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Campbell and Fiske

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Campbell and Fiske
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Campbell and Fiske
Introduction
Psychology is the scientific study of the mental capability and behavior with the aim of creating an understanding of different groups of individuals, both human and nonhuman, in the society. In psychology, constructs refers to ideals or variables that is impossible to quantify since they do not possess any measurable attribute. Motivation, intelligence anger, personality, attachment, love and fear are some example of construct. Personality psychology comprises of characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that shapes a person. One of the most prominent issues in personality psychology is the measurement of personality construct. This paper aims at looking into the measurement of construct with regard to multitrait-multimethod matrix developed by Campbell and Fiske and other single methodology.
The multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) matrix is an approach for the examination of Construct Validity. It was developed by Campbell and Fiske (1959). According to Campbell and Fiske, there are six major considerations when examining a construct's validity through the MTMM matrix. The six considerations are as follows. The first consideration is the evaluation of convergent validity, which is used to design tests that measures and shows how construct relate to each other. The second consideration is the evaluation of divergent validity. In this case, the construct being measured by a test should not correlate highly with different constructs. The third consideration is the trait-method unit whereby each test used in construct measurement is considered as trait-method unit. The fourth is the Multitrait-multimethod whereby more than one trait and method must be used to establish discriminant validity and the relative contributions of the trait or method specific variance. The fourth consideration is the truly different methodology: When using multiple methods, one must consider how different the actual measures are. The last consideration is called the trait characteristics, which stipulate that traits should be different enough to be distinct, but similar enough to be worth examining in the MTMM Campbell &Fiske, 1959).
Convergent and discriminant are concepts of construct validity. Convergent validity is the degree to which concepts that should be related theoretically are interrelated in reality. Discriminant validity is the degree to which concepts that should not be related theoretically are, in fact, not interrelated in reality. You can assess both convergent and discriminant validity using the MTMM. In order to be able to claim that your measures have construct validity, you have to demonstrate both convergence and discrimination (Trochim, 2006).
The assessment and result of personality constructs can only be accepted if the validity of the methods used to measure them can be ascertained. It is important to evaluate the usefulness and accuracy of different methods of measuring personality constructs. The most common way of knowing the personality of an individual has been just to ask questions and based on the response given a researcher can deduce the personality of the individual. This method is termed as self-objective report. A person is asked a question based on a particular personality construct. In the field of personality psychology, asking people to respond to questions or statements about what they are like or how they behave, is the most preferred method. The advantages of using self-report are as follows. The method is cheap and data collection is relatively easy. Scoring results using the method is straightforward. A researcher is able to get original information from the primary source. It is always quick and easy to administer questionnaires (McDonald, 2008).
Although there are several advantages of self-reports as a way of measuring psychological construct. It has numerous limitations. Respondent tends to answer questions in a biased manner. The way questions are structured can affect the validity of the response. Respondent tends to answer questions without considering what the question is asking. An individual may not have the self-knowledge to give the correct result that is desired.
Another method that can be used to measure personality construct is informant reports. This would involve such methods as obtaining peer reports in which a number of other informants provide ratings about the individual. Based on a number of studies that have been conducted, informant reports could be defined as inventories on which a target’s friends, acquaintances and spouses, provide ratings that are based on their overall conception of the individual. One advantage of this method is that it is more reliable than the self-object report. Unlike self-objective this method tends to be more expensive. Informant reports have the potential of providing many attributes of an individual being assessed thereby providing results for several personality constructs (McDonald, 2008).
The least common method used in measuring personality construct is behavioral method. It involved directly examining the behavior of a subject in a given situation, which is central to examining personality. It gives situation-specific information. It produces fewer response biases than with questionnaires. It is conducted either in the laboratory or on the field. The disadvantages of this method are. First, it is the least practical and convenient method. Secondly, there are many ethical concerns, it involves complex coding schemes and it is expensive in both time and money. Lastly, there is a Possibility of disconnection between behavior and specific traits (McDonald, 2008).
Since each method used in measurement of personality construct has limitation, the best way of measuring characteristics of the individual is to employ several methods to increase certainty, reliability, accuracy and validity. Multiple methods such as self-reports, informant reports and behavioral measurement can be employed in measuring personality construct (McDonald, 2008). Before engaging in research, a researcher needs to determine the type of methods that best suit the study. Multiple methods have added advantage in that it ensures construct validity. Furthermore, more research questions involved can provide sufficient data. This method requires more effort, money, resources, time and training to implement.
Campbell and Fiske’s (1959) article on multitrait-multimethod (MTMM) approaches to construct validity has stood like a Platonic ideal for personality psychologists since its publication. In the ideal study, and scientific world, our constructs should converge in a robust and coherent fashion across diverse methods. Psychologist should aspire to use multiple methods in both validating our measures and in investigating our ideas (Eid & Diener, 2006).
Conclusion
There are several methods of measuring personality construct. They include self-reports, informant reports and behavioral method. All these three methods have their unique strength and limitations as a result a fourth methodology was developed by Campbell and Fiske. This method involves using the three methods, that is, self-reports, informant reports and behavioral method in measuring personality. The set of multiple methods to use depends on the design of the research and the intended target. Psychologists should not rely on a single method of measurement such as self-reports but employ multiple matrix method.
References
Campbell, D. T., & Fiske, D. W. (1959). Convergent And Discriminant Validation By The Multitrait-multimethod Matrix. Psychological Bulletin, 56(2), 81-105.
Eid, M., & Diener, E. (2006). Handbook of multimethod measurement in psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
McDonald, J. M. (2008). The Advantages and Disadvantages of Self-Reports, Informant Reports and Behavioral Assessments. Measuring Personality Constructs:, 1(1), 1-19.
Trochim, W. (2006, October 20). The Multitrait-Multimethod Matrix. Social Research Methods. Retrieved June 8, 2013, from http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/mtmmmat.php

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