Dr. Melanie Page Psychological Testing (PSYCH 4813) Fall 2003


Class: TR 12:30 1:45 Morrill Hall 101

Office: 408 N. Murray Hall Undergrad Teaching Assistant: Ben Porter

Office Hours: by appointment Email: whatbudda@hotmail.com

You can drop by Dr. James Grices office for help if you see his door open (404 NM)

Email: melanis@okstate.edu


Course website: fp.okstate.edu/melanis Discussion questions, syllabus, and practice tests are on website or will be emailed to you. You must have an email address (if you automatically block listservs, unblock mine and Bens addresses please).


Description and Goals: This course focuses on test construction and the psychometric properties of tests. Classical and modern methods of assessing psychometric properties are covered. You should gain enough understanding of these principles to be able to evaluate tests you encounter in the literature and in your lives. You will then use this knowledge to discuss and evaluate a variety of types of tests including IQ, personality, and personnel selection. Testing in educational and clinical settings is also covered.


Philosophy: The course consists of lecture, DISCUSSION, homework related to the discussion, tests, and a final project. I will try and make this class fun and interesting, but remember you are ultimately responsible for how you do in this class. This class will not be an easy class and is quite time intensive. If you do not have the time to put in this semester, you may want to rethink being here. In addition, I will be on maternity leave for 8 weeks and you will have different instructors during that time, if this format will bother you, you may be better off in another course.


Background necessary: Although it will help you if you have taken a research methods course, it is not vital to success. What is vital however is that you have taken a basic statistics course. I assume you know what the mean, median, standard deviation, correlation coefficients, regression analysis, t-tests, and ANOVA are. I also assume you know how to calculate them (you do not have to do calculations on a test, but will sometimes do them in lecture and my pace will reflect you already know this stuff). In addition, you should be familiar with or willing to learn APA writing style.


Attendance: There is no penalty per se for missing class, but much of the material is not in the book so you will not do as well in the course if you do not attend. You are also responsible for all assignments and announcements.


Classroom ethics:

  • Cheating is unacceptable and if you cheat you will fail the course. A report will also be filed with University Officials. You may work with others on homework, but ultimately the work you turn in must be your own.
  • Disruptive and rude behavior is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
  • Any student who needs special accommodations must see me after the first class period to make proper arrangements.
  • I will not take any actions to withdraw you from this class. If you need to withdraw you will need to pursue those options. I suggest talking to me before withdrawing to see if there are any other options.


Text: Foundations of Psychological Testing by S.A. McIntire and L.A. Miller. Two reading packets are available at Cowboy Copy in the SU. If you are grad school bound, now is a good time to buy the APA style manual (5th edition)


Tests: There are two essentially noncumulative tests. You must take both tests. Makeups are given only in documented emergencies and must be approved by instructor prior to your missing the exam. Each test is 50 points. In terms of what will be on the test from the articles the only things that will be on the test are those that the class discusses as a whole. I will rely on Bens notes when determining what would be a fair question. The majority of the questions will be from lecture and book material. You will also receive a practice test (for the midterm you will actually spend a class working the test) for each test that will help you in knowing what to study.


Late work will not be accepted. If you know you will be absent, you may turn an assignment in early. If you are sick on a due date, you may have a friend drop it off at class or email it to Ben. All work must be typed.


Homework: The main homework in this course is reading articles and answering questions (described below). There are also 5 points for turning in 5 references (in correct APA style) related to your final paper. Write your name on the back of the reference sheet as a name on the front is not APA style. You may also email me the references (as an attachment in Word) just be sure to include your name in the subject line.


Final Project: Each student will write a 4-5 page literature review paper (APA style) on some topic relevant to testing (50 points). See the Final Project sheet for more details. If you would like me to give you feedback on a draft, you need to turn it in on 11/4 in order to give me enough time to provide detailed feedback. People who take advantage of this service do much better on the final paper than those who do not.


Discussion: A large part of this class is going to be group discussion of articles relevant to testing. If you do not want to read 1- 2 articles per class or do not want to talk, dont take this course. Each article has discussion questions associated with it that are posted on the website you need to turn in type written answers to the questions to the undergraduate TA (if you did not get a chance to type the answers before class, show Ben your paper before class starts to get credit; do not make a habit of handwriting answers this is a 1 or 2 time thing). There are 13 sets of questions and you need to turn in 11 sets; each set is worth 3 points, so a total of 33 points (this is basically to make you read and answer the questions so you can discuss the points are basically participation points). If you turn in the extra two sets you can get the points for those as well.


Extra Credit: You may get up to 5 points extra credit for participation in research or research colloquiums (announced in class).


Final Grade: Your final grade for the course will be based upon the total number of points you receive. If you get 90-100% of the points you get an A; B, 80-89; C, 70-79: D, 60-69: F, 59 or less. I follow rules of rounding for determining grades if you get a .5 or above I round up to the next whole number. Thus a 90.4 is a B. There are no exceptions to this rounding policy in fairness to all students, so I suggest taking advantage of extra credit opportunities.


The syllabus is my best guess at what we will cover and what our pace will be. As such, it is subject to revision. Any changes in due dates announced in class supersede those in the syllabus.


The numbers listed in the class outline are book chapter numbers that I will assume come test time that you have read. The articles required for that class are listed by the first authors last name. If there is an A or B next to the article, then only those people have to read the article As will give Bs a copy of their answers to the questions and vice versa (you can provide paper copies or you can email them to your group). As will lead the discussion on their article Bs should listen and add in relevant comments from what they are learning in the course (reverse roles for when Bs lead). If an article does not have an A or a B then everyone is expected to have read it. All question answers should be submitted to Ben so he can record your points. You do not need to read all the articles in order to do well on the tests the reason I am dividing the reading up is that it would be too much for one person. Any test question over the articles will have been discussed by the class as a whole (of course if you do not come to class, you will need to read both articles or get notes from a friend).


Class Outline

Week starting: Chapter/Readings Due

8/19 Intro to course

Intro to testing 1


8/26 Ethics, legality of testing 3; APA guidelines, case studies no questions

Reliability 6


9/2 Validity 7-9 Submit topic for final project (0)


9/9 Test development /surveys 10-12


9/16 Applications and Test Evaluation Spanier (A); Nevo (B) Questions

Issues in IQ testing Sternberg, Monitor articles Questions; 5 references

for final project (5 pts)


9/23 IQ tests, adults Derkson (A); Wechsler (B) Questions

IQ tests, child Perlman (A); Armor-Thomas (B) Questions


9/30 No class 9/30 Fall Break

IQ tests, child Sattler (A), Lopez (B) Questions

10/7 Using tests in clinical settings Reynolds (A); Steer (B); Canals (B) Questions

Graham (A), Petot (B), Lilienfeld (B) Questions

10/14 Review

Midterm (10/16)


10/21 Personality tests Herzberg, Neto Questions


10/28 Generalizability Theory Shavelson No questions turned in

Factor Analysis Primavera No questions turned in


11/4 Applications of Factor Analysis Forester, Greenblatt Draft of paper due if you want

Multitrait-Multimethod article feedback for final grade (11/4)

No questions turned in either day


11/11 Personnel selection Seibert (A), Arthur (B) Questions

Viswesvaran (A), Ones (B) Questions


11/18 Using tests in educational settings Kaufman (A), Watkins (B) Questions

Sternberg (A), Goldberg (B), House Questions


11/25 Test Discrimination Roth (A); ch. 5 article (B) Questions No class on 11/27, Thanksgiving Break


12/2 Student presentations Final project paper (50 points)

Due 12/4

Final Exam, Thurs 12/11 10:00 to 11:50