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Psychological Testing Essay

The Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children measures simultaneous and sequential processing skills as well as subscales that measure academic achievement. The age range this test investigates is ages 2-12 years. There are ten mental processing subtests as well as six achievement subtests. Only three of the subtests are administered to all ages groups, making the sub-testing age-specific. The older the child in question, the longer the tests will take. The sequential processing scale measures short term memory and problem solving is organized around sequences.

The simultaneous scale measures several problems that need to be solved at the same time. Achievement scales measure applied skills of the individual. b) Intelligence in children of preschool age is very unstable whereas their intelligence begins to stabilize as they reach school age. The assessment tools for infants are different to school-going children in the sense that they measure development rather than academic foundations. These tests measure how quickly the child is developing in terms of motor skills, linguistic development, adaptive behavior and social interaction.

It has to be given that school-aged children have a higher vocabulary and language skill that can be better tested than the infant who is still using monosyllabic noises rather than words. Motor skills also develop more rapidly as well as reasoning skills. c) Mental age does not refer to the actual age of the person in question. A person with a mental age of 5 years may actually only be 4 years chronologically and vice versa. Due to this anomaly, data derived from IQ testing does not follow a bell-curve on data sheets. The deviation IQ is implemented to smooth out inconsistencies.

Instead of actual scores, the person is allocated a percentile score so that it can be placed more realistically on a normal curve chart. Mental age does not necessarily increase over time in the same way that chronological age does and this age difference gradually decreases around adolescence. For these reasons a deviation IQ is used as opposed to actual raw scores. d) Originally named the Binet-Simon test, the Testing underwent several revisions over time with the most significant change being that it included the first Intelligence Quotient after 1916 when it became the Stanford-Binet test.

The Binet-Simon test was initially used to determine the intelligence of retarded children, came to the conclusion that rather than portraying a chronological age, the children displayed a mental age instead. The 1986 version of the test include a wider perimeter sample group in order to decrease inequities that occurred in race and gender previously. It had been engineered for children alone but in 2003 was amended to accommodate adults as well. Design changes were made also to accommodate and measure behavior at age levels.

e) Fluid and crystallized intelligence both form part of general intelligence. Fluid intelligence relates to reasoning and problem solving and is largely thought of as being independent of learning or experience. It is therefore an inherent or instinctual intelligence. Crystallized intelligence on the other hand refers to the intelligence that you gain from experience and what you have learnt in life. This intelligence is something that increases with age due to experiences and the assimilation of knowledge through what we have learned.

Fluid intelligence therefore decreases with age and peaks during adolescence while crystallized intelligence will continue to grow. f) The general intelligence factor (g-factor) is meant to be a measurement of the persons overall intelligence. The two-factor theory was initiated by Spearman who derived a g-factor from two functions: a generalized ability and a specific ability. Therefore according to Spearman a person’s intelligence could be determined by a general intelligence as well as a specific intelligence (s-factor). Multi-factor intelligence theories implement the individual ability to be intelligent in various fields.

Thurstone found that there were multiple areas in which a person could display intelligence and derived 7 factors that he called primary abilities: word fluency, verbal comprehension, spatial concept, numerical facilitation, memory by association, reasoning and perceptual speed. g) Individual tests require one-one-one consultation and measure verbal and non-verbal abilities. The Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler tests both require this environment. Group tests are most often administered to large groups and do no require one-on-one consultation. These tests are most often aptitude tests or cognitive abilities.

Scoring in these terms is most often more objective than in individual tests and also simplify the role of the coordinator. Group testing is not culture-specific as opposed to individual testing which can be more culturally loaded and also more subjective. It is not as easy to establish a relationship with the person in a group testing environment as it is when the person is tested individually. h) Army alpha and beta tests were prototypes initially used in group testing to place soldiers during the First World War. Alpha groups were those who were proficient in the English language.

Those who were not initially considered alpha groups were those who were placed in beta groups who were intelligent but not native English speakers. This hypothesis was that people’s intelligence was inherited. This method was first used to identify where in the army the person was likely to be placed, given their responses to the tests and the results. The beta test decreased its use of verbal knowledge presumably because they are non-English and it used mainly pictographic references. i) Aptitude and achievement tests are both standardized. Aptitude testing assesses the ability of the person to learn in certain areas.

