Binet. Working in conjunction with the French physician T. Simon,
Binet developed the first major general intelligence test. Binet’s early effort launched
the first systematic attempt to evaluate individual differences in human intelligence
(see Chapter 9).
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14
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
The Evolution of Intelligence and Standardized
Achievement Tests
The history and evolution of Binet’s intelligence test are instructive. The first
version of the test, known as the Binet-Simon Scale, was published in 1905. This
instrument contained 30 items of increasing difficulty and was designed to identify intellectually subnormal individuals. Like all well-constructed tests, the BinetSimon Scale of 1905 was augmented by a comparison or standardization sample.
Binet’s standardization sample consisted of 50 children who had been given the test
under standard conditions—that is, with precisely the same instructions and format.
In obtaining this standardization sample, the authors of the Binet test had norms
with which they could compare the results from any new subject. Without such
norms, the meaning of scores would have been difficult, if not impossible, to evaluate. However, by knowing such things as the average number of correct responses
found in the standardization sample, one could at least state whether a new subject
was below or above it.
It is easy to understand the importance of a standardization sample. However,
the importance of obtaining a standardization sample that represents the population
for which a test will be used has sometimes been ignored or overlooked by test users.
For example, if a standardization sample consists of 50 white men from wealthy
families, then one cannot easily or fairly evaluate the score of an African American
girl from a poverty-stricken family. Nevertheless, comparisons of this kind are
sometimes made. Clearly, it is not appropriate to compare an individual with a group
that does not have the same characteristics as the individual.
Binet was aware of the importance of a standardization sample. Further
development of the Binet test involved attempts to increase the size and
representativeness of the standardization sample. A representative sample is one
that comprises individuals similar to those for whom the test is to be used. When
the test is used for the general population, a representative sample must reflect all
segments of the population in proportion to their actual numbers.
By 1908, the Binet-Simon Scale had been substantially improved. It was revised
to include nearly twice as many items as the 1905 scale. Even more significantly,
the size of the standardization sample was increased to more than 200. The 1908
Binet-Simon Scale also determined a child’s mental age, thereby introducing a
historically significant concept. In simplified terms, you might think of mental age
as a measurement of a child’s performance on the test relative to other children of
that particular age group. If a child’s test performance equals that of the average
8-year-old, for example, then his or her mental age is 8. In other words, in terms of
the abilities measured by the test, this child can be viewed as having a similar level of
ability as the average 8-year-old. The chronological age of the child may be 4 or 12,
but in terms of test performance, the child functions at the same level as the average
8-year-old. The mental age concept was one of the most important contributions of
the revised 1908 Binet-Simon Scale.
In 1911, the Binet-Simon Scale received a minor revision. By this time, the
idea of intelligence testing had swept across the world. By 1916, L. M. Terman of
Stanford University had revised the Binet test for use in the United States. Terman’s
revision, known as the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (Terman, 1916), was the
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction 15
only American version of the Binet test that flourished. It also characterizes one of
the most important trends in testing—the drive toward better tests.
Terman’s 1916 revision of the Binet-Simon Scale contained many improvements.
The standardization sample was increased to include 1,000 people, original items
were revised, and many new items were added. Terman’s 1916 Stanford-Binet
Intelligence Scale added respectability and momentum to the newly developing
testing movement.
World War I
The testing movement grew enormously in the United States because of the demand for a quick efficient way of evaluating the emotional and intellectual functioning of thousands of military recruits in World War I. The war created a demand for
large-scale group testing because relatively few trained personnel could evaluate the
huge influx of military recruits. However, the Binet test was an individual test.
Shortly after the United States became actively involved in World War I,
the army requested the assistance of Robert Yerkes, who was then the president
of the American Psychological Association (see Yerkes, 1921). Yerkes headed
a committee of distinguished psychologists who soon developed two structured
group tests of human abilities: the Army Alpha and the Army Beta. The Army
Alpha required reading ability, whereas the Army Beta measured the intelligence
of illiterate adults.
