PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT - PSYC 320
Spring 1998

Dr. Marilyn E. Demorest
Office: MP 320
Email: demorest@umbc2.umbc.edu
Phone: 455-2364 or 455-2567
Hours: Tues. & Thurs.10-11:30 AM,
           Thurs. 2:30-4 PM, and by appointment
Mr. Stephen Gorny
Office: MP 306
Email: sgorny1@umbc2.umbc.edu
Phone: 455-2567
Hours: Monday 2-4 and by appointment

 

TEXTS

Cohen, R. J., Swerdlik, M. E., & Phillips, S. M. (1996). Psychological testing and assessment (3rd ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

Cohen, R. J. (1996). 101 exercises in psychological testing and assessment (3rd ed.). Mountain View, CA: Mayfield.

 

READING ASSIGNMENTS

The text is a comprehensive reference on modern psychological testing and assessment, and we will cover all but a couple of the chapters. The reading assignments and corresponding lecture topics are given in the Course Calendar that begins on p. 4 of this syllabus.

There is a great deal of information presented in the text, and much of it is technical and/or statistical in nature. You should therefore plan to read the material more than once in order to master it. It is suggested that you skim the readings before the material is covered in class and that you study the material carefully in conjunction with lecture notes and class handouts. You may find it useful to outline the chapters as a way of helping you organize the material.

 

QUIZZES

Each Tuesday, at the beginning of the class period, there will be a brief quiz covering all reading and lecture material assigned since the last quiz. The quiz schedule is given in the Course Calendar. The quizzes will not be cumulative, except to the extent the material itself is. Because the text is comprehensive and presents a great deal of detail, quiz questions will emphasize material from the text that is covered in class, class handouts, and lecture material that is not presented in the text. Nevertheless, there will also be some quiz questions on material that is in the text, but that was not reviewed in class.

Quizzes will mostly consist of multiple-choice questions, but a variety of other formats may be used as well. For multiple-choice items, you will be permitted to use a "response elimination" technique that awards partial credit if you can eliminate one or more of the incorrect answers. The details of this technique will be reviewed in class. Some quiz items may require simple calculations, and although a calculator should not be necessary, you are permitted to use one if you wish.

Each quiz will be scored as a percentage. Some quizzes will contain "extra credit" items, so the maximum quiz score in some cases may be greater than 100%. There are 13 quizzes scheduled for the semester. The average of the highest 10 scores will count 60% toward your course grade. If you miss a quiz, for any reason, you can let that be one of the 3 quizzes that you drop. You are strongly urged not to voluntarily miss a quiz. Even if you haven't prepared for the quiz, it is quite likely that you will earn a score greater than zero, and you may need that score if unforeseen circumstances cause you to miss additional quizzes.

 

FINAL EXAMINATION

There will be a cumulative final examination on Tuesday, May 19, 8:00-10:00 AM The format of the exam will be multiple-choice and the elimination procedure will be used. Although the questions on the final exam are similar in difficulty to those on quizzes, the comprehensive nature of the exam and the absence of extra-credit questions almost always results in grades that are lower than students' quiz averages. Students who wish to review their weekly quizzes in preparation for this exam are encouraged to do so; the instructor and the teaching assistant will have the quizzes available during office hours. The final exam will count 10% toward the course grade.

 

EXERCISES

A workbook containing a wide variety of exercises accompanies the text. Some ask you to write a few pages on a particular topic, applying the principles presented in the text, while others ask you to express your own judgments and opinions. During the first part of the course, many of the exercises are computational: calculation of norms, reliability and validity coefficients, validity coefficients, or item statistics. Still others involve use of library resources or collection of actual data from volunteers.

The primary purpose of the exercises is to facilitate your learning of the text material and to stimulate your thinking about topics in psychological testing and assessment. Each week, on Tuesday, exercise assignments for that week and the materials needed to complete them will be distributed. Some exercises are "required," others are optional. Optional exercises can be completed for extra credit. Exercises will be due at the beginning of class the following week, right before the quiz over the same material.

Exercises will essentially be graded on a pass/fail basis. That is, if an exercise is completed in a conscientious manner, it will earned the point value assigned. Points will be prorated for incomplete exercises. Exercises turned in after the due date will earn half the credit assigned to them.

The total number of points earned on required exercises will be expressed as a percentage of the required number of points. Extra credit exercises may be used to increase the percentage beyond 100%. The grade for exercises will count 30% toward the course grade.

