Testing and Individual Differences Rapid Review for AP Psychology
More in-depth study guides for these concepts can be found at:
- Testing and Individual Differences for AP Psychology
- Ethics and Standards in Testing for AP Psychology
- Intelligence and Intelligence Testing for AP Psychology
- Heredity, Environment and Intelligence for AP Psychology
Tests are used to make decisions.
- Psychometricians (measurement psychologists)—focus on methods for acquiring and analyzing psychological data; measure mental traits, abilities, and processes.
Standardization and norms:
- Constructs—hypothetical abstractions related to behavior and defined by groups of objects or events.
- Standardization—two-part test development procedure: first establishes test norms from the test results of the large representative sample then assures that the test is both administered and scored uniformly for all test takers.
- Norms—standards used to compare scores of test takers.
Reliability and validity:
- Reliability—consistency of results over time (repeatability); methods of measurement include test-retest, split half, alternate form.
- Validity—test measures what it is supposed to measure; methods of measurement include face, content, predictive, construct.
Types of tests:
- Performance tests—test taker knows how to respond to questions and tries to succeed.
- Speed tests—large number of relatively easy items in limited test period;
- Power tests—items of varying difficulty with adequate test period.
- Aptitude tests—assess person's capacity to learn, predict future performance (example: SAT).
- Achievement tests—assess what a person has already learned (example: AP test).
- Group tests—test many people at one time; test taker works alone; cheaper; more objective.
- Individualized tests—interaction of one examiner with one test taker; expensive; subjective grading.
Ethics and standards in testing:
- APA and other guidelines detail standards to promote best interests of client, guard against misuse, respect client's right to know results, and safeguard dignity. Informed consent needed. Confidentiality guaranteed.
- Culture-relevant tests—test skills and knowledge related to cultural experiences of the test takers.
Intelligence and intelligence testing:
- Reification—construct treated as a concrete, tangible object.
- Intelligence—aggregate or global capacity to act purposefully, to think rationally, and to deal effectively with the environment.
- Stanford-Binet intelligence test—constructed by Lewis Terman—was an individual IQ test with IQ calculated using ratio formula: Mental age/chronological age × 100. Now, IQ based on deviation from mean, for children and for adults. Five ability areas assessed both verbally and nonverbally.
- Wechsler intelligence tests—Three age-based individual IQ tests: WPPSI (Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence), WISC (Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children), WAIS (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale); two scores—verbal and performance; difference between two helpful for identifying learning disabilities; deviation IQ score—100 mean/mode/median, 15 pt SD; good for extremes of gifted and mentally retarded or cognitively disabled.
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