Research Methods The Essential Knowledge Base 2nd Edition By William Trochim – Test Bank

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Complete Test Bank With Answers

 

 

 

Sample Questions Posted Below

 

 

 

 

 

True / False

 

1. Ordinal scales have absolute zeroes.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

2. Nominal scales are the weakest form of measurement.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

3. Levels of measurement are important because they determine what type of analysis can be used.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

4. When you know that a measure is nominal, you know that the numerical values are simply placeholders for the text names.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

5. In True Score Theory, the observed score = true ability + random error.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

6. Random error can drastically affect the average performance for a group.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

7. Random error is also called noise.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

8. As long as your test is reliable, it need not be valid.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   False
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

9. When an individual participating in a study tries to guess what the experimenter’s hypothesis is, there is a social threat to construct validity.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

10. Cronbach’s Alpha is mathematically equivalent to the average of all possible split-half correlations.​

  a. True
  b. False

 

ANSWER:   True
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

Multiple Choice

 

11. In what level of measurement are the attributes simply names?​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

12. In what level of measurement can the attributes be ranked?​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

13. In what level of measurement is the distance from one attribute to another meaningful?​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   c
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

14. In what level of measurement is there a meaningful absolute zero?​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   d
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

15. Leslie is studying test anxiety and administers a test to his research participants that asks them to rate their anxiety in various situations on a scale of 0 (no anxiety) to 10 (the worst anxiety imaginable). He then uses the scores to divide his participants into high, medium, and low anxiety groups. Leslie’s “high-medium-low” scale is best described as an example of a(n) ____ scale.​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

16. Jamie has people in her study of taste perception self-identify as “foodies” (people with an intense interest in food who enjoy the adventure of trying new foods) or “non-foodies.” This is best described as an example of a(n) ____ scale.​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

17. Donna’s study of time management includes having participants record the amount of time spent studying each day. This is best described as a(n) ____ scale.​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   d
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

18. One of the measures Rosalyn is including in her study of the effects of environmental enrichment is the score on a standardized scale of intelligence. This is best described as a(n) ____ scale.​

  a. ​nominal
  b. ​ordinal
  c. ​interval
  d. ​ratio

 

ANSWER:   c
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

19. The formula X = T + E best describes ____.​

  a. ​item response theory
  b. ​true score theory
  c. ​the Rasch model
  d. ​generalizability theory

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

20. With true score theory, ____ error is considered to contribute to test scores.​

  a. random​
  b. systematic
  c. environmental​
  d. ​consistent

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

21. A measure that consistently and accurately measures what is supposed to measure is ____.​

  a. ​both valid and reliable
  b. ​neither valid nor reliable
  c. ​valid but not reliable
  d. ​reliable but not valid

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

22. A measure that yields consistent scores but does not measure what it is supposed to measure is ____.​

  a. ​both valid and reliable
  b. ​neither valid nor reliable
  c. ​valid but not reliable
  d. ​reliable but not valid

 

ANSWER:   d
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

23. A measure that measures what it is supposed to measure but does not yield consistent scores is ____.​

  a. ​both valid and reliable
  b. ​neither valid nor reliable
  c. ​valid but not reliable
  d. ​reliable but not valid

 

ANSWER:   c
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

24. A measure that does not yield consistent scores and does not measure what it is supposed to measure is ____.​

  a. ​both valid and reliable
  b. ​neither valid nor reliable
  c. ​valid but not reliable
  d. ​reliable but not valid

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

25. Combining multiple independent measures to get at a more accurate estimate of a variable is referred to as ____.​

  a. ​triangulation
  b. ​covariation
  c. ​validation
  d. ​imputation

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

26. If you could see all random error in a distribution, it would ____.​

  a. ​have a variance equal to the mean
  b. ​sum to zero
  c. ​shift the mean in a positive direction
  d. ​be greater than the population variance

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

27. When systematic error affects the mean of a distribution, it is referred to as ____.​

  a. ​shifting
  b. ​variance
  c. ​bias
  d. ​regression

 

ANSWER:   c
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

28. The proportion of truth in a set of scores across your sample can be thought of as ____.​

  a. ​validity
  b. ​reliability
  c. ​variability
  d. ​power

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

29. The reliability ratio is expressed as ____.​

  a. ​var(T) / var(X)
  b. ​var(X) / var(T)
  c. ​rel(X) / rel(T)
  d. ​rel(T) / rel(X)