World War I fueled the widespread development of group tests. About this time,
the scope of testing also broadened to include tests of achievement, aptitude, interest,
and personality. Because achievement, aptitude, and intelligence tests overlapped
considerably, the distinctions proved to be more illusory than real. Even so, the 1916
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale had appeared at a time of strong demand and high
optimism for the potential of measuring human behavior through tests. World War I
and the creation of group tests had then added momentum to the testing movement.
Shortly after the appearance of the 1916 Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale and the
Army Alpha test, schools, colleges, and industry began using tests. It appeared to
many that this new phenomenon, the psychological test, held the key to solving the
problems emerging from the rapid growth of population and technology.
Achievement Tests
Among the most important developments following World War I was the development of standardized achievement tests. In contrast to essay tests, 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.
Standardized achievement tests caught on quickly because of the relative ease
of administration and scoring and the lack of subjectivity or favoritism that can
occur in essay or other written tests. In school settings, standardized achievement
tests allowed one to maintain identical testing conditions and scoring standards for
a large number of children. Such tests also allowed a broader coverage of content
and were less expensive and more efficient than essays. In 1923, the development
of standardized achievement tests culminated in the publication of the Stanford
Achievement Test by T. L. Kelley, G. M. Ruch, and L. M. Terman.
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16
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
By the 1930s, it was widely held that the objectivity and reliability of these new
standardized tests made them superior to essay tests. Their use proliferated widely.
It is interesting, as we shall discuss later in the book that teachers of today appear to
have come full circle. Currently, many people favor written tests and work samples
(portfolios) over standardized achievement tests as the best way to evaluate children,
and reduce or prevent marginalization of minority children (Watson, 2015).
Rising to the Challenge
For every movement there is a countermovement, and the testing movement in the
United States in the 1930s was no exception. Critics soon became vocal enough to
dampen enthusiasm and to make even the most optimistic advocates of tests defensive. Researchers, who demanded nothing short of the highest standards, noted the
limitations and weaknesses of existing tests. Not even the Stanford-Binet, a landmark in the testing field, was safe from criticism. Although tests were used between
the two world wars and many new tests were developed, their accuracy and utility
remained under heavy fire.
Near the end of the 1930s, developers began to reestablish the respectability of
tests. New, improved tests reflected the knowledge and experience of the previous
two decades. By 1937, the Stanford-Binet had been revised again. Among the
many improvements was the inclusion of a standardization sample of more than
3000 individuals. A mere 2 years after the 1937 revision of the Stanford-Binet test,
David Wechsler published the first version of the Wechsler intelligence scales (see
Chapter 10), the Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale (W-B) (Wechsler, 1939). The
Wechsler-Bellevue scale contained several interesting innovations in intelligence
testing. Unlike the Stanford-Binet test, which produced only a single score (the socalled IQ, or intelligence quotient), Wechsler’s test yielded several scores, permitting
an analysis of an individual’s pattern or combination of abilities.
Among the various scores produced by the Wechsler test was the performance
IQ. Performance tests do not require a verbal response; one can use them to evaluate
intelligence in people who have few verbal or language skills. The Stanford-Binet
test had long been criticized because of its emphasis on language and verbal skills,
making it inappropriate for many individuals, such as those who cannot speak or
who cannot read. In addition, few people believed that language or verbal skills play
an exclusive role in human intelligence. Wechsler’s inclusion of a nonverbal scale
thus helped overcome some of the practical and theoretical weaknesses of the Binet
test. In 1986, the Binet test was drastically revised to include performance subtests.
More recently, it was overhauled again in 2003, as we shall see in Chapter 9. (Other
important concepts in intelligence testing will be formally defined in Chapter 10,
which covers the various forms of the Wechsler intelligence scales.)
