Share
Explore BrainMass

What is the psychometric adequacy of a test?

What is the psychometric adequacy of a test? According to Groth-Marnat (2003), debates regarding the psychometric adequacy of the Rorschach have created one of the greatest controversies in the history of psychology. Discuss the key issues surrounding this controversy and their implications for how the Rorschach should be used in clinical assessment? Use research to support the arguments that you make.

Solution Preview

The term Psychometric simply refers to the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests which account for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits which influence the test and its reliability. In more relativistic terms; the objective of the test. The adequacy portion simply means does it meet a specific standard to support a psychological diagnosis or observation? In this case, the Rorschach test.

A brief overview of the Rorschach test would describe it as "projection in psychology" when explaining the Rorschach technique and its theoretical foundation. Projection as a defense mechanism is used by people when reacting to a situation or adjusting to others or adapting to some aspect of their environment. They externalize what might be internal, knowingly or unknowingly. Each individual has a frame, "Their frame exclusively", which they automatically refer to as a resource when faced with a problem (Daly, 2005).

As a starting point we will review an assessment by Sigmunt A. Piotrowski's "Perceptanalysis" published in 1957 by the Macmillan Company in New York which "reworked, expanded and systematized" Rorschach method. As one of the many icons of the Rorschach technique he attempted to and did simplify the scoring system, a very laborious process altering the meanings here and there. For example, the capital M or movement image, he described as ones "role in life", extensor, flexor, both, or in-between state not knowing which way to go: ambivalence. This was in place of Rorschach original M-C ratio "introversion--extroversion". He believed in the importance of administering, scoring and interpreting one Rorschach each day by interns at Manhattan's Presbyterian Hospital as a means of learning the technique. This he did himself. He participated also in the "blind analyses" of individual protocols through the then existing "Rorschach Exchange" composed of top Rorschach experts who exchanged formal data across the country for "trial" diagnostic purposes. (Daly, 2005)

According Piotrowski there were ten general principals in "Perceptanalysis", which he claimed to be the theoretical foundations of Rorschach perceptanalysis tests (Daly, 2005). These are identified below and have been edited for brevity. However, the main ideas are still intact:

Principle 1: Selectivity of Perception--By this Piotrowski means when one perceives an object one perceives that object from the standpoint of his particular personality and background experiences (Daly, 2005).

Principle 2: Superiority of Sight--Arnold Gessell who studied extensively the development of the newborn finalizes by saying the eye is the first in development both before and after birth (Daly, 2005).

Principle 3: Indeterminateness of Stimuli--The inkblots themselves are ambiguous and unstructured so when a person looks at a blot the person projects himself into the blot because its structure and appearance are indeterminate. The person therefore contributes through his own personal reaction to the blots (Daly, 2005).

Principle 4: No Conscious Effort--One condition that adds to validity here is spontaneity and effortlessness when responding to the blots. Freedom of association is necessary and should be full (Daly, 2005).

Principle 5: No Directions--As opposed to the so-called objective or cognitive test, the Rorschach requires a passive, non-directive administrator (Daly, 2005).

Principle 6: Ignorance of Traits Revealed--The subject is unaware of what he is ...

Solution Summary

The term Psychometric simply refers to the design, administration, and interpretation of quantitative tests which account for the measurement of psychological variables such as intelligence, aptitude, and personality traits which influence the test and its reliability. In more relativistic terms; the objective of the test. The adequacy portion simply means does it meet a specific standard to support a psychological diagnosis or observation?

$2.19