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

30. When there is no error in measurement, reliability is ____.​

  a. ​0
  b. ​1
  c. ​equal to the variability of the distribution
  d. ​equal to the inverse of the variability of the distribution

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

Figure 5.13

 

31. The formula illustrated in the accompanying figure provides an estimate of ____.​

  a. ​validity
  b. ​reliability
  c. ​bias
  d. ​variability

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
PREFACE NAME:   Figure 5.13
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

32. In the formula illustrated in the accompanying figure, sd stands for ____.​

  a. ​standard deviation
  b. ​systematic deviation
  c. ​standard dispersion
  d. ​systematic dispersion

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
PREFACE NAME:   Figure 5.13
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

33. The degree to which different observers give consistent estimates of the same phenomenon is referred to as ____ reliability.​

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

34. ​The consistency of an observation from one time to another is referred to as ____ reliability.

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

35. ​The consistency of the results of two tests constructed in the same way from the same content domain is referred to as ____ reliability.

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   c
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

36. The consistency of results across items within a test is referred to as ____ reliability.​

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   d
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

37. ​Cronbach’s Alpha is used to overcome limitations associated with reliability assessed using the ____ method.

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​split-half
  c. ​average inter-item correlation
  d. ​average item-total correlation

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

38. Cohen’s kappa is used to overcome limitations associated with reliability assessed using the ____ method.​

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​split-half
  c. ​average inter-item correlation
  d. ​average item-total correlation

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

39. Hannah has developed a scale for assessing social interaction among children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Because it is in the early stages, she trains two research assistants in how to use the scale, has them both observe the same children, and compares the scores they give the children. Hannah is assessing ____ reliability.​

  a. inter-rater​
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

40. Hannah has developed a scale for assessing social interaction among children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Because it is in the early stages, she decides to rate the same children on two different occasions. Hannah is assessing ____ reliability.​

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

41. Hannah has developed a scale for assessing social interaction among children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. Because it is in the early stages, she has many dozens of potential items and decides to create two versions of the test from among her many items and then have individual observers score the same children using the two different versions. Hannah is assessing ____ reliability.​

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   c
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

42. Hannah has developed a scale for assessing social interaction among children with moderate to severe developmental disabilities. She decides to look at the interrelationships among the items in the test.  Hannah is assessing ____ reliability.​

  a. ​inter-rater
  b. ​test-retest
  c. ​parallel-forms
  d. ​internal consistency

 

ANSWER:   d
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

43. Which type of validity is a type of translation validity?​

  a. ​face
  b. ​predictive
  c. ​discriminant
  d. ​concurrent

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

44. Checking a new test to be certain that it contains items that it would be expected to contain based on the relevant literature provides an assessment of ____ validity.​

  a. content​
  b. ​face
  c. ​discriminant
  d. ​concurrent

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

45. If a test looks as though it measures what it claims to measure is an assessment of ____ validity.​

  a. ​convergent
  b. ​face
  c. ​discriminant
  d. ​concurrent

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

46. Checking on whether the new measure is different from measures from which it should, indeed, be different provides an assessment of ____ validity.​

  a. ​content
  b. ​face
  c. ​discriminant
  d. ​concurrent

 

ANSWER:   c
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

47. In ____, research participants try to figure out what the experimenter is “really” trying to do.​

  a. ​hypothesis guessing
  b. ​evaluation apprehension
  c. ​researcher expectancies
  d. ​construct confounding

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

48. In ____, research participants do not respond the way they normally would because they are anxious about being tested.​

  a. ​hypothesis guessing
  b. ​evaluation apprehension
  c. ​researcher expectancies
  d. ​construct confounding

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

49. Wanda is assessing a new treatment for performance anxiety and includes a single assessment for performance anxiety. Her study is at risk for ____.​

  a. ​mono-method bias
  b. ​mono-operation bias
  c. ​treatment interactions
  d. ​restricted generalizability

 

ANSWER:   a
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

50. Wanda is assessing a new treatment for performance anxiety that involves teaching individuals how to control their breathing. She presents her preliminary results at a student research symposium and is questioned as to whether her intervention affects the cognitive components of performance anxiety. She is being questioned about the possibility of ____.​

  a. ​mono-method bias
  b. ​mono-operation bias
  c. ​treatment interactions
  d. ​hypothesis guessing