These tests are developed in order to determine which field of proficiency the person is most likely to excel in. These also measure numerical and literal ability as well as mechanical and abstract reasoning. Achievement tests on the other hand measure how well a person has achieved a skill. It is mostly used to ascertain academic levels and therefore is useful in determining whether a person is inherently able to learn something or not. An aptitude test will be able to validate that a person is most likely to achieve highly in a certain area and not as highly in others.

j) The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children is an individual test that does not require reading or writing. It measures verbal intelligence and response times which can be useful in the diagnosis of Attention Deficits or other such disorders/abnormal patterns. This form of testing is significant in that it supplies the coordinator with information as to how fast the child can assimilate and react to questions. It also ascertains the quality and efficiency of vocabulary as well as word processing. The test is significant also in that t determines the respondent’s concentration levels and possible problems in their attention span.

This is useful in that answers require verbal reactions. k) Physical disability does not necessarily mean that there will be discrepancies in the IQ of the person. Testing a person who is deaf for instance, requires a different approach to testing as well as a different means for the test. These individuals need a non-verbal based test and verbal ability is therefore a non-entity in their testing. A blind person on the other hand will not benefit from spatially based tests or units that require sight. The tests used to identify IQ would have to be verbally based and not pictorial.

This considered, a speech impaired individual will also not have the same verbal component as someone who is able to speak. However, this does not mean that a mute person is not able to understand verbal interjection. For this reason, the IQ test has to be tailored to the specific disability reflected by the individual. l) Certain cultures encourage some skills more than they do others. The culture fair test is non-verbal and does not therefore test linguistic understanding insomuch as if the person tested is not an English speaker, they cannot be expected to understand English word and sentence structure.

The culture fair test therefore measures analytical and reasoning ability and makes use of abstract and unusual visual spatial pictographs. From this the spatial and pictorial representations are believed to be universal to all cultures and thus understood well from one culture to the next. It was initially meant to reduce cultural or ethnic bias that can be produced when a test is designed to be effect for a certain culture. It is also independent of educational foundations and therefore measures inherent skill rather than acquired skills.

2 a) Personality testing identifies certain traits inherently part of an individuals psychological make-up. These tests basically help you determine what personality attributes you have and therefore help to identify what career types may be more pertinent to whom. Aspects of the personality often denote what particular attributes the personality has and thus what lifestyle s better suited to whom. Jung and Myers-Briggs typology identify different personality types that are said to help the individual determine their best career path. The ability test measures a person’s ability to learn new skills and also their potential in certain fields.

Ability tests also seek to ascertain what the person has learnt or assimilated in terms of whatever they are studying, for example, school tests. b) Personality traits are characteristics of the individual and certain personality qualities that are inherent to the person. There are theories that propose that all traits are present in all people but to varying degrees (lesser or more). Idiographic personality trait view maintains that each person has a unique psychological structure that is not shared by anyone else. For this reason, it is impossible to compare any two people.

The nomothetic view however, sees people as unique in their combination of traits. This means that while they do share personality traits to various degrees this can be compared by degrees of each trait in comparable people. c) Items are chosen depending on the specific group that is being studied. For example, screening of normal behavior in police officer applicants will be given items that pertain to the criminal justice system. The group is split into two: one group is what the coordinator would think of as displaying abnormal reactions/behavior and the other would be normal.

Items are distributed equally in both groups and reactions towards the stimuli are recorded. The empirical criterion key does not assume that respondents are able to observe their own behavior but rather sees the objects or items as stimuli that require a response. Those they believe to be normal are used as a scale by which abnormal behavior can be compared. d) Forced-choice format gives a more well-rounded result then standard testing. The forced choice format basically allows the respondent one of two statements that they most likely agree with.

The advantage of this is that it not only gives an accurate representation of reality, but it prevents the choice from becoming monotonous. It is easier to score these kinds of questions than if the respondent was asked multiple choice questions. As a design this format prevents the respondent from being consciously manipulated and therefore makes sure that the answers are truthful. This form of questionnaire is also shorter, preventing the individual from becoming tired and losing focus on the questions that are being asked.

This prevents answers from becoming distorted. e) Response sets or response style refers to the person’s propensity to answer the same response for all or most of the questions. For instance, if the person responded ‘yes’ to the above question and then ‘yes’ again, regardless of the nature of the question. This is usually counterbalanced in tests because there are times when the person is biased towards a certain question based on its contents. Counterbalancing this response requires the same question to be asked in a different way and later in the questionnaire.

This situation of response bias is also termed ‘acquiescence’ as the person performs this unconsciously or with lack of interest in the nature of the questions. f) Factor analysis is used to describe variables in a research situation. For instance, we have a research questionnaire that we now have to translate into data specific terms. We have the variables that were studied and the scores for each variable. In psychometric intelligence testing we could have any number of variables that determine the overall factor.

