ERIC Number: EJ840232
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Abstractor: As Provided
Responses to Issues Raised about Validity, Bias, and Fairness in High-Stakes Testing
Sackett, Paul R.; Borneman, Matthew J.; Connelly, Brian S.
American Psychologist, v64 n4 p285-287 May-Jun 2009
We are pleased that our article prompted this series of four commentaries and that we have this opportunity to respond. We address each in turn. Duckworth and Kaufman and Agars discussed, respectively, two broad issues concerning the validity of selection systems, namely, the expansion of the predictor domain to include noncognitive predictors of performance and the expansion of the criterion domain to include additional criteria (e.g., creativity). We agree with these arguments, noting that they expand on points made in our original article. Wicherts and Millsap rightly noted the distinction between measurement bias and predictive bias and the fact that a finding of no predictive bias does not rule out the possibility that measurement bias still exists. They took issue with a statement we cited from Cullen, Hardison, and Sackett (2004) that if motivational mechanisms, such as stereotype threat, result in minority group members obtaining lower observed scores than true scores (i.e., a form of measurement bias), then the performance of minority group members should be under predicted. Our characterization of Cullen et al.'s (2004) statement was too cryptic; what was intended was a statement to the effect that if the regression lines for majority and minority groups are identical at the level of true predictor scores, then a biasing factor resulting in lower observed scores than true scores for minority group members would shift the minority group regression line to result in under prediction for that group. We do agree with Helms's call for studying the reasons why racial-group differences are found and encourage this line of research; however, we view the study of racial-group differences and the study of determinants of those differences as complementary. We thank the authors for contributing these commentaries and for stimulating this discussion. Duckworth (2009) and Kaufman and Agars (2009) discussed important issues regarding expanding the predictor and criterion domains. Wicherts and Millsap (2009) correctly noted distinctions between predictive and measurement bias and used stereotype threat as a mechanism to discuss these issues. Helms (2009) raised several issues regarding the validity and fairness of standardized tests. In all cases, we welcomed the opportunity to discuss these topics and provide more detail on issues relating to high-stakes standardized testing.
Descriptors: High Stakes Tests, Reader Response, Error of Measurement, Test Bias, Predictive Validity, Criterion Referenced Tests, Standardized Tests, Evaluation Problems, Evaluation Criteria
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
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