 

ANSWER:   b
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

Completion

 

51. A(n) _______________ scale simply ranks attributes.​

ANSWER:   ordinal​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

52. When a(n) _______________ scale is used, it makes sense to say one score is twice as much as another or that twice as much of the characteristic being measured is present.​

ANSWER:   ​ratio
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

53. When a television competition show has a “red” team and a “blue” team, they are using a(n) _______________ scale.​

ANSWER:   nominal​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

54. ​Von has a new measure of stress from daily hassles. He finds that it yields consistent scores, but seems not to be measuring stress at all. His test is _______________ but not _______________.

ANSWER:   reliable; valid​
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

55. Lydia develops a measure of postpartum depression. It has tremendous variability and seems not to be measuring depression at all. Her measure is (neither/both) _______________ reliable or/and valid.​

ANSWER:   neither​
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

56. Joe creates a measure of life satisfaction that yields consistent scores and seems to be measuring life satisfaction. His measure is (neither/both) _______________ reliable or/and valid.​

ANSWER:   Moderate
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

57. Ahran develops a measure of test anxiety and finds that, on average, it measures test anxiety for the group, but individual scores are highly variable from test to retest. His test is _______________ but not _______________.

ANSWER:   valid; reliable​
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.3 Integrating Reliability and Validity
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Analyze

 

58. Systematic error in an estimate is referred to as _______________.​

ANSWER:   bias​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

59. The type of reliability that is used to assess the degree to which different observers give consistent estimates of the same phenomenon is _______________.​

ANSWER:   inter-rater reliability​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

60. The type of reliability that is used to assess the consistency of the results of two tests constructed in the same way from the same content domain is _______________.​

ANSWER:   parallel-forms reliability​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

61. The type of reliability that is used to assess the consistency of an observation from one time to another is _______________.​

ANSWER:   ​test-retest reliability
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

62. ​The type of reliability that is used to assess the consistency of results across items within a test is _______________.

ANSWER:   internal consistency reliability​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

63. The extent to which a measure or instrument actually measures what it is theoretically supposed to measure is _______________.​

ANSWER:   ​construct validity
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

64. ​An evaluation of whether the operationalization or the implementation of the construct behaves the way it should is referred to as _______________.

ANSWER:   criterion-related validity​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

65. If an instrument looks as though it measures what it is supposed to measure, it has _______________.​

ANSWER:   face validity​
DIFFICULTY:   Easy
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

Essay

 

66. What are the four levels of measurement and what are the characteristics of each level?​

ANSWER:   Nominal Level of Measurement: Nominal means name, so this level of measurement is similar to the name of something. For example, the case of party affiliation is a nominal measurement because the numerical values simply name the attribute uniquely. No ordering of the cases is implied. Or, jersey numbers in basketball are measures at the nominal level. A player with number 30 is not more of anything than a player with number 15, and is certainly not twice whatever the player with number 15 is.

Ordinal Level of Measurement: In ordinal measurement, the attributes can be rank-ordered. Ranking of political beliefs described above is one example of ordinal measurement. However, here, distances between attributes do not have any meaning. For example, on a survey you might code Educational Attainment as 0 5 less than high school; 1 5 some high school; 2 5 high school degree; 3 5 some college; 4 5 college degree; 5 5 post college. In this measure, higher numbers mean more education. But, is the distance from 0 to 1 the same as 3 to 4? Of course not. The interval between values is not interpretable in an ordinal measure.

Interval Level of Measurement: In interval measurement, the distance between attributes is interpretable. For example, when we measure temperature, the difference between 30 degrees Fahrenheit and 40 degrees Fahrenheit is the same as the difference between 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Simply put, when each interval represents the same increment of the thing being measured, the measure is called an interval measure. This is very important in analysis because it makes sense to compute an average of an interval variable, while it doesn’t make sense to do so for ordinal scales. So, in other words, it makes sense to discuss the average temperature. But it doesn’t make sense to talk about the average basketball jersey number. So, this is a hint: the level of measurement is important to know because it has an effect on the type of analysis you can do on the data.

