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Case Study

Read the following case study. Then, use the information to answer the accompanying follow-up question. What changes could be suggested to make this test better?

Dr. Zak developed a test to measure depression. He sampled 100 university students to take his five item test. The group of students was comprised of 30 men and 70 women. In this group, four persons were African American, six persons were Hispanic, and one person was Asian. Zak's Miraculous Test of Depression is printed below:

1. I feel depressed: Yes No
2. I have been sad for the last two weeks: Yes No
3. I have seen changes in my eating and sleeping: Yes No
4. I don't feel that life is going to get better: Yes No
5. I feel happy most of the day: Yes No

Yes = 1; No = 0

The mean on this test is 3.5 with a standard deviation of .5.

Solution Preview

Question: What changes could be suggested to make this test better?


I see three main problems with this study.

First, the sample that was tested is not very diverse: only 30% of the test-takers were male, and only 11% were African American, Hispanic, or Asian. It would be better to have a more diverse sample (unless this sample is representative of the university student population as a whole). If the sample isn't representative of the population ...