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Methods of Measuring

Behaviours

Dr. Tapan K. Dutta Ph.D.


Teachers' Training Department
Panskura Banamali College
Purba Medinipur
West Bengal
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CHAPTER OVERVIEW
Deciding on a Method
Tests and Their Development
Types of Tests
Observational Techniques
Questionnaires
SOME IMPORTANT FIRST
CONSIDERATIONS
Is the tool you propose to use reliable
and valid?
Base your choice of research tools on
how you have asked the research
question
TESTS AND THEIR DEVELOPMENT
A test should measure the nature and
extent of individual differences
A good test differentiates people based
on true scores
WHY USE TESTS?
Help determine outcomes of experiments
Can be used to diagnose strengths and
weaknesses
Assist in placing individuals in appropriate
programs
Assist in selecting applicants
Used to evaluate a programs effectiveness
TYPES OF TESTS
Overview

What It Does

Achievement Test Assesses an individuals knowledge of a


specific area
Attitude Test Assesses an individuals feelings about an
issue
Personality Test Assesses stable individual behavior
patterns
ACHIEVEMENT TEST SOURCES

Standardized
Commercially prepared for wide use
Scoring instructions included
Researcher-made
Designed by user for specific purpose
Scoring instructions specific to test
ACHIEVEMENT TESTS REFERENCING
What Comparison Do Tests Make?
Norm-referencedIndividuals scores
are compared to results from a larger
group
Criterion-referencedIndividuals scores
are compared to defined performance
standards
MULTIPLE-CHOICE ACHIEVEMENT
ITEMS
Anatomy of a Multiple-Choice Item
12. Intelligence tests that are given to STEM
preschool children Clearly written
CORRECT
a. favor middle-class children ANSWER
b. have questionable construct validity
c. are based on motor skills
d. are no fun at all

DISTRACTERS
Should be plausible (b & c), not easily ruled out (d)
TO USE OR NOT TO USE?
Advantages Disadvantages
Versatile Limit students options
Easy to score No opportunity to
Simple to take practice writing
Poor writers not Some people dont do
penalized well on them
Good items used again Limits content to be
Good distracters are assessed
diagnostic Items must be well
Hard to fake correct written
answer
ITEM ANALYSIS: HOW TO TELL IF
YOUR ITEMS WORK
Questions should discriminate those
who know the material from those who
dont
Item analysis provides two measures of
a questions ability to discriminate
Difficulty index
Discrimination index
COMPUTING INDICES
First Steps
1. Rank scores from highest to lowest
2. Choose top 27% of scores for high group
3. Choose bottom 27% of scores for low group
COMPUTING INDICES
12. Intelligence tests that are given to preschool children
a. favor middle-class children
b. have questionable construct validity
c. are based on motor skills
d. are no fun at all

Item Alternative A B C D Total


High Group 23 12 4 2 41
(n = 41)
Low Group 11 9 15 6 41
(n = 41)
Total 34 21 19 8 82
COMPUTING INDICES
Difficulty index Discrimination index
Proportion who Proportion in high group
answered item correctly who answered correctly
proportion in low
group who answered
correctly
D = NCh + NCl
D = NCh - NCl
T
(.5)T

NCh = number of people in high group answering correctly


NCl = number of people in low group answering correctly

T = total number of people in high and low groups


RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ITEM
DISCRIMINATION AND DIFFICULTY
Perfect
+1.00 Discrimination
When:
Discrimination Level

gets item
right,
gets item
wrong
0 &
0% 50% 100% right is in
upper half,
wrong is in
lower half

-1.00
Difficulty Level
ATTITUDE TESTS
Assess an Individuals Feelings About a
Topic
Item Agree No Strong Disagree
Feeling

The day before Thanksgiving should be


a holiday. ____ ____ ____

Final exams should be elective. ____ ____ ____

The dining room should serve gourmet


food. ____ ____ ____

My parents dont appreciate how smart I


am. ____ ____ ____

My professors dont appreciate how


smart I am, either. ____ ____ ____
THURSTONE SCALES
Method of Equal Appearing Intervals
Statements indicating an attitude
toward a topic are written
Judges rank the statements from least
favorable to most favorable
Statements receiving consistent ratings
are given the average score
A set of statements covering the entire
range of attitudes is selected
THURSTONE SCALES
Administration
Respondents check items with which
they agree
Well-formed attitudes indicated by
consistently checking either high or low
items
Poorly-formed or inconsistent attitudes
indicated by inconsistent pattern or by
checking off many neutral items
LIKERT SCALES

Statements indicating an attitude


toward a topic are written
Items with clearly positive or negative
attitudes are selected
Statements are listed with a space for
respondent to indicate degree of
agreement
A LIKERT SCALE
Directions: Indicate to what extent you agree or disagree with the statements listed
below by circling one of the following:
SA means that you strongly agree with the statement
A means that you agree with the statement
U means that you are undecided about the statement
D means that you disagree with the statement
SD means that you strongly disagree with the statement

Item Rating
Government has no business funding child
SD D U A SA
care programs.
Child care should be supported by federal,
SD D U A SA
state, and local tax dollars.
SCORING LIKERT RESPONSES
Method of Summated Ratings
Item Rating
Government has no business funding child
SD D U A SA
care programs.
Child care should be supported by federal,
SD D U A SA
state, and local tax dollars.

Items are weighted


Weights of unfavorable items are reversed
Average score is computed
PERSONALITY TESTS
Projective tests
Present respondent with ambiguous
stimulus
Structured tests
Questions are objective
OBSERVATIONAL TECHNIQUES
Researcher observes and records
Does not interfere with behavior
TECHNIQUES FOR RECORDING
BEHAVIOR
Durationhow long the behavior lasts
Frequencyhow frequently the
behavior occurs
Interval (time sampling)target
behaviors of each subject during set
period of time
Continuousall behaviors of the subject
TECHNIQUES FOR RECORDING
BEHAVIOR
Technique How it Works Example

Duration recording The researcher records the How much time is spent in
length of time that a verbal interaction between
behavior occurs. two children?
Frequency recording The researcher records the How often are questions
number of times a behavior asked?
occurs.
Interval recording The researcher observes a Within a 60-second period,
subject for a fixed amount how many times do
of time. members of the group talk
to another person?
Continuous recording The researcher records During a 1-hour period, all
everything that happens. the behavior of a 6-year-old
boy is recorded.
OBSERVATIONAL TECHNIQUES? BE
CAREFUL!
Pitfalls to Avoid
Observer effects
Observer bias
Fatigue
Changing definitions
QUESTIONNAIRES
What they are
Paper and pencil tests with structured
questions
Self-administered
QUESTIONNAIRES
Advantages
Can be mailed out
Survey broad geographic area
Cheaper than one-on-one interview
Respondents may be more honest
Data easy to share with other researchers
Disadvantage
Low return rate
BASIC ASSUMPTIONS OF A
QUESTIONNAIRE
Does not make unreasonable demands
upon the respondent
Does not have a hidden purpose
Requests information that respondents
presumably have
Contains interesting questions
Does not request information that could
be obtained by other means
THE QUESTIONS
The questionnaire contains questions
that can be answered
The questionnaire contains questions
that are straightforward
THE FORMAT
The presentation is attractive, professional,
and easy-to-understand
Questions and pages are clearly numbered
Directions are clear and explicit
Questions are objective
Questions are ordered sensibly
Transitions are used from one topic to the
next
THE IMPORTANCE OF USING A
COVER LETTER
Informs the recipient about the
research
Establishes the importance of the
research
Makes the recipient a part of the
research