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Psychological Testing and Assessment Book Cover
Psychological Testing and Assessment: An Introduction To Tests and Measurement, 5/e
Ronald Jay Cohen
Mark Swerdlik


Discussion Questions


How/why would predictive validity of psychological and/or educational tests be important to people in the following positions:

  1. personnel manager
  2. teacher or principal
  3. college admissions officer
  4. prison warden
  5. psychiatrist
  6. guidance counselor
  7. veterinary dermatologist
  8. professor in medical school.

What is "blueprinting"? How does it relate to content validity?

What are the characteristics of an adequate criterion? Give examples of an adequate criterion to be used for validating your final exam in this course. Will your example measure concurrent or predictive criterion-related validity?

Develop some criterion you want to predict and discuss how the concept of incremental validity can be used to increase validity.

What are the relationships between construct validity and the other forms of validity evidence?

You are a test developer and wish to present only one type of validity for each of the following types of tests to a group of prospective test users at a luncheon. Which would you choose? Why?

  • mathematics test
  • intelligence test
  • vocational interest inventory
  • music aptitude test
  • attitude toward school inventory

What is test bias? How is it the same or different from the use of the word "bias" in common parlance? How is it different from the use of the word “fair” in the professional and lay sense?

Discuss any situation in which you have been administered a test that you felt was biased and/or unfair.

Discuss the relationship between reliability and validity. Can an unreliable test be a valid one? Can a reliable test not have adequate validity? Can a test that has adequate validity be unreliable?

A college uses a particular admissions test, which possesses adequate predictive validity. However, members of a particular minority group tend to score low on this admission test. Some students who have been denied admission based on their test scores are criticizing the school for using a "biased" test. What steps need to be taken prior to making the conclusion the test is "biased"? What needs to occur to determine if the test is "fair" to use?

If members of one minority group consistently score significantly lower than members of another ethnic group on a particular test, is the test necessarily biased?

As a follow-up to the "Everyday Psychometrics" section of the chapter, “Adjustment of Test Scores by Group Membership: Fairness in Testing or Foul Play", express your opinion regarding what constitutes a fair use of employment and other tests used in a selection process. Are measurement tools neither the cause of nor the cure for racial inequalities in employment? What is your opinion about the use of procedures to adjust test scores on the basis of group membership? Is this legal? Is it ethical? Do you agree with Section 106 of the Civil Rights Act of 1991? Why?