Psychological Measurements

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By salvi0912
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This chapter provides an overview of the world of testing. Of course, everyone knows, at least roughly, what we mean by a “test” or “testing.” Everyone has at least some familiarity with a variety of tests, for example, college admission tests, final examinations in courses, vocational interest inventories, and perhaps some personality measures. However, as we begin formal study of this world, it is important that we develop both a more comprehensive and a more precise understanding of the field. More comprehensive so that we consider all types of tests and all relevant issues:We do not want to miss anything important. More precise so that we begin to acquire the technical expertise needed by professionals within the broader fields of psychology and allied disciplines: We will not be satisfied with just a passing acquaintance with these topics.This is an ambitious agenda for one chapter. However, this opening chapter seeks only to provide an overview of these matters. The remaining chapters supply the details. There are a variety of ways to accomplish our goal of providing an overview and orientation to the field. No single way is best. We will use five perspectives or approaches to introduce the field, viewing it, as it were, from different angles or through different lenses. First, we outline the major categories of tests. Most of these categories correspond to chapters in the latter half of this book. In the process of describing these major categories, we mention examples of some of the more widely used tests. Second, we identify the major uses and users of tests. Who actually uses these tests and for what purposes? Third, we outline the primary issues that we worry about in testing. Notice that this outline—the list of principal worries—corresponds to the chapters in the first half of the book. Fourth, we trace the historical roots of contemporary testing. We…...

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