“Standardization implies the uniformity of procedure both in administering and scoring the test.”
- Moreover, a test should be a standardized over representative sample of population to obtain norms. The result of some tests must be comparable within the population.
- A psychological test is a sample of behavior collected under standardized conditions. The conditions under which a test is administered are certain to affect the behavior of the person or person taking the test. You would probably give different answers to questions to an intelligence test or a personality inventory administered in a quiet well-lit room than you would if the same test were administered at a baseball stadium during extra innings of a play-off game. A student is likely to do better on a test that is given in a regular classroom environment than he or she would if the same test were given in a hot, noisy auditorium. It is not possible to achieve the same degree of standardization with all psychological logical tests.
- Individually administered tests are difficult to standardize because the examiner is an integral part of the test. The same test given to the same subject by two different examiners is certain to elicit a somewhat different set of behaviors. Through specific training, a good deal of standardization in the essential features of testing can be achieved. Strict standard procedures for administrating various psychological tests help to minimize the effects of extraneous variables, such as the physical conditions of testing, the characteristics of the examiners or the subject’s confusion regarding the demands of test. A large diversity exists among different psychological tests and thousands of different tests in the market.
The immediate aim of testing is to measure or to describe in a quantitative way some attribute or set of attributes of the person taking the test. The final defining characteristic of a psychological test is that there must be some set of rules or procedures for describing in quantitative or numeric terms the subject’s behavior in response to the test. These rules must be sufficiently comprehensive and well defined that different examiners will assign scores that are at-least similar.
For a classroom test these rules may be simple and well defined, the students earn a certain number of points for each item answered correctly and the total score is determined by adding up the points. For other types of tests the scoring rules may not be so simple or definite.
Most mass-produced standardized tests are characterized by objective scoring rules. In this case the term objective should be taken to indicate that two people each applying the same set of scoring rules to an individual’s responses will always arrive at the same score for that individual. Thus two teachers who score the same multiple-choice test will always arrive at the same total score.
On the other hand many psychological tests are characterized by subjective scoring rules. Subjective scoring rules typically rely on the judgment of the examiner. It is important to note that the term subjective does not necessarily imply inaccurate or unreliable methods of scoring responses to test, but simply that human judgment is an integral part of the scoring of a test. Most psychological tests are designed so that two examiners confronted with the same set of responses will give similar scores. A measure that does not meet this criterion cannot be considered a satisfactory example of a psychological test.
A norm is a rule for acceptable behavior that is understood by people within a population. The word “norm” is also used to standardize tests and create a scoring system or baseline from the average scores of the group. Scores of psychological tests rarely provide absolute ration scale measure of psychological attributes.
Thus it rarely makes sense to ask in an absolute sense how much intelligence, motivation, and depth perception and so on a person has. Scores on psychological tests do however provide useful relative measures. It makes perfect sense to ask whether Scott is more intelligent, is more motivated or has better depth perception than Peter. Psychological tests provide a systematic method of answering such questions.
One of the most useful ways of describing a person’s performance on a test is to compare his or her test scores to the test base their scores on a comparison between each examinee and some standard population that has already takes the test. When a person’s test score is interpreted by comparing that score to he scores of several other people, this is referred to as a norm-based interpretation. The score to which each individual is compared are referred to as norms which provide standards for interpreting test scores. A norm-based score indicates where an individual stands in comparison to the particular normative group that defines the set of standards.
Several different groups might be used in providing normative information for interpreting test scores.
First no single population can be regarded as the normative group. Second a wide variety of norm-based interpretations could be made for a given raw score, depending on which normative group is chosen.