Principles of Psychometrics
Syllabus, Spring 2011
Instructor: Robert T. Hitlan, Ph.D. Section: 1 (3 Credit Hours)
Office: 437 Baker Hall Class: MWF 10:00 – 10:50 - SAB 125
Phone: (319) 273-2223 Web Page: www.uni.edu/~hitlan
E-mail: email@example.com Office Hours: M & W 1:00- 2:00 &
Kaplan, R.M., & Saccuzzo, D.P. (2009). Psychological testing: Principles, Applications, and Issues (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
OPTIONAL / SUGGESTED TEXT
Student Workbook for Kaplan/Saccuzzo's Psychological Testing: Principles, Applications, and Issues, 7th Edition. ISBN-10: 0-495-59774-0
RESERVE READINGS/OUTSIDE READINGS
DeVellis, R. F. (2003). Scale Development: Theory and Applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
This course is designed to introduce students to the concepts necessary for an understanding of psychological testing. The first portion of the class will be devoted to a general introduction of the course material with an emphasis on understanding statistical concepts related to test construction and the psychometric properties of test scores. The remainder of the course will be spent examining typical assessment instruments and measures in the context of understanding, confirming, or providing support for client difficulties. This course surveys those tests that assess ability, personality, and occupational interest. As such, this course is particularly valuable for those students seeking degrees or future careers in clinical psychology, counseling psychology, guidance, pastoral counseling, industrial/organizational psychology, and educational psychology. Course content will periodically explore current issues and controversies in the field.
By the end of the course, you should be able to:
1. Define and discuss different categories of tests and identify several tests, and their usefulness, in each category.
2. Have some familiarity with concepts important in determining if tests tend to provide reliable
and valid scores.
3. Demonstrate an understanding of norms and basic statistics used in psychological testing.
4. Understand professional, legal, and ethical issues in testing.
5. Comprehend and provide a rationale for selecting tests to measure various characteristics of interest.
GRADING AND EVALUATION
Your grade in this course will be determined as follows:
Examinations (x3) 60%
Scale Development Paper 30%
Examinations (x3) 50%
Scale Development Paper 30%
Integration Assignment 10%
A - 90-100%
B - 80-89%
C - 70-79%
D - 60-69%
F - 59% and Below
The course will include THREE examinations, which may include multiple choice, True/False, short answer, and essay formats All examinations will equally cover lecture material, class demonstrations, and reading assignments. No make-up examinations will be administered, so it is imperative that you attend class on exam days or you will receive a score of ZERO for that examination. In the extraordinarily RARE event that a make-up examination is offered to a student (excluding rescheduling of examinations for student athletes or legitimate university excused absences) the examination will be entirely in short answer and essay format.
Thus, please prepare to be present for the scheduled examinations. NO extra credit will be awarded during the semester.
As you will learn in this class, it is important for an instructor to assess students on a variety of dimensions. As such, objective multiple choice examinations are not always the best medium to test knowledge acquisition in psychology. I have developed two assignments which will allow all students to engage in various activities related to psychological testing and measurement. Because psychology is a science, research and writing are critical to its advancement. These assignments are designed to give each of you the opportunity to briefly engage in such activities. ALL PAPERS, MUST BE SUBMITTED BOTH VIA EMAIL AND PAPER COPY. ALL ELECTRONIC SUBMISSIONS WILL BE SUBMITTED TO TURNITIN.COM FOR ANALYSIS. Missing any of the due date deadlines noted below will result in the following deduction in your grade for that assignment.
.01-24 hours late = 10% reduction
24.01 - 48 hours late = 20% reduction
48.01 - 72 hours late = 30% reduction
72.01 - 96 hours late = 40% reduction
96.01 - 120 hours late = 50% reduction
Anything over 120 hours will not be accepted (please don’t ask)
**Please note that with the technological advancements currently in place (e.g., email), deadlines can be fulfilled by providing me with the appropriate information via email. Thus, weekends DO count toward grade reduction commensurate with those percentages outlined above.