An example of this would be that while we are aware that there are multiple factors within the intelligence study, all these factors contribute to the g-factor or general intelligence factor. In this case ‘g’ is the only factor that is common in all persons. What this analysis does is ascertain what particular factors which people are most affiliated with. Basically we could determine which factor is specific to which person. g) Objective self reporting methods of personality assessment is based on standardized questionnaires with limited responses available as well as a fixed scoring system.

It is based on nomothetic principles and is therefore less ambiguous then the progressive methods. Progressive personality assessment techniques use intuitive responses and the intuitive scoring is also use. This personality assessment is based on idiographic principles which make it entirely different to the objective method. The problem with progressive techniques is that there is no fixed scoring system, however the problem with the objective method is that it does not leave room for intuitive or interpretive responses which are natural human conditions.

h) Word association tests require the coordinator to present the group or person with a word. The person responds to this with the first word that comes to mind. This is a free association and therefore does not give the person the chance to think about their answer. A table measures the test word, the response time and the response. Responses to the words can be either the opposite in meaning; an association with the word (green-yellow); or even a definitive answer. The basis of this test is that it provides a pattern of how the individual sees words and how they associate with things.

The association of about 100 words will give the coordinator a pattern of response that can be determined as normal, abnormal or as an anomaly. Most people will have a set pattern of responses. i) The interaction between a need and a press is called a thema. There is a need that is ensued by a press. To simplify this, Murray identified 28 needs and forces that press them into fruition. This makes the relationship interactive and determined by this interaction is the thema. The thema therefore can be linked to other units of these interactions to form serial thema.

The greatest portion of the persons thema is dependent on the amount of press and needs that are present in that specific thema. This theory is used to determine personality types that are identified by specific needs and forces of press. Murray conducted this typology on Adolf Hitler in order to ascertain the needs and forces that culminated in his erratic behavior. j) Interest inventories conduct in-depth investigation into a person’s likes and dislikes and this helps to determine what type of career path is best suited to the individual.

Clearly you should not study or undertake careers in which you would have to partake in activities you intensely dislike. Neither would it be advisable to become involved in vocations that you are indifferent to. The key would be to become involved in a career that contains more of your inventories ‘likes’ than ‘dislikes’. These interest inventories help you to discover what it is exactly that you like or dislike. This particular form of inventory is highly related to personality in the sense that certain personalities are more likely to enjoy certain key activities.

An example of this would be an artist or writer enjoying solitude in a way that an actor might not. 3 b) Test name: Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale. Test uses: The Stanford Binet was initially indicated for the correct placement of children in educational settings. It is now one of the most widely used intelligence tests. It is useful for determining cognitive skills and intelligence in children and adults. Population test was designed for: As already stated, it was designed for children in educational settings in order to ensure that they were placed in the right class environment.

Administration of test: The time it takes to administer this test depends on the age of the respondent and how many subtests are administered. It may take from 45-90 minutes standard but may take longer depending on the conditions at the time and the variables concerned. The respondent is timed at each subtest and is determined by estimated entry level. Timing is approximately 5 minutes per test. Depending on the age, the articles measured include: fluid reasoning, knowledge, quantitative reasoning, visual-spatial processing and working memory.

Characteristics of normative samples: The Stanford Binet normative sample reflect the 2000 U. S census and bias reviews are conducted on race, ethnicity, gender, religion and socio-economic status. Because it is a standardized test, normative or mean scores are derived per age group and the representative sample is matched to the individual standing. It was standardized on a national representative sample of 5 000 subjects. Reliability information: Reliability in this test is considered high. The internal median consistency score was . 97.

Subtest reliabilities differ from age-group to age-group. Reliability coefficients ranged from . 91 to . 98, with coefficients for the five factor indices ranging from . 90 to . 92. Subtest coefficients ranged from . 84 to . 89. Validity information: correlations in the validity were considered high with an approximate value of . 90 compared to earlier Stanford Binet editions and high compared to other tests. Strengths of the test: This test can assist in the diagnosis of learning disabilities as well as determine the level of competency for young children compared to a normative structure.

It can be used to determine developmental stages and knowledge and can be used in all age-groups from pre-school to adults. Weaknesses of the test: Due to the lack of co-operation sometimes shown in very young preschoolers the test results may not be indicative of true ability because of their lack of interest in partaking in the study. Different age-groups are administered different subtests which may also be considered a criticism in terms of its universal application.


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