Psychological instruments: questions on the use of samples of behaviour

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If you observe any sales advertisements in TVs or other Medias, you will notice the use of so called professionals or experts who enthusiastically verify and confirm commercial products that being promoted. This is a marketing illusion for persuading potential buyers to decide on an assurance of reliability or credibility from experts. In the same manner, when Psychological test instrument are given a glamorous marketing hype with celebrity PH D(s) Psychologists queuing-up to testify about its credibility and reliability, this is when you have to be extra cautious. Shit is shit. Even if you were to encase it in gold, it is still shit at its core. So if a Psychological test instrument is shitty in its development, branding it through expert testimony does not change the fact that it is shitty.

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Psychological instruments: questions on the use of samples of behaviour

  1. 1. PSYCHOLOGICAL TEST INSTRUMENTS: QUESTIONS ON THE USE OF SAMPLES OFBEHAVIOUR While doing my graduate studies, I took up courses in Logic & Philosophy, Statistics& Research I & II, and Psychological Test & Measurements besides other subjects relatedPsychology and Counselling Psychology. Having had exposures in Psychological, Logical andPhilosophical methodologies of researching, compiling, analyzing and interpreting data, Ican reasonably comment on this current topic: Psychological Test Instruments: QuestionsOn The Use Of Samples Of Behaviour. Psychological test instruments are psychological tools that are employed inPsychometrics (science of Psychological testing) for measuring behavioural samples whichare compiled for statistical analyses and interpretations based on foregoing comprehensiveliterature reviews of the subjects/topics/items being researched. It must be noted that thisform of research is mainly related to quantitative studies. It is a pity that qualitativeresearch methods are still in its infancy.Questions of Reliability In our current profit-minded society, a great deal of hype is being place on thewondrous Psychological test instruments that can measure anything related to humanbehaviour. When I say anything, I mean it literally. For your information, there arePsychological tests even for “farting.” If you don’t believe, just goggle it. Emphasis is placedon instruments created by Western (Caucasian) individuals, groups or institutions withPsychological celebrity status as being the most reliable. Here is an infusion of Colonialmentality. Others try to impress with the number of PhD(s) behind the creation of theirinstruments. Even in Psychology, colonial mentality, nationality biasness, marketing, statusconsciousness and egos do make an impact on lay persons in the choice of Psychologicaltest Instruments. But are all these hypes and claims true? How reliable are thesePsychological test instruments?Questions on the use of “samples of behaviour” Take a fictitious example of company “T” who uses an American developedbehavioural-based instrument to interview a local MBA job seeker. One question asked is:Will you disobey your sales manager’s direct orders if you think your decision will beprofitable for the company? The expected answer is “yes” which was preselected to denoteindependent decision making ability. But let’s say the local job seeker, Mr. X says no. Mr. X
  2. 2. would be scored as not having independent decision making ability. Is the scoring on thisitem (question) accurate? Of course not! If local culture and social behaviour emphasizes obedience right from primary touniversity educational levels and obedience is considered a cardinal virtue, especiallyobedience to superiors - How cans Mr. X who from his childhood to his MBA education, whohad been conditioned to a mindset of obedience is expected to alter his mindset andbehaviour to fit an American mindset and answer? The problem is not with Mr. X. It is withthe Psychological test instrument and especially the question (item) itself. The AmericanPsychological test instrument and questions (items) was developed using Americanbehavioural samples which naturally elicited a “yes” answer due to the American nationalculture that conditions independent decision making mindsets. The Psychological testinstrument was not developed and tested with samples of behaviour based on the culturaland social variables of Mr. X’s environment. It must be noted that it is impossible for one Psychological test instrument and itsquestions to be generalized for every culture and sub-cultures on this planet. If there is anycelebrity Psychological test instrument that claims to be globally applicable, you can beassured that it is a fake claim. But unfortunately, there are still gullible lay persons outthere, who think that, the more expensive and branded a Psychological test instrumentmarkets itself to be, the more reliable it will be in performances.Questions to Ask Before Using a Psychological Test Instrument In the context of questions on the use of samples of behaviour, here are threespecific questions you should ask before using any Psychological test instrument. 1. Is this Psychological test instrument developed specifically for the current test? 2. Are there existing completed studies to confirm and verify that this Psychological test instrument is reliable for the current test purpose? 3. Were the samples of behaviour that were used in the development of the Psychological test instrument, were from the same or intrinsically similar population as with this current test? If the answer to any of these three questions is a negative, I would suggest don’t useit even if the “Psychological Pope” says that it is the “psychological test bible” of thecentury. Rather take the trouble and cost to develop one specifically for the current use.
  3. 3. A Word of Caution If you observe any sales advertisements in TVs or other Medias, you will notice theuse of so called professionals or experts who enthusiastically verify and confirm commercialproducts that being promoted. This is a marketing illusion for persuading potential buyersto decide on an assurance of reliability or credibility from experts. In the same manner,when Psychological test instrument are given a glamorous marketing hype with celebrity PHD(s) Psychologists queuing-up to testify about its credibility and reliability, this is when youhave to be extra cautious. Shit is shit. Even if you were to encase it in gold, it is still shit at itscore. So if a Psychological test instrument is shitty in its development, branding it throughexpert testimony does not change the fact that it is shitty.

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