 

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS

One interesting way to learn more about psychological tests is to take them yourself. This gives you experience with different types of test materials, scoring methods, and report forms. It permits you to compare your responses and scores with those of the various norm groups that have taken the test, including hundreds of other students who have taken PSYC 320. Another advantage of taking several similar tests is that you can see whether they tend to give consistent results or whether the results depend on the particular test. For example, many personality inventories provide a measure of introversion/extraversion, but you are very unlikely to obtain the same score on all these tests. Completion of psychological tests is optional. Points earned by taking psychological are equivalent to points earned by completing extra-credit exercises.

Several psychological tests and inventories are available. All of the tests may be obtained from the instructor or teaching assistant during office hours or by appointment. Reusable test materials must be signed out when they are borrowed and must be signed in again when they are returned. You will be held responsible for these materials if they are not returned by the end of the semester. Scoring keys and test manuals cannot be signed out; they must obtained from the instructor or teaching assistant, during office hours or a prearranged appointment, used in the immediate vicinity of MP 320, and returned. Psychological tests may be completed and turned in at any time during the semester, but no later than 12:00 noon on the last day of class, May 12. The following is a brief description of the tests that are available:

1. Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test (G. K. Bennett, ©1969). This 68-item test was developed for use in employment settings to measure "the ability to perceive and understand the relationship of physical forces and mechanical elements in practical situations." There are no general norms for the test, but norms are provided for a variety industrial and educational samples. The Bennett is one test used in industrial/organizational assessment (Chapter 17). (1 point)

2. California Psychological Inventory - Revised (CPI; H. G. Gough, ©1987). The CPI is a 462-item personality inventory for adults and adolescents which gives a profile of scores on 20 scales such as self-acceptance, dominance, achievement, intellectual efficiency, etc.  Hand-scoring keys are available from the instructor and profile sheets may be used to provide a graphic representation of your scores. The CPI is the focus of Exercise #66 in 101 Exercises. (2 points)

3. Cattell Culture-Fair Test of "g" (Institute for Personality and Ability Testing, ©1973). The Cattell contains 50 items, organized into four different nonverbal tasks, and it is considered a test of general intelligence. On Thursday, March 19, the Cattell will be administered at the beginning of the class, as a optional exercise. Because the test administration procedures are standardized and because each section of the test is timed, you must be present on March 19 if you wish to take this test; it cannot be self-administered. Students who wish to score their tests and compare their performance with PSYC 320 norms and with the norms given in the test manual may obtain scoring keys from the instructor or teaching assistant. (½ point for taking the test; ½ point for scoring)

4. Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS; A. L. Edwards, ©1959). This 225-item inventory differs from others in its use of a forced-choice response format. Each item consists of a pair of statements and the respondent must decide which statement is more characteristic of him or her. There are 15 scales that reflect 15 psychological needs, according to the personality theory of Henry Murray. Examples are Dominance, Achievement, Autonomy, Order, Nurturance, and Endurance. The EPPS is described in Chapter 11. (1 point)

5. Jackson Personality Inventory - Revised (JPI-R; D. N. Jackson, ©1976). Another multi-scale personality inventory, the JPI, has 300 items and provides scores on 15 scales. The methods of test construction were very detailed and careful and the JPI-R was normed on North American college students, and on blue- and white-collar workers. The JPI is closely related to the Personality Research Form, also developed by Jackson, which is the focus of Close-up on test development in Chapter 7. (1 point)

6. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI; I. B. Myers, ©1977). This very popular personality inventory is based on Jung's theories of personality. It contains 126 items and provides scores on four bipolar dimensions: Extraversion/Introversion; Sensing/Intuition; Thinking/Feeling; Judgment/Perception. Scores on these dimensions yield 16 "types" that have different styles of relating to others, processing information, and making decisions. The MBTI is widely used in organizational settings and is discussed in Chapter 17. (1 point)

7. NEO-PI-R (P. T. Costa & R. R. McCrae, ©1985). This inventory reflects a five-factor theory of personality that has emerged on the basis of a great deal of factor-analytic research on personality measurement. It contains 240 items and provides scores on the five factors (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness), as well as subscales that fall under these headings. An interesting fact about the NEO is that it was normed here in Baltimore using adults who participated in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging at the Gerontology Research Center. It is discussed in Chapter 11. (1 point)

8. Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF; Institute for Personality and Ability Testing, ©1967). This inventory is notable because it comes in two alternate forms (A and B), each containing 187 items and yielding 16 scores. The 16 personality factors it measures were based on factor-analytic studies of personality and were believed to represent 16 independent aspects of personality. The 16-PF is discussed in Chapter 11 as an example of factor-analytic methods of test construction. (1 point for each form).

