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Validity in the aspect of psychometrics, is determined based on how well a test is measured in a specific context. On the other hand, a validity scale is used to make judgments on the honesty of the test takers.
The validity from Unit 4 was related to content, criterion-related, and construct aspects. It is based on the evaluation of the subjects or topics covered in the test. Further, there are evaluations of the relationship between the scores of more than one test. There is also an analysis of how the scores relate to others, as well as how the scores are understood (Cohen, 2018). A validity scale is one used to observe responses of test takers to determine dishonesty. This can show carelessness, misunderstanding, and an effort to deceive.
There are a few examples of validity scales, starting with the S-scale, which was founded by James Butcher. This scale is meant to exposed self-presentation in a superb way. Another example is the faking bad scale, which is used to determine if someone had submitted a bogus personal injury claim. Further, the VRIN, is what identifies aimless response patterns for a test taker (Cohen, 2018).
There are two standards that I found within the test interpretation section relating to validity scales. The first, standard 10.12, addresses the important point of considering alternate factors that could influence test outcomes. If there are any that the professionals believe have found, they should be described and determine the reasoning behind it. (APA, 2014). This is because there is a possibility of deception or malingering.
The second, standard 10.17, relates to computer-generated interpretations of data. This one mentions that the quality of the validity should be verified to ensure it is sufficient. If not, this could cause a misleading analyses of scores, as well as defective diagnostic decisions (APA, 2014).
Within the standards I found, neither rejected integrating the scales. Not only did they permit the use, but also provided guidance on what to do if the judgment ruled dishonesty in some way. Additionally, the standards provided consequences if the validity was not assessed.
To utilize a validity scale, a professional would be conducting a separate analysis of the test takers themselves.
One advantage of utilizing validity scales is to determine positive and negative personality types. This can show if a person is more open to experiences, or another is prone to narcissistic behavior. A disadvantage would be dishonesty some test takers would display. This aspect would alter the results and hypothesis the professionals started with. Further, the results would not be entirely true in the way that a test taker could answered certain questions a particular way on purpose.
After the readings, as well as completing the personality questionnaire, I believe there is a lot of information we can learn from implementing validity scales. This is also a tool professionals can use not only to see what the test taker’s answer are, but also the way in which they answer the questions. This can be considered the behavior of the test taker, as it is crucial to see how he or she is getting through the assessment.
Analyze how validity in psychometrics, as you explored in Unit 4, is different from a validity scale in a test of personality. Describe this difference in terms of their definitions.
Validity scales on psychometric assessments are quite different from validity, as presented in Chapter 4 Of Tests and Testing. In psychometrics, validity is a measurement that relates how well a test or test item measures what it claims to measure (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2018, p. 122), reflecting minimal error. Another way to word validity in psychometrics is how accurate or precise a test assesses what it states. Validity scales are subscales designed to evaluate how truthful or honest a test taker responds to items and gauge if the test taker may be suffering from an unintentional misunderstanding (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2018, p. 367). “Validity scales can show how accurate the test is, as well as to what degree answers may have been distorted” (Cherry, 2020). There are three overall areas that validity may fall under completeness and consistency measures, self-favorable scales and self-unfavorable scales.
Provide at least two examples of validity scales.
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory – 2 (MMPI-2) four validity scales are the L scale (Lie), F scale (Frequency/Infrequency), Fb scale (Back F), and K scale (defensiveness) (Axelrod, 2016). “The validity scales that assess protocol validity are VRIN, TRIN, F, Fb, Fp, L, K, and S” (Smith, n.d., p. 10). Housed under completeness and consistency measures are the CNS, TRIN, and VRIN (Gordon, 2011). The variable response inconsistency scale (VRIN), with scores of 13 or more, may be invalid or proof of inconsistent responses, possibly due to personality inconsistencies (Gordon, 2011). If VRIN≥80, the client’s profile is uninterpretable and a score of VRIN<40 points to hypervigilance, ultimately evaluating random responses (University of Minnesota, 2015). TRIN stands for the true response inconsistency scale and contains 23 items. Scores 13 or greater or five or less can be a sign of severe psychopathology (Gordon, 2011).