Personality Tests: 1920–1940
Just before and after World War II, personality tests began to blossom. Whereas intelligence tests measured ability or potential, personality tests measured presumably
stable characteristics or traits that theoretically underlie behavior. Traits are relatively enduring dispositions (tendencies to act, think, or feel in a certain manner in
any given circumstance) that distinguish one individual from another. For example,
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction 17
we say that some people are optimistic and some pessimistic. Optimistic people tend
to remain so regardless of whether or not things are going well. A pessimist, by contrast, tends to look at the negative side of things. Optimism and pessimism can thus
be viewed as traits. One of the basic goals of traditional personality tests is to measure traits. As you will learn, however, the notion of traits has important limitations.
The earliest personality tests were structured paper-and-pencil group tests.
These tests provided multiple-choice and true-false questions that could be
administered to a large group. Because it provides a high degree of structure—that
is, a definite stimulus and specific alternative responses that can be unequivocally
scored—this sort of test is a type of structured personality test. The first structured
personality test, the Woodworth Personal Data Sheet, was developed during World
War I and was published in final form just after the war (see Figure 1.6).
As indicated earlier, the motivation underlying the development of the first
personality test was the need to screen military recruits. History indicates that tests
such as the Binet and the Woodworth were created by necessity to meet unique
challenges. Like the early ability tests, however, the first structured personality test
was simple by today’s standards. Interpretation of the Woodworth test depended
on the now-discredited assumption that the content of an item could be accepted
at face value. If the person marked “False” for the statement “I wet the bed,” then
it was assumed that he or she did not “wet the bed.” As logical as this assumption
seems, experience has shown that it is often false. In addition to being dishonest, the
person responding to the question may not interpret the meaning of “wet the bed”
the same way as the test administrator does. (Other problems with tests such as the
Woodworth are discussed in Chapter 13.)
The introduction of the Woodworth test was enthusiastically followed by
the creation of a variety of structured personality tests, all of which assumed that
a subject’s response could be taken at face value. However, researchers scrutinized,
analyzed, and criticized the early structured personality tests, just as they had
done with the ability tests. Indeed, the criticism of tests that relied on face value
alone became so intense that structured personality tests were nearly driven out of
existence. The development of new tests based on more modern concepts followed,
revitalizing the use of structured personality tests. Thus, after an initial surge of
interest and optimism during most of the 1920s, structured personality tests declined
FIGURE 1.6
The Woodworth
Personal Data Sheet
represented an attempt
to standardize the
psychiatric interview. It
contains questions such
as those shown here.
Yes
No
1. I wet the bed.
2. I drink a quart of whiskey each day.
3. I am afraid of closed spaces.
4. I believe I am being followed.
5. People are out to get me.
6. Sometimes I see or hear things that other
people do not hear or see.
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18
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
FIGURE 1.7
Card 1 of the Rorschach
inkblot test, a projective
personality test.
Such tests provide an
ambiguous stimulus to
which a subject is asked
to make some response.
by the late 1930s and early 1940s. Following World War II, however, personality
tests based on fewer or different assumptions were introduced, thereby rescuing the
structured personality test.
During the brief but dramatic rise and fall of the first structured personality tests,
interest in projective tests began to grow. In contrast to structured personality tests,
which in general provide a relatively unambiguous test stimulus and specific alternative
responses, projective personality tests provide an ambiguous stimulus and unclear
response requirements. Furthermore, the scoring of projective tests is often subjective.
Unlike the early structured personality tests, interest in the projective Rorschach
inkblot test grew slowly (see Figure 1.7). The Rorschach test was first published by
Herman Rorschach of Switzerland in 1921. However, several years passed before
the Rorschach came to the United States, where David Levy introduced it. The
first Rorschach doctoral dissertation written in a U.S. university was not completed
until 1932, when Sam Beck, Levy’s student, decided to investigate the properties of
the Rorschach test scientifically. Although initial interest in the Rorschach test was
lukewarm at best, its popularity grew rapidly after Beck’s work despite suspicion,
doubt, and criticism from the scientific community. Today, however, the Rorschach is
under a dark cloud (see Chapter 14).
