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Chapter 11: Testing and

Individual Differences
AP Psychology
Mr. Tusow
Measuring Individual Differences
Psychology relies heavily on testing individuals, it is
part of the foundation for psychological analysis. To be
effective, however, strict guidelines must be followed.

Validity: Does the test actually measure what we say it

does/what we want it to?
Ex. Reading on a math test
Face validity: Does the test look like it tests what it is
supposed to test?
Content validity: Each part of the test is representative of
the larger body of knowledge.
Measuring Individual Differences
Criterion Validity: The behavior (such as college
grades) that a test (such as the SAT) is designed to

Predictive Validity: The success with which a test

predicts the behavior it is designed to predict.
Assessing Intelligence
Football 10 Greater correlation
linemen’s 9 over broad range
of body weights
 As the range of data
success under consideration
7 narrows, its predictive
6 power diminishes
Little corre-
lation within
3 restricted

180 250 290

Body weight in pounds
Measuring Individual Differences
The second part of a credible test is reliability.
Reliability: A test yields the same results over time
Test-Retest or Split-Half Reliability

Reliable, but not valid Not reliable, not valid Reliable and valid
Creating Validity and Reliability
The most efficient way to create validity and reliability
is to use a standardized test.

In the most basic sense, a standardized test means:

The administration and scoring is the same for each test
The results of the test can be used to draw a conclusion
about the test takers in regard to the objectives of the
Ex. AP test, S.A.T.
Judging Normal
A “normal curve” is applied to test to
determine establish “norms.” When a
statistically significant sample of the
population has been tested, strong
conclusions can be drawn.
A normal range for IQ scores is 70-130.
Scores below 70 indicate mental
retardation while scores above 130 are
considered gifted.
Normal Distribution of IQ Scores
Degrees of Mental Retardation
Types of Tests
There are two main types of tests:
1. Objective Tests: Tests that have one set answer, that can
be scored easily by machine
Ex. Multiple choice

1. Subjective Tests: Tests in which individuals are given

ambiguous figures or an open ended question which
requires some interpretation and analysis.
Ex. FRQs
Inter-rater reliability
Sample Subjective Test
The Rorschach Inkblot Test is one of the most widely
known, and inaccurate subjective tests.

The following slides are real inkblots from the test that
was, at one time, a widely used test. Today, it has lost
much, if not all of its credibility in determining
intelligence or mental illness.
Intelligence Testing
A term that is used frequently, but often
misunderstood is “intelligence.” What exactly is

Many people disagree about what exactly intelligence

is, but most do agree that it is:
Relative: defined in relation to the same abilities in a
comparison group (usually age)
Hypothetically constructed: it is unobservable, but instead
inferred from behavior
Testing IQ
IQ (intelligence quotient)
became a popular way to
classify people in the early
1900s when two French
psychologists (Alfred Binet and
Theodore Simon) developed a
test to identify those students
who were gifted, and those who
needed extra help.
The test had four important distinctions:
Scores were interpreted at their current performance
Used to identify students in need of help, not label them
or categorize them
Emphasized that training and opportunity could affect
Was empirically constructed

Scoring the test was done by calculating the mental age

(MA) and the chronological age (CA).
MA= The average age at which normal individuals achieve
a particular score
CA= The number of years since an individuals birth
Coming to America
The idea of IQ testing became popular in America for
three reasons:
A huge increase in immigration
New laws requiring universal education
Military assessing new recruits for WWI

It created an inexpensive and objective way to separate

those could benefit from education or military
leadership training and those who needed assistance.
Downside of IQ Testing
Despite its utility, IQ testing had a big downside. Tests
ended up reinforcing prevailing prejudices about race
and gender.

Ignored was the fact that environmental disadvantages

limit the full development of people’s intellectual
Same problem of NCLB!!!
Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
When the Binet test was adopted by a Stanford
professor, he changed the equation to make
intelligence scores into non-decimal numbers. This
now became known as the Intelligence Quotient (IQ).

Components of Intelligence
Savant Syndrome: Individuals with remarkable, but
rare talent, even though they are mentally deficient in
other areas.
Ex. Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man
Theories of Intelligence
Spearman’s g Factor: Charles Spearman thought
intelligence was a general factor behind all of our
mental ability.

Catell’s Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence

The g factor
Theories of Intelligence
Howard Gardner believed that IQ scores measured
only a limited range of human mental abilities. He
argued we have seven separate mental abilities he calls
the multiple intelligences.
Linguistic intelligence ("word smart"):
Logical-mathematical intelligence ("number/reasoning
Spatial intelligence ("picture smart")
Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence ("body smart")
Musical intelligence ("music smart")
Interpersonal intelligence ("people smart")
Intrapersonal intelligence ("self smart")