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Chapter 15- Test Bias

by: Aimee Castillon

Chapter 15- Test Bias PSYC320

Marketplace > George Mason University > Psychlogy > PSYC320 > Chapter 15 Test Bias
Aimee Castillon
GPA 3.61

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Lecture notes on Chapter 15
Psyc Tests and Measurements
David Ferrier
Class Notes
Psychology, Tests & Measures, chapternotes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Aimee Castillon on Thursday May 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PSYC320 at George Mason University taught by David Ferrier in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 10 views. For similar materials see Psyc Tests and Measurements in Psychlogy at George Mason University.


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Date Created: 05/05/16
Intro ­ Cultural Test Bias Hypothesis (CTBH): group differences are the result of test  characteristics and are not the result of actual differences Bias­ systematic influence that distorts measurement or prediction by test scores ­ Biased measurement is one that systematically mis­estimates values Past and Present Concerns ­ The issue of cultural bias has been a major contemporary concern ­ Has become a legal and political issue ­ While objectivity is difficult, scientists should make every attempt to view issues  from the perspective of rational scientific inquiry Controversy Over Bias in Testing ­ Systematic group differences on standardized aptitude tests may occur as a  function of: ­ Socioeconomic level ­ Race or ethnic background ­ Black and white differences ­ Group differences on IQ tests ­ IQ tests show a mean difference  with White groups score 1 SD above Black groups ­ The size of the  difference reduces to 0.5 to 0.7 SD when factoring  demographic variables ­ Mean differences between ethnic groups ­ Not limited to Black­White  comparisons ­ Hispanic­White differences ­ Native Americans tend to perform  lower on tests of verbal intelligence than Whites ­ Asian American groups  ≥  White  groups ­ Other demographic variables ­ Explaining mean group differences ­ Perhaps the theoretical cognitive structures are different between  Black and White groups ­ Thus using the same measure would be  inappropriate ­ Test bias and etiology ­ Controversy over test bias is distinct from the question of etiology ­ Etiology is only relevant once (and if) it has been determined that  mean score differences are real ­ The inference that measured differences indicate  genetic differences is not defensible from a scientific perspective ­ Test bias and fairness ­ Bias and fairness are two separate concepts ­ Fairness­ moral, philosophical, or legal issue on  which reasonable people can disagree ­ Bias­ a statistical property of a test ­ Test bias and offensiveness ­ Test bias ≄ item offensiveness ­ Test developers often use a minority review panel ­ Examine each item for content that may be  offensive or demeaning to one or more groups ­ Test bias and inappropriate test administration and use ­ Controversy over test bias is not about  inappropriate administration and use of mental tests ­ Skilled and sensitive professionals must be aware  of the artificial factors ­ Bias and extraneous factors ­ Resolution of the cultural test bias question will not  resolve the problem of other factors (e.g. emotional and motivational  factors) that impact test scores of individuals from any group ­ Regardless of group differences, it is individuals  who are tested and whose scores may or may not be accurate Cultural Bias and the Nature of Psychological Testing ­ Psychological processes: ­ Are internal to the organism ­ Not subject to direct observation ­ Measurement must be inferred from behavior Objections to the Use of Tests with Minority Students ­ Since 1968, the ABPsi has sought a moratorium on the use of all psychological  and educational tests with students from disadvantaged backgrounds ­ The statements by these organizations assumed that psychological and  educational tests are biased ­ These efforts of spurred test developers and users to create standards and  conduct empirical inquiry into these issues ­ The most frequently stated problems fall into one of the following categories: ­ Inappropriate content ­ Tests are geared primarily toward White middle­ class homes ­ Black and other minority children not exposed to the test content ­ Inappropriate standardization samples ­ Ethnic minorities are underrepresented in  standardization samples ­ Therefore, the tests are unsuitable for use with  minority children ­ Examiner and language bias ­ Predominance of White psychologists who speak  standard English may intimidate ethnic minorities ­ Lower test scores for minorities may reflect only  this intimidation and difficulty in the communication process, not lower  ability ­ Inequitable social consequences ­ Minority group members, are thought to be unable  to learn and are assigned to dead­end educational tracks ­ Labeling effects also fall under this  category ­ Measurement of different constructs ­ Asserts that tests measure different constructs  when used with minorities ­ Thus, they do not measure minority intelligence  validly ­ Differential predictive validity ­ Test usage might result in valid predictions for one  group, but invalid predictions in another ­ Objections to the use of the standard criteria  against which tests are validated with minority cultural groups ­ Qualitatively distinct aptitude and personality ­ Test development should begin with different  definitions for different groups ­ These early actions brought these objections into public and professional  awareness prompting a considerable amount of research ­ Examining tests for potentially biasing factors prior to tests being commercially  available is now much more common The Problem of Definition in Test Bias ­ Bias “is said to arise when deficiencies in a test itself or the manner in which it is  used result in different meanings for scores earned by members of different identifiable  subgroups” ­ Evidence for the validity of test score interpretations can come from sources both internal and external to the test Cultural Loading and Cultural Bias ­ Cultural loading refers to the degree of cultural specificity present in the test ­ Cultural loading and cultural bias are not synonymous terms ­ Test or test item can be culturally loaded without being culturally  biased ­ A number of attempts have been made to develop culture­free intelligence tests ­ However, these are generally psychometrically inadequate Inappropriate Indicators of Bias: Mean Differences and Equivalent Distributions ­ Differences in mean levels of performance on cognitive tests have been taken as evidence of test bias by some ­ However the “mean difference” definition of test bias has been  uniformly rejected Bias in test content ­ A biased test item demonstrates to be more difficult for one group than another  item measuring the same construct when the overall level of performance on the  construct is held constant ­ Empirical techniques are available through Item response theory (IRT) designed  to detect differential item functioning (DIF) ­ Little evidence of bias at the level of the individual item is often found, although  some biased items are common ­ They seldom account for more than 2 to 5% of the variance in  performance Expert Minority Panels ­ Panel of expert minority group members to review all proposed test items ­ Also often able to identify items that contain material that is  offensive Bias in Other Internal Features of Tests ­ Construct measurement bias exists when: ­ A test measures different constructs for one group than another ­ Or, measures the same trait, but with different degrees of  accuracy ­ Factor analysis is useful to evaluate construct measurement bias ­ Factor analysis ­ Consistent factor analytic results across groups  provide evidence that what is being measured by the test is being  measured in the same manner with each group ­ Little evidence of different factor structures across  groups found in research Bias in Prediction ­ Present when errors in prediction are dependent on group membership and  regression lines differ ­ If slope or intercept of regression equations are different between groups, it is  inappropriate to use a regression equation based on combined groups ­ Summary ­ No strong evidence to support contentions of differential or single­ group validity ­ When it does occur, it usually over­predicts for  lower­performing groups (slightly) ­ Unlikely to account for adverse placement or diagnosis


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