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The Debate on Shortened Psychometric Tests

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Anastasi and Urbina assert that item analysis employed properly may actually increase a test's reliability and validity even when the test is shortened from its original form. In this assignment, you will debate this notion.

Use the following information to ensure successful completion of the assignment:

• This assignment uses a grading rubric. use the rubric to guide your completion of the assignment.
• Prepare this assignment according to the APA guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

In a paper of 1250-1,500 words, present a brief debate of the notion that using item analysis allows tests to be shortened while reliability and validity are improved. Use the following format for your debate:
1. Overview of the issue
2. Arguments in favor
3. Arguments against
4. Conclusion

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The Debate on Item Analysis: A Question of Reliability and Validity


In applied psychology/psychiatry and related practice, testing and evaluation of a subject/client is one of the most important element of practice. Doing so determines the mental state of the subject and allows for insight and diagnosis. This means that there are instruments utilised so as to do this assessment or evaluation. These instruments are called psychometric tests and have been developed carefully by specialized psychiatric and psychological experts to achieve certain outcomes. Some are general evaluation tests which can be universally applied, some are specific to a screening of a specific condition or mental state, while some others are specialized to screen for purpose (i.e. an evaluation test to determine employability for a specific role) while some are specific to a particular population (i.e. ethnic group, gender, age). A psychometric test is supposed to measure and evaluate the 'psychology' of the subject testing for knowledge, skills, abilities, attitudes, personality, academic background as well as (in terms of theory testing) collection of information important to specific statistical concern or theoretical research (i.e. application in business, intraclass correlation)(Wikipedia, 2014).

Item Analysis: Validity and Reliability

To achieve a test that is reliable and valid, authors of tests use item analysis. Erford & Eaves (2009) explain that, "Item analysis is a general term that refers to the specific methods used in education to evaluate test items, typically for the purpose of test construction and revision." Prior to 'item analysis' a test score is said to be commensurate to the true score of the test-taker plus or minus likely approximated error. But item response theory alleges that there are different types of error in a test taker response so that it is essential to give attention to every individual item (Erford & Eaves, 2009), "item characteristics, probability of answering items correctly, overall ability of the test taker, and degrees or levels of knowledge being assessed." A test is said to be reliable when it can lead to similar results every time the test is taken within the same context, same circumstances. Validity meanwhile is about the 'truth to claim' of the study, if it measures what it says it would. As an example of this, think of a speedometer. It is reliable if every time you use it, the speed it measures is constant so that as an instrument, you can trust it. At the same time, said speedometer is valid if it measures the speed. If as an instrument, it fails to measure speed, what it says it would, and then it is not valid at all. If we apply this notion to a psychometric test, like the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), then to be reliable it has to have the same results across the same context of the test ...

Solution Summary

The solution provides extensive information, advise and assistance to help the student complete a task (see above) that requires the completion of a paper that debates the pros and cons of shortened psychometric testing. The debate on the reliability and validity of short forms of tests is covered, including positions of varied theorists and experts in the field. The solution includes a suggested outline and an APA-format narrative that conforms to the advise and the outline suggested. Resources are listed.

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