The subscales that fall under the self-unfavorable scale are the infrequency scale (F) with 60 items, back F scale (Fb) with 40 items, dissimulation scale (Ds) with 58 items, and the infrequency-psychopathology scale (Fp) with 27 items. High scores, T＞ 90, are often seen in psychotic patients. “High scores (＞T70), the best measure of overall psychopathology, resentment, acting out, moodiness. Low scores (T<45), possible fake good profile” (Gordon, 2011). If F is not elevated and Fb is T＞ 99, then the test taker’s likelihood randomly responded towards the end of the test is probable. “This is more likely than the other possible interpretation, namely that the testee decompensated toward the end of the test from having taken such a long self-report” (Gordon, 2011). Scores of T＞ 65 reflect exaggeration measuring neurotic symptoms. “If T-score Fb＞ T-score F + 20, then a significant change in responding occurred” (University of Minnesota, 2015). The Fp scores T≥71 up to T≥ 113 may be exaggerated unless the psychopathology is unmistakably severe, whereas T＞ 113 conveys exaggeration (Gordon, 2011). “If Fp≥100 and VRIN＜70 and TRIN＜70, then there is an intentional overreporting. If F is elevated and Fp＜70, the elevated score on F likely reflects severe pathology, distress, or unintentional overreporting. Fp＞70 and ＜100 reflect the degree of exaggeration of symptoms” (University of Minnesota, 2015).
There are five subscales under the self-favorable scale: lie scale (L) with 15 items, defensiveness (K) with 30 items, superlative self-presentation (S) with 50 items, positive malingering (Mp) with 26 items, and social desirability (Sd) with 33 items (Gordon, 2011). The L scale is a “tendency to create a favorable impression as a response bias, conventional, rigid, moralistic, repression, denial, and insightless” (Gordon, 2011), with a ＞ 5 considered high and ＜ 3 equating to a minimal score. The K scale “assumes psychopathology” with defensiveness, “insightlessness, intolerance, dogmatism and being controlled” reflected by ＞ 22 scores or a very low score (Gordon, 2011). “High scores are common with individuals who are well adjusted and well educated and tend to be in control of their lives” (Gordon, 2011). The S scale comprises five subscales: belief in human goodness, serenity, contentment with life, patience and denial of irritability and anger, and denial of moral flaws (Gordon, 2011). “If the person is high functioning, a high score accurately measures ego strength; however, if the person’s history does not support claims of superior adjustment, and T＞ 65, consider a faking to look good bias” (Gordon, 2011).
Integrate and cite the AERA standards from Chapter 10, “Psychological Testing and Assessment,” of your Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing text that directly addresses validity scales. Provide your interpretation of the standards and the use of validity scales. Discuss if the standards permit, reject, or provide guidance on integrating such scales in a report.
In the book, Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, Standard 10.12 states, “those who select tests and draw inferences from test scores should be familiar with the relevant evidence of validity and reliability/precision for the intended uses of the test scores and assessments and should be prepared to articulate a logical analysis that supports all facets of the assessment and the inferences made from the assessment” (2014, p. 164). Anytime the validity of a test item comes into play, it is usually cast in a negative light, meaning that inferences were drawn from the scores provided. The test taker may have been untruthful, dishonest, or lacks understanding of the question.
Additionally, Standard 10.13 states, “when the validity of a diagnosis is appraised by evaluating the level of agreement between interpretations of the test scores and the diagnosis, the diagnostic terms or categories employed should be carefully defined or identified” (American Educational Research Association et al., 2014, p. 167). To support correlating test scores to a diagnosis, a thorough explanation of why the psychologist or psychiatrist correlated the test scores to the proposed diagnosis must be explained in layman terms to avoid confusion and risk the test item’s validity. Diagnostic measures, such as MMPI-2 scores, can be married to a mental health condition outlined and explained in the DSM-5 (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) and from the ICD-10 (World Health Organization, 2019).
State, in your own words, how one should or should not proceed with validity scales.
Validity scales are most useful, especially in personal injury and criminal cases. When a psychologist or psychiatrist places their name on a report, that is their way of stamping approval of a recommendation. An example of this would be a medical doctor prescribing antibiotics to treat strep throat. Trust is placed on that medical team to figure out the underlying condition and treat that condition. Trust is placed on the psychiatrist/psychologist that signs off on a personality test, meaning the psychiatrist/psychologist has validated the test’s integrity and reliability and recommendation(s) made.
