ERIC Number: ED075469
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1972-Dec-9
Reference Count: N/A
Alternates to Psychological Testing or How We've Turned a Silk Purse into a Sow's Ear.
Bersoff, Donald N.
Psychological testing has recently fallen into disrepute because psychoanalysts have perpetuated a fraudulent theory of personality and because psychometrists have become overly concerned with psychometric esthetics to the neglect of validity. The theory subscribed to by psychoanalysts holds behavior as relatively independent of the situation the person is in. Personality is thus perceived as a set of trans-situational traits that initiate and guide behavior, and projective tests are used to discover these traits. Research has shown, however, that test responses are not only a function of the subject's characteristics but also of the stimulus properties of the test and the background variables. Test developers have sacrificed validity for efficiency and statistical manipulation. Psychological tests are not generally valid, in terms of the purposes for which they are intended, and do not provide relevant information for making decisions about behavior changes. The current myth is that intelligence scores achieved under optimal conditions can be translated into a measure of expectation for classroom achievement. The Hollands and Richards (1965) study supports the conclusion that test information correlates poorly with real-life performance. Tests are rooted in a tradition that relies on direct observation of samples of behavior; it is suggested that testers return to this tradition. In psychosituational assessment, the focus is the analysis of behavior and the delineation of the immediate antecedent and consequent conditions which evoke, reinforce and perpetuate that behavior--procedures more valid and humane than other assessment and intervention programs. (For related documents, see TM 002 542-546.) (KM)
Descriptors: Intelligence Tests, Personality Assessment, Personality Measures, Predictive Measurement, Predictive Validity, Psychological Evaluation, Psychological Testing, Psychometrics, Speeches, Standardized Tests, Test Construction, Test Validity
Not available separately; see TM 002 542
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Session II of Southeastern Invitational Conference on Measurement in Education (11th, Athens, Georgia, December 9, 1972)