Scale Development Paper . This assignment will require you to conceptualize and develop a 10 item psychological test, write items for the test, collect data (students in the class will complete each other’s test), analyze the data, and then provide a written summary of the results of an item analysis. This process will be completed over the entire course of the semester, and each student will provide me with a summary of the test development process at the end of the course in the form of a typewritten paper in APA format. Here are the particulars of this assignment:
(a) Construct a 10-item psychological test/measure; scale draft due NO LATER THAN February 18, 2011 in class
` (b) Collect data on your instrument in our class (and outside, at least 50 people). Bring copies of your instrument to class on March 11, 2011;
(c ) Have your data entered into SPSS and be prepared to complete a factor analysis, item analyses, reliability analyses. Baker 373 (March 28, 2011)
(d) Write a paper (~10-18 pages) excluding references and appendixes that summarizes the theoretical rationale for your specific instrument (e.g., why do we need to measure your particular construct or why do we need another measure of xxx) and the instrument development process for your instrument. All papers should conform to APA style and include a title page, abstract, introduction, methods section, results section, discussion section and a references section. The Final Paper is due NO LATER THAN Monday April 25, 2011 at the beginning of class.
This paper should also include a historical overview of the construct, a critical evaluation of existing inventories used to measure the construct, and a detailed description of the development of your inventory (item generation, basis for item selection, initial studies to evaluate reliability and validity, etc.).
Group Lecture Exercise.
This second assignment will provide each of the students in the class with an opportunity to team-teach the course for the majority of the 50 minute class. Students will be divided into groups of two or three, and each group will have the opportunity to select which topic they will teach (see tentative course schedule for topics and dates). In the event that a group cannot decide on a topic, one will be assigned by the instructor. This exercise will be discussed in more detail in advance of the first group lecture period, and a handout will be provided describing my expectations. Presentations will begin on April 20, 2011 and will continue for the next several class periods. This assignment will be worth 10% of your final grade.
Controversial Issues in Testing (Graduate Students ONLY)
Select a controversial issue or debate relevant to psychometrics, the application of standardized testing, or the use of test results. Using a combination of popular media reports, personal experience and empirical references, research both sides of the topic to present a comprehensive overview of the relevant issues influencing the controversy. Guidelines - Integrate a minimum of 4 references (at least 3 references must be empirical, peer-reviewed, research articles). Assignment length is 4-6 pages. APA style. Alternatively, one might write a paper that discusses an issue or problem in psychometrics/ psychological measurement (e.g., validating diagnostic interviews; the use of factor analysis in test construction). This assignment is due NO LATER THAN Monday March 28, 2011 at the beginning of class.
ATTENDANCE AND PARTICIPATION
All classes will require active student participation. Therefore, attendance and participation are expected by the instructor, and failure to attend and/or participate will MOST LIKELY affect your course grade. I consider the course important (or I wouldn’t teach it), and I hope that you will as well. If you miss a class, do NOT ask me what you missed or if the material we covered during that class session was important. To determine WHAT you missed refer to the syllabus and contact a fellow student for their notes. To determine if the material we covered during a specific class was important refer back to this point – I would not waste your time or my time teaching material I did NOT feel was important!
A final grade of incomplete will NOT be given to a student simply to accommodate an inability to complete the required work in a timely manner during the semester. An incomplete will be given ONLY under certain circumstances that are discussed and arranged in advance with the instructor or for circumstances that are beyond the student’s control (e.g., incapacitating medical condition, injury beyond the student's control).