Adding to the momentum for the acceptance and use of projective tests was
the development of the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) by Henry Murray
and Christina Morgan in 1935. Whereas the Rorschach test contained completely
ambiguous inkblot stimuli, the TAT was more structured. Its stimuli consisted of
ambiguous pictures depicting a variety of scenes and situations, such as a boy sitting
in front of a table with a violin on it. Unlike the Rorschach test, which asked the
subject to explain what the inkblot might be, the TAT required the subject to make
up a story about the ambiguous scene. The TAT purported to measure human needs
and thus to ascertain individual differences in motivation.
The Emergence of New Approaches to Personality Testing
The popularity of the two most important projective personality tests, the Rorschach
and TAT, grew rapidly by the late 1930s and early 1940s, perhaps because of disillusionment with structured personality tests (Dahlstrom, 1969a). However, as we
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction 19
shall see in Chapter 14, projective tests, particularly the Rorschach, have not withstood a vigorous examination of their psychometric properties (Wood, L
­ ilienfeld,
­Nezworski, Garb, Allen, & Wildermuth, 2010).
In 1943, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) began a new
era for structured personality tests. The idea behind the MMPI—to use empirical
methods to determine the meaning of a test response—helped revolutionize structured
personality tests. The problem with early structured personality tests such as the
Woodworth was that they made far too many assumptions that subsequent scientific
investigations failed to substantiate. The authors of the MMPI, by contrast, argued
that the meaning of a test response could be determined only by empirical research.
The MMPI, along with its updated companion the MMPI-2 (Butcher, 1989, 1990),
is currently the most widely used and referenced personality test. Its emphasis on the
need for empirical data has stimulated the development of tens of thousands of studies.
Just about the time the MMPI appeared, personality tests based on the statistical
procedure called factor analysis began to emerge. Factor analysis is a method of
finding the minimum number of dimensions (characteristics, attributes), called
factors, to account for a large number of variables. We may say a person is outgoing, is
gregarious, seeks company, is talkative, and enjoys relating to others. However, these
descriptions contain a certain amount of redundancy. A factor analysis can identify
how much they overlap and whether they can all be accounted for or subsumed
under a single dimension (or factor) such as extroversion.
In the early 1940s, J. R. Guilford made the first serious attempt to use factor
analytic techniques in the development of a structured personality test. By the
end of that decade, R. B. Cattell had introduced the Sixteen Personality Factor
Questionnaire (16PF); despite its declining popularity, it remains one of the most
well-constructed structured personality tests and an important example of a test
developed with the aid of factor analysis. Today, factor analysis is a tool used in the
design or validation of just about all major tests. (Factor analytic personality tests
will be discussed in Chapter 13.) See Table 1.2 for a brief overview of personality
tests.
TABLE 1.2
Summary of Personality Tests
Woodworth Personal Data Sheet: An early structured personality test that assumed
that a test response can be taken at face value.
The Rorschach Inkblot Test: A highly controversial projective test that provided an
ambiguous stimulus (an inkblot) and asked the subject what it might be.
The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): A projective test that provided ambiguous
pictures and asked subjects to make up a story.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): A structured personality
test that made no assumptions about the meaning of a test response. Such meaning
was to be determined by empirical research.
The California Psychological Inventory (CPI): A structured personality test
developed according to the same principles as the MMPI.
The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF): A structured personality test
based on the statistical procedure of factor analysis.
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20
CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction
The Period of Rapid Changes in the Status of Testing
The 1940s saw not only the emergence of a whole new technology in psychological
testing but also the growth of applied aspects of psychology. The role and significance of tests used in World War I were reaffirmed in World War II. By this time,
the U.S. government had begun to encourage the continued development of applied
psychological technology. As a result, considerable federal funding provided paid,
supervised training for clinically oriented psychologists. By 1949, formal university
training standards had been developed and accepted, and clinical psychology was
born. Other applied branches of psychology—such as industrial, counseling, educational, and school psychology—soon began to blossom.
