Writing, Administering, &
Outline for Today
â€¢ Item Writing
â€¢ Test Administration
â€¢ Interviewing in the context of testing
â€¢ Item Writing
â€¢ Define clearly what you want to measure
â€¢ Generate an item pool
â€¢ Avoid exceptionally long items
â€¢ Keep the level of reading difficulty appropriate for those who will complete
â€¢ Avoid â€œdouble-barreledâ€ items that convey two or more ideas at the same
â€¢ Consider mixing positively and negatively worded items
â€¢ The Dichotomous Format
â€¢ Two alternatives for each items;
â€¢ The Polytomous Format
â€¢ Multiple alternatives for each
items; uses distractors; example:
multiple choice; popular in
â€¢ The Likert Format
â€¢ A popular format for attitude and
personality scales that requires
respondents to indicate the
degree of agreement with a
â€¢ often a 5-point scale:
strongly disagree, disagree,
neither agree nor disagree,
agree, strongly agree
â€¢ The Category Format
â€¢ Similar to Likert format but uses an even greater number of choices; example:
10-point pain scale
â€¢ Checklists and Q-Sorts
â€¢ Checklists: respondents choose relevant descriptors/adjectives from a list
â€¢ Q-Sorts: respondents categorize adjectives from checklist into piles according
to how relevant the adjective is to them
â€¢ Item analysis is a a set of methods used to evaluate test items;
analyzes item difficulty and item discriminability
â€¢ Item Difficulty: defined by the number of people who get a particular
item correct; example: if 84% of people get an item on a test correct,
the difficulty level is .84.
â€¢ Discriminability: an assessment of whether the people who have
done well on particular items have also done well on the whole test
â€¢ Extreme Group Method: comparing poor and well performing segments
â€¢ Point Biserial Method: correlation between performance on the item and
performance on the total test
â€¢ Pictures of Item Characteristics
â€¢ Item characteristic curve offers a valuable way to learn about items by
graphing their characteristics: plot test score (X) and the proportion of
examinees who get the item correct (Y)
â€¢ Linking Uncommon Measures
â€¢ Complex statistical process through which different tests are linked, related;
for example: the SAT uses different items each time, how to we relate
different version of the SAT?
â€¢ Items for Criterion-Referenced Tests
â€¢ Items must be carefully construct to reflect learning objectives
â€¢ Limitations of Item Analysis
â€¢ The Examiner and the Subject
â€¢ The Relationship between Examiner and Test Taker
â€¢ Rapport can influence results!
â€¢ The Race of the Tester
â€¢ Race effects are small; effects of administrator’s race are negligible
â€¢ Language of Test Taker
â€¢ Whether or not the language of the test and test taker match can impact reliability and
â€¢ Training of Test Administrators
â€¢ Different assessment procedures require different levels of training; not all
require a specific degree, but most require specific training
â€¢ Expectancy Effects
â€¢ Bias introduced to test by what experimenter expects to find
â€¢ Effects of Reinforcing Responses
â€¢ Inconsistent use of feedback can affect reliability and validity of tests;
example: examiner responses on IQ test are closely monitored
â€¢ Computer-Assisted Test Administration
â€¢ Aids in streamlining and standardizing testing conditions; remain interactive
and guides test takers through test; provides precision in timing; remove
experimenter bias, etcâ€¦
â€¢ Mode of Administration
â€¢ Self-administered vs. administered by tester
â€¢ Subject Variables
â€¢ Variables related to the state or trait of the test taker: race, level of anxiety,
gender, amount of sleep before taking test, etcâ€¦ can be confounding
variables; sometimes require measurement in order to understand how they
affect test results
Behavioral Assessment Methodology
â€¢ Reactivity â€“ observerâ€™s reaction when being â€œcheckedâ€ increases reliability and validity
â€¢ Drift â€“ observerâ€™s move away from strict training rules and regulation toward idiosyncratic definitions of behavior being observed
â€¢ Expectancies â€“ expectancy bias can occur with observers as well
â€¢ Deception â€“ detecting honesty/lying in employment hiring processes leads to use of integrity tests; analysis of integrity tests also aids in
understanding observerâ€™s honest appraisal of observed behavior, detecting
lying is actually very difficult and people do this unreliably
â€¢ Statistical Control of Rating Errors â€“ correlations can be used to determine
the impact of the â€œhalo effectâ€ or the tendency to attribute positive
characteristics to a tester regardless of test performance; statistical control
of error is the result of poor ability to enhance interrater reliability
â€¢ The Interview as a Test
â€¢ In some circumstances, an interview is conducted before administering a test
â€¢ Interview resembles the test in that is is designed to gather relevant
information pertaining to the test performance
â€¢ Reciprocal Nature of Interviewing
â€¢ Interviewing is mutual interaction: interviewer and interviewee influence
each otherâ€™s behavior and participation, particularly in the realms of:
â€¢ Principles of Effective Interviewing
â€¢ The Proper Attitudes
â€¢ More attitude than skill: interpersonal influence ~ interpersonal attraction, how much
the dyad has in common
â€¢ Responses to Avoid vs. Effective Responses
â€¢ Avoid judgmental or evaluative statements; inappropriate use of probing statements;
hostile responses; false reassurance
â€¢ Err of side of maintaining a safe, cooperative environment
â€¢ Closed vs. open-ended questions
â€¢ Responses to Keep the Interaction Flowing
â€¢ Transitional phrases: â€œyesâ€, â€œI seeâ€, â€œgo onâ€
â€¢ Verbatim playback
â€¢ Paraphrasing and restatement
â€¢ Clarification response
â€¢ Empathy and understanding
â€¢ Measuring Understanding
â€¢ 5-point measure of empathy based on Carl Rogerâ€™s interviewing approach
that emphasized active listening
Type of Interviews
â€¢ Evaluation Interviews
â€¢ Open-ended; direct questions; confrontation
â€¢ Structured Clinical Interviews
â€¢ Specific question; specific order; highly structured interview designed to
match criteria from DSM-5; examples: SCID, MINI
â€¢ Case History Interviews
â€¢ â€œbiological sketchâ€; in-depth, chronological history (work, family, medical,
â€¢ Mental Status Examination
â€¢ Psychiatric and neurological examination designed to evaluate emotional or
neurological problems; focus on attention and alertness
Sources of Error in the Interview
â€¢ Interview Validity
â€¢ Halo effect
â€¢ General standoutishness
â€¢ Cultural awareness
â€¢ Interview Reliability
â€¢ Inter-interviewer reliability
â€¢ Structured v. unstructured interviews
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