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITES:
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The following information was obtained from the UNI office of Disability Services (http://www.uni.edu/disability/Questions.shtml)
“As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, a disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities. Some major life activities referred to under the definition of disability in the ADA include: walking, sitting, seeing, hearing, standing, breathing, reaching, learning, speaking, concentrating, sleeping, performing manual tasks, working, lifting, caring for oneself, and interacting with others. Substantially limits indicates either an inability to perform the major life activity or a significant restriction ‘as to the condition, manner, or duration under which an individual can perform a particular major life activity as compared to the condition, manner, or duration under which the average person in the general population can perform the same major life activity.’”
In compliance with the University of Northern Iowa policy and equal access laws, I am available to meet and discuss confidentially any academic accommodations that may be required for students with disabilities. Requests for academic accommodations are to be made during the first three weeks of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made. Students are encouraged to register with Student Disability Services, 103 Student Health Center (ph: 319-273-2677: TTY: 319-273-3011; Fax: 319-273-6884), to verify their eligibility for appropriate accommodations.
ACADEMIC ETHICS POLICIES:
Students at the University of Northern Iowa are required to observe the commonly-accepted standards of academic honesty and integrity. Except in those instances in which group work is specifically authorized by the instructor of the class, no work which is not solely the student's is to be submitted to a professor in the form of an examination paper, a term paper, class project, research project, or thesis project.
Cheating of any kind on examinations and/or plagiarism of papers or projects is strictly prohibited. Also unacceptable are the purchase of papers from commercial sources, using a single paper to meet the requirement of more than one class (except in instances authorized and considered appropriate by the professors of the two classes), and submission of a term paper or project completed by any individual other than the student submitting the work. Students are cautioned that plagiarism is defined as the process of stealing or passing off as one's own the ideas or words of another, or presenting as one's own an idea or product which is derived from an existing source.
It is not acceptable for the work or ideas of another scholar to be presented as a student's own or to be utilized in a paper or project without proper citation. To avoid any appearance of plagiarism or accidental plagiarism, it is important that all students become fully cognizant of the citation procedures utilized in their own discipline and in the classes which they take. The plea of ignorance regarding citation procedures or of carelessness in citation is not a compelling defense against allegations of plagiarism. A college student, by the fact that s(he) holds that status, is expected to understand the distinction between proper scholarly use of others' work and plagiarism.
A student who is found to have improperly used others' work must expect to be penalized for such action -- even if the argument is made that the action was taken with innocent intention -- and the student's instructor will normally judge such work "unacceptable." But it should be noted that the assignment of a low or failing grade for unacceptable work is not in itself a disciplinary action -- even if the assignment of such a grade results in the student's receiving a lower grade in the course, including "F", than s(he) would otherwise achieve. Such a response by an instructor is part of the normal grading process; if a student feels that s(he) has grounds to protest a grade received through this process, the student has access to the academic grievance procedure which the university has developed to deal with all student academic grievances.
I should mention that mastery of the material in this course demands time, practice and thoughtful study. Thus, to understand the material presented in the course and to successfully complete the class, each student must read assigned readings, accurately complete assignments, thoughtfully consider the subject matter and perform satisfactorily on the above listed criteria. Study groups often help students understand course material and perform better on examinations. They also provide an outlet for students to practice techniques and discuss concepts with others. I therefore encourage you to form study groups and to begin studying the material early, as the longer you wait the more difficult it will be to keep up with the class. Unless otherwise noted in seminar, I will maintain my listed office hours and will be available by appointment. Finally, I cannot impress upon you vehemently enough the importance of discussing with your instructor any difficulties (e.g., absences, personal problems) that may render it difficult for you to perform satisfactorily in this class. It is NOT necessary in most situations to describe in graphic detail the difficulties that you are experiencing, but it critical that you bring these problems to my awareness as soon as they arise. As a former college student, I understand the difficulties and stumbling blocks that you will occasionally experience in your pursuit of higher learning. Please do not hesitate to consult with me about any problems that you are experiencing with the class, but please do it in a timely manner (i.e., BEFORE an examination, not AFTER as an excuse for poor test performance or a missed examination).
