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Psy475 (Week 1 Dq 1)

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PSY475 (Week 1 DQ 1)
Summarize the major assumptions and fundamental questions associated with psychological testing?
The definition of test in our text reminds me of the definition of hypothesis that I encountered when I took my first statistics class. A hypothesis is not a simple prediction; rather the chore of a good hypothesis is the elucidation of causality (Aron, Aron & Coups, 2006). It is not enough to simply predict what will happen when vinegar is added to baking soda. A good hypothesis would propose a cause for the chemical interaction and further would devise a set of experiments to unearth that cause. In the same way, I thought that the “test” was merely the instrument by which causality was unearthed. Both of the standard definitions from the Oxford English Dictionary and Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing were clearly circular. For one, I don’t think you are supposed to use the term being defined in the definition. The text offers a six element definition of the word test (Hogan, 2007). Collective the six dimensions describe testing as a procedure or device used to yield quantifiable, measurable information about behavior and cognitive processes through a systematic, standardized procedure.
I suppose the most fundamental question of psychological testing is: can behavior—cognitive or corporeal—be quantified into valid, reliable, usable, relevant numerical values? And further can the quantifications elucidate causality, because if they can’t then what is the point? A good reference might be Plato’s shadows on the cave wall. We seek truth, and objective truth at that (truth that is true for everyone, everywhere). It would seem that testing offers a mirror by which we can see through the shadows of subjectivity and opinion and see but a dim reflection of the thing we call truth. Although I would take the reflection over the shadows any day.
Aron, A., Aron, E., & Coups, E. (2006). Statistics for psychology (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Allyn Bacon.
Hogan, T.P. (2007). Psychological testing: A practical introduction (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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