9. Standard Progressive Matrices and Raven Advanced Progressive Matrices (J. C. Raven, ©1965). Like the Cattell Culture-Fair test of "g," the Raven tests are considered nonverbal measures of intelligence. Each item is a matrix of designs that change progressively. One element of the matrix is missing and the respondent must figure out which of several alternatives best fits the pattern. The Standard Progressive Matrices consist of 60 items that are generally too easy for college students. The Advanced Progressive Matrices are more difficult. They consist of 12 practice items (Set I) and 36 items (Set II) that are scored. (Standard, ½ point; Advanced, 1 point)

10. Test Anxiety Inventory (Test Attitude Inventory) (C. D. Spielberger, ©1977). This 20-item inventory is designed to measure test anxiety. It provides scores on two subscales, Worry and Emotionality. It is mentioned in Chapter 11 as an example of a test used for research into personality traits that are situation-specific. (½ point)

 

COURSE GRADES

Course grades will be based on quizzes (60%), exercises and psychological tests (30%), and the final exam (10%). An overall average of 90% will be required for an A, 80% for a B, 70% for a C, and 60% for a D. At the end of the semester these cutoffs may be lowered slightly; they will not be raised.

COURSE CALENDAR
Class Date Lecture Topics Assigned Reading
1 Jan. 27 Course Overview Syllabus
Cohen, "To the Student"
2 Jan. 29 Introduction to Psychological Testing and Assessment Chapter 1
3 Feb. 3 Quiz #1
Historical Perspective
Legal and Ethical Issues

Chapter 2
4 Feb. 5 Measurement Scales Chapter 3, pp. 84-90
5 Feb. 10 Quiz #2
Descriptive Statistics

Chapter 3, pp. 90-106
6 Feb. 12 Normal Curve
Standard Scores
Norms
Chapter 3, pp. 106-115
Chapter 4, pp. 116-130
7 Feb. 17 Quiz #3
Correlation & Regression

Chapter 4, pp. 130-143
8 Feb. 19 Classical True Score Theory Chapter 5, pp. 144-148
9 Feb. 24 Quiz #4
Methods of Assessing ReliabilityTest-retest Reliability Alternate-Form Reliability

Chapter 5, pp. 148-153
10 Feb. 26 Methods of Assessing Reliability
Internal Consistency
Standard Error of Measurement
Confidence Intervals
Chapter 5, pp. 153-173
11 March 3 Quiz #5
Content Validity
Criterion-related Validity

Chapter 6, pp. 174-193
12 March 5 Construct Validity
Test Bias
Chapter 6, pp. 193-217
13 March 10 Quiz #6
Test Development & Tryout

Chapter 7, pp. 218-232
14 March 12 Item Analysis Chapter 7, pp. 232-254
15 March 17 Quiz #7
Definition of Intelligence

Chapter 8, pp. 256-269
16 March 19 Cattell Culture Fair Test
Measurement of Intelligence
Heritability of Intelligence
Chapter 8, pp. 270-295
March 24, March 26 Spring Break  
17 March 31 Quiz #8
Tests of Intelligence: Stanford Binet

Chapter 9, pp. 296-303
18 April 2 Tests of Intelligence: Wechsler Scales Chapter 9, pp. 303-320
19 April 7 Quiz #9
Personality Assessment: Objective Methods

Chapter 11, pp. 382 -391
20 April 9 Personality Inventories: 16 PF, NEO-PI-R Chapter 11, pp. 391-399
21 April 14 Quiz #10
Personality Inventories: MMPI, MMPI-2

Chapter 11, pp. 399-419
22 April 16 Personality Inventories: EPPS
Personality Assessment: Self Report, Q-Sort, Situational Tests, Behavioral Observation
Chapter 11, pp. 419-423
Chapter 13, pp. 464-474; 482-497
23 April 21 Quiz #11
Personality Assessment: Projective Methods

Chapter 12
24 April 23 Clinical Assessment Chapter 14, pp. 512-539;
556-562
25 April 28 Quiz #12
Neuropsychological Assessment

Chapter 15
26 April 30 Industrial/Organizational Assessment: Ability Chapter 17, pp. 633-650
27 May 5 Industrial/Organizational Assessment: Interests, Personality, & Attitudes Chapter 17, pp. 650-671
28 May 7 Quiz #13
Computer-Assisted Assessment

Chapter 19
29 May 12 Computer-Assisted Assessment  
  May 19 Final Exam, 8:00-10:00 AM