It never hurts to ask, but if you wait until after the problematic situation has caused you difficulties in the class, I will be much less empathetic toward your plight.
CELL PHONE BAN: Cell phone usage, including text messaging, in class will not be tolerated.
Phones are a distraction in class and disrupt the learning process. Therefore, ALL CELL
PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF—NOT PLACED ON SILENT MODE—BEFORE CLASS BEGINS. The world can get along without you (and you without the world) for 50 minutes. Anyone texting or otherwise using a phone in class, without special permission of the instructor, will be dismissed from the class.
Tentative Schedule, Spring 2011
Date /Content/ (Reading Assignment)
01/10 Introductions/Overview; Class Policy, Syllabus
01/12 Introduction and Testing History (Chapter 1)
01/14 Introduction and Testing History (Chapter 1)
01/17 NO CLASS - University Holiday – MLKJ
01/19 General perspectives on measurement (origin, later developments; DeVellis – Chapter 1)
01/21 Norms and Basic Statistics for Testing (Chapter 2)
01/24 Norms and Basic Statistics for Testing (Chapter 2)
01/26 Correlation and Regression (Chapter 3)
01/28 NO CLASS
01/31 Correlation and Regression (Chapter 3)
02/02 Correlation and Regression (Chapter 3)
02/04 Mediation and Moderation (Outside Readings)
02/07 Exam 1
(Kaplan & Saccuzzo Chapters 1-3/ DeVellis Chapter 1/ Outside Readings)
02/09 Understanding the Latent Variable (DeVellis – Chapter 2)
02/11 Reliability (Chapter 4)
02/14 Reliability (Chapter 4)
02/16 Reliability (Chapter 4/ DeVellis – Chapter 3)
02/18 Validity (Chapter 5)
02/21 Validity (Chapter 5)
02/23 Validity (Chapter 5 and DeVellis – Chapter 4)
02/25 Guidelines on scale development (DeVellis – Chapter 5)
02/28 Test Construction: Writing and Evaluating Test Items (Chapter 6)
03/02 Test Construction: Writing and Evaluating Test Items (Chapter 6)
03/04 Test Construction: Writing and Evaluating Test Items (Chapter 6)
03/07 Exam 2
(Kaplan & Saccuzzo Chapters 4-6/ DeVellis Chapters 2-5/ Outside Readings)
03/09 Test Administration (Chapter 7)
03/11 Test Administration (Chapter 7)
03/14 NO CLASS – SPRING BREAK
03/16 NO CLASS – SPRING BREAK
03/18 NO CLASS – SPRING BREAK
03/21 Overview Factor Analysis (DeVellis – Chapter 6 and Outside Readings)
03/23 Overview Item Response theory (DeVellis – Chapter 7 and Outside Readings)
03/25 Measurement in Research (DeVellis – Chapter 8 and Outside Readings)
03/28 SPSS lab Baker 373 – Data Analysis
03/30 SPSS lab Baker 373 – Data Analysis
04/01 SPSS lab Baker 373 – Data Analysis
04/04 Test Bias (Chapter 19)
04/06 Test Bias (Chapter 19)
04/08 Test Bias (Chapter 19)
04/11 Testing and the Law (Chapter 20)
04/13 Testing and the Law (Chapter 20)
04/15 Testing and the Law (Chapter 20)
04/18 Exam 3
(Kaplan & Saccuzzo Chapters 7, 19, 20/ DeVellis Chapters 6-8/ Outside Readings)
04/20 Group Lecture #1 --
04/22 Group Lecture #2 --
04/25 Group Lecture #3 –
04/27 Group Lecture #4 --
04/29 Group Lecture #5 --
Final Exam: 10-11:50 Monday May 2nd
05/02 Group Lecture #6 –
05/02 Group Lecture #7 --
**** Please note that these dates are tentative, and I reserve the right to alter the course schedule as needed to accommodate activities or to provide additional time to teach the material.