Validity scales built into the MMPI-2 and MMPI-2-RF are there to provide an accurate view of how truthful the test taker is about their psychopathology and detect the over-reporting or exaggeration of somatic complaints. It is incumbent upon the medical professional attesting to the reliability and validity of measures such as the MMPI-2 and the MMPI-2-RF to ensure that an adequate diverse norm sample was used to establish criteria for test items (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2018, p. 123).
Cite at least one advantage and one disadvantage regarding the use of validity scales. The test authors provide several pros and cons of using validity scales in personality assessment.
Both an advantage and disadvantage of the validity scales are the number of items answered by the test taker. Ben-Porath (2013), a paid consultant regarding the MMPI-2-RF (Wygant et al., 2009, p. 679), reported, “As long at least 90 percent of the items on a scale are scorable, the result can be interpreted in the standard manner. As the percent of scorable responses falls below 90, the absence of elevation on a scale becomes increasingly uninterpretable” (Ben-Porath, 2013). Without the means to confirm a testing measure’s validity and reliability, the test itself becomes open to interpretation as one sees fit. Including validity, scales ensure the reliability and fairness of the measurement items. “In arguing the case for the inclusion of validity scales, it has been asserted that “detection of an attempt to provide misleading information is a vital and essential component of the clinical interpretation of test results” and that using any instrument without validity scales “runs counter to the basic tenets of clinical assessment” (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2018, p. 375). Arguing against the inclusion of validity measures, one could cite concerns like diverse ethnic groups subject to the test measure. Another concern may be that when the test measure is converted to another language, the other language may not provide the same definition of words that the original test item provided.
Based on your readings, including preparation for this discussion, what is your position on this issue; that is, using and interpreting validity scales on a measure of personality.
Speaking for myself only, the inclusion of a validity scale is much needed in the American culture. I state this because I have found that the greater majority of people in the United States (and many other countries that I have been stationed in) have their own agenda…oneself. That individual is concerned with attaining financial compensation, how to “show” the other person, and/or blatant abandonment for morals and ethics that should govern humanity.
Socio-economic status (SES) influences preparation and entrance into the workforce, while also influencing access and resources for work (Brown & Lent, 2013). There is a general agreement that sexual orientation and gender identity do influence career pathways; a small but growing body of research and commentary has started to identify the specific variables involved (Schnieder and Dimito, 2010). There is a need for addressing socioeconomic within the LGBTQ community. Within this community, individuals face harassment, threats, and discrimination on a daily basis.
Within the article, Gottfredson and Astin’s theories were discussed. Gottfredson suggests that people use a cognitive mindset to accurately assess which occupations may be both unrealistic and unavailable to them, including LGBT academic choices and systemic discrimination (Schneider & Dimito, 2010). Problems arise when the assessment of the situation is inaccurate, leading to an overemphasis on barriers and an unnecessary restriction of the career possibilities, which, in turn reifies the inequities in job opportunities for people of a particular race, class, and sex (Schneider & Dimito, 2010). Astin’s theory is like Gottfredson’s theory in the sense that individuals have a choice and can avoid retraining their options. Astin states that individuals are motivated to seek a job or career that is a good fit for them in terms of their personality and abilities, b) that expectations are influenced by social situations, and c) individuals will come up with their own cognitive map of the opportunities available to them, based on their assessment of factors such as their own abilities and interests as well as external conditions including prejudice and discrimination (Schneider & Dimito, 2010).
Assuming Leslie from chapter 4, Swanson & Fouad, is from a middle-class or middle socioeconomic status (SES) family as neither high nor low income, the social cognitive career theory (SCCT) may help explain both how she became a teacher and now largely dissatisfied with it. Presently, her high self-efficacy of being a teacher is challenged by oppressive new rules designated by the school principal. As a very good student in college, her SES allowed her a belief that she could become an engineer but due to influence from family, being a female in a male-oriented occupation and the expectation of being a mother, she chose a teaching career (Swanson & Fouad, 2015).
Had Leslie been from a low SES family, additional barriers may have influenced her self-efficacy to become an engineer. These include lesser or missing degrees of financial support, community role models, opportunities to explore interests, along with a family concerned only with survival influencing Leslie’s outlook, her differential status identity (DSI), that is, internal perception of self to succeed or fail, and institutional classism whereby schools may treat her differently (Brown & Lent, 2013).