One of the major functions of the applied psychologist was providing psychological
testing. The Shakow, Hilgard, Kelly, Sanford, and Shaffer (1947) report, which was
the foundation of the formal training standards in clinical psychology, specified
that psychological testing was a unique function of the clinical psychologist and
recommended that testing methods be taught only to doctoral psychology students.
A position paper of the American Psychological Association published 7 years later
(APA, 1954) affirmed that the domain of the clinical psychologist included testing. It
formally declared, however, that the psychologist would conduct psychotherapy only
in “true” collaboration with physicians. Thus, psychologists could conduct testing
independently, but not psychotherapy. Indeed, as long as psychologists assumed the
role of testers, they played a complementary but often secondary role vis-à-vis medical
practitioners. Though the medical profession could have hindered the emergence of
clinical psychology, it did not, because as tester the psychologist aided the physician.
Therefore, in the late 1940s and early 1950s, testing was the major function of the
clinical psychologist (Shaffer, 1953).
For better or worse, depending on one’s perspective, the government’s efforts
to stimulate the development of applied aspects of psychology, especially clinical
psychology, were extremely successful. Hundreds of highly talented and creative
young people were attracted to clinical and other applied areas of psychology. These
individuals, who would use tests and other psychological techniques to solve practical
human problems, were uniquely trained as practitioners of the principles, empirical
foundations, and applications of the science of psychology.
Armed with powerful knowledge from scientific psychology, many of these early
clinical practitioners must have felt frustrated by their relationship to physicians
(see Saccuzzo & Kaplan, 1984). Unable to engage independently in the practice
of psychotherapy, some psychologists felt like technicians serving the medical
profession. The highly talented group of post-World War II psychologists quickly
began to reject this secondary role. Further, because many psychologists associated
tests with this secondary relationship, they rejected testing (Lewandowski &
Saccuzzo, 1976). At the same time, the potentially intrusive nature of tests and fears
of misuse began to create public suspicion, distrust, and contempt for tests. Attacks
on testing came from within and without the profession. These attacks intensified
and multiplied so fast that many psychologists jettisoned all ties to the traditional
tests developed during the first half of the 20th century. Testing therefore underwent
another sharp decline in status in the late 1950s that persisted into the 1970s (see
Holt, 1967).
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CHAPTER 1 ● Introduction 21
The Current Environment
Beginning in the 1980s and through the present, several major branches of applied
psychology emerged and flourished: neuropsychology, health psychology, forensic
psychology, and child psychology. Because each of these important areas of psychology makes extensive use of psychological tests, psychological testing again grew in
status and use. Neuropsychologists use tests in hospitals and other clinical settings to
assess brain injury. Health psychologists use tests and surveys in a variety of medical
settings. Forensic psychologists use tests in the legal system to assess mental state
as it relates to an insanity defense, competency to stand trial or to be executed, and
emotional damages. Child psychologists use tests to assess childhood disorders. Tests
are presently in use in developed countries throughout the world (Black & William,
2007; Schwager et al., 2015). As in the past, psychological testing remains one of the
most important yet controversial topics in psychology.
As a student, no matter what your occupational or professional goals, you will
find the material in this text invaluable. If you are among those who are interested
in using psychological techniques in an applied setting, then this information will be
particularly significant. From the roots of psychology to the present, psychological
tests have remained among the most important instruments of the psychologist in
general and of those who apply psychology in particular.
Testing is indeed one of the essential elements of psychology. Though
not all psychologists use tests and some psychologists are opposed to them, all
areas of psychology depend on knowledge gained in research studies that rely on
measurements. The meaning and dependability of these measurements are essential
to psychological research. To study any area of human behavior effectively, one must
understand the basic principles of measurement.
In today’s complex society, the relevance of the principles, applications, …
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