Ratio Level of Measurement: In interval measurement, ratios don’t make any sense; 80 degrees is not twice as hot as 40 degrees (although the numeric value we assign is twice as large). In ratio measurement, there is always a meaningful absolute zero. This means that you can construct a meaningful fraction (or ratio) with a ratio variable. Weight is a ratio variable. We can say that a 100-lb bag weighs twice as much as a 50-lb one. Similarly, age is also a ratio variable. In applied social research, most count variables are ratio, for example, the number of clients in the past six months. Why? Because you can have zero clients and because it is meaningful to say, “We had twice as many clients in the past six months as we did in the previous six months.”

DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.1 Foundations of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

67. What is true score theory and why is it important?​

ANSWER:   True score theory is a classical theory in measurement (and is often literally called classical test theory). Like all theories, you need to recognize that it is not proven; it is postulated as a model of how the world operates. Also, similar to many powerful models, the true score theory is a simple one. Essentially, true score theory maintains that every observable score is the sum of two components: true ability (or the true level) of the respondent on that measure; and random error. The true score is essentially the score that a person would have received if the score were perfectly accurate.

Why is true score theory important? For one thing, it is a simple yet powerful model for measurement. It is a reminder that most measurement will inevitably have an error component. Second, true score theory is the foundation of reliability theory, which will be discussed later in this chapter. A measure that has no random error (is all true score) is perfectly reliable; a measure that has no true score (is nothing but random error) has zero reliability. Minimizing measurement error is the key aim of developing measures that are more reliable. Third, true score theory can be used in computer simulations as the basis for generating observed scores with certain known properties.​

DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

68. ​What is random error and why is it important?

ANSWER:   Random error is caused by any factors that randomly affect measurement of the variable across the sample. For instance, people’s moods can inflate or deflate their performance on any occasion. In a particular testing, some children may be in a good mood and others may be depressed. If mood affects the children’s performance on the measure, it might artificially inflate the observed scores for some children and artificially deflate them for others.

The important thing about random error is that it does not have any consistent effects across the entire sample. Instead, it pushes observed scores up or down randomly. This means that if you could see all the random errors in a distribution they would have to sum to 0—random errors tend to balance out on average. There would be as many negative errors as positive ones. (Of course you can’t see the random errors because all you see is the observed score X). The important property of random error is that it adds variability to the data but does not affect average performance for the group. Because of this, random error is sometimes considered noise.​

DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

69. What is test-retest reliability and how is it measured?​

ANSWER:   You estimate test-retest reliability when you administer the same test to the same (or a similar) sample on two different occasions. This is a classic way to check on the stability of a measure. This approach assumes that there is no substantial change in the construct being measured between the two occasions. In estimating test-retest reliability, the focus is on analyzing the data collection instrument as a potential source of error. The amount of time allowed between measures is critical. You know that if you measure the same thing twice, the correlation between the two observations will depend in part on how much time elapses between the two measurement occasions. The shorter the time gap, the higher the correlation; the longer the time gap, the lower the correlation, because the two observations are related over time; the closer in time you get, the more similar the factors that contribute to error. Since this correlation is the test-retest estimate of reliability, you can obtain considerably different estimates depending on the time interval. Ideally, the interval between the two observations should be long enough so that values obtained the second time around are not affected by the previous measurement (for example, the respondent may just simply remember his or her response if the time interval is too short) but not so distant that knowledge of new things over time alters the way the study participants responds to the question.
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

70. What is content validity and how is it specified?​

ANSWER:   In content validity, you essentially check the operationalization against the relevant content domain for the construct. The content domain is like a comprehensive checklist of the traits of your construct. This approach assumes that you have a good, detailed description of the content domain, something that’s not always true. Let’s look at an example where it is true. You might lay out all of the characteristics of a teenage pregnancy-prevention program. You would probably include in this domain specification the definition of the target group, a description of whether the program is preventive in nature (as opposed to treatment-oriented), and the content that should be included, such as basic information on pregnancy, the use of abstinence, birth control methods, and so on. Then, armed with these characteristics, you create a type of checklist to be used when examining your program. Only programs that have these characteristics can legitimately be defined as teenage pregnancy-prevention programs. This all sounds fairly straightforward, and for many operationalizations, it may be. However, for other, more abstract constructs (such as self-esteem or intelligence), it may not be as easy to decide which characteristics constitute the content domain.
DIFFICULTY:   Moderate
REFERENCES:   5.2 Quality of Measurement
KEYWORDS:   Bloom’s: Understand

 

 

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