Kamisha’s (S & F text, Ch 10) self-efficacy and outcome expectations have been shaped by family wealth which has not only helped shield her from the type of discrimination a lower SES student may face but widened her world view with exclusive learning opportunities and extensive travel abroad. This has served to increase her self-view and future expectations along with an environment of social and financial support. But how well can Kamisha change, develop and regulate her behavior, per SCCT? How has her interests differentiated, intensified and shifted over time, and what factors other than personality traits have promoted changes in career choices, concerns as may be faced by all levels of SES (Brown & Lent, 2013).
Disabilities fall into the category of physical or mental, which correlates with one’s personality, age, intelligence level, educational abilities, family matters, gender, etc. (Brown, Lent & Lent. 2013). Even though there are laws in place, there is a deficiency in job preparation during the educational years which is synonymous with reduced career experiences, reduced opportunities to advance career developing decisions, underprivileged vocational training well-being (Brown, Lent & Lent. 2013). The American Disability Act was put into place in the 1990s to help with discrimination for those with disabilities. This includes discrimination within one’s employment, private businesses, transportation, and other areas. Disabled individuals have a more challenging time as even notwithstanding the advances in education for special needs and laws that have been placed, and post-education career conclusions are substantially low (Brown, Lent & Lent. 2013). Employers will come across a potential candidate requiring these accommodations, and the employer must provide these accommodations. There are two key interests in employment services rendered through the ADA, Title 1, which covers employment and then the “definition of the protected individual” (Brown, Lent & Lent. 2013). The second act is the Work Investment Act, which increased the rates of employment and vocational training and literacy for the disabled. As a professional in career counseling, it might be beneficial to use Trait-Factor theory. It is suggested that the trait-factor theory centralizes on the individual and their abilities rather than how the environment matches the individual (Brown, Lent & Lent. 2013). As a therapist and career counselor, in the environment of working with a person who required special accommodations, I would do my best to accommodate those needs. The goal is to make sure that everyone reaches their highest level of abilities and potential.
This discussion, I will look at the needs of individuals in special populations with disabilities. I choose this population because I personally am in this population, and as a career, intend to work with Veteran’s with disabilities so this is the ideal population I plan to work with. Personally, I was blown up in Iraq by an 80mm mortar round which airburst about 20ft from my position. The explosion was blocked by a hesco barrier, but the shock wave shattered some teeth, and ripped through my body at around 2400 mph. Due to this pressure change, it blew out my ear drums, and rattled my brain inside the skull. After, my ears, eyes, nose and mouth were bleeding, and I was having a lot of trouble with my short-term memory. My PTSD issues also affected things, but not like my hearing loss and memory issues. On top of all the treatment and medications they put me on, I often wondered what kind of life I would live from that point on. I was not happy what who I was anymore, memory issues were extremely frustrating. I would find myself sitting in the car at the grocery store not knowing why I am there, or if my wife moved my keys or wallet it was the end of the world and my whole day was ruined. Luckily, I had people in my life who would push me and challenge me. The key was brain development. I began studying for military boards, and promotion boards. By the end of my duty in Europe in 2011 I had been promoted to Staff Sergeant and had also won Soldier of the Year in Europe which meant I had gone against competing Soldiers from all over Europe and beat them all.
After completing my degree and finding a career path that I am compassionate about, I can not take what I learned and what I am still improving on and help others. As far as Veteran’s are concerned, their needs a similar. After war they don’t like who they have become. War changes a person, and injuries further change a person. No one like to be forced into a lifetime of medication, and feeling numb all the time. This is why Veteran’s feel there is no-one in life that can help them, because everyone they speak to just throws medicine at them, and the thought is that the Doctor really doesn’t care, they only care about the money the pharmaceuticals are providing to pushing certain medications.
Working at a psychiatric hospital, and living in a major military town in the US, I get to speak to a large population of Veteran’s. Even when I was going to school at University of Colorado in Denver, I met many Veteran’s who were also injured and didn’t know what type of career to go for in their life. Working with Veteran’s at my psychiatric hospital mostly involves offering a different point of view. Many of us who suffer from PTSD have major childhood trauma that we never learned how to deal with. (Morin, 2020). This is why, I listen to their stories, but I don’t focus on what happened to them down range, I ask about what happened when they were young, and have they ever been able to deal with that trauma. The key to relieving PTSD, is learning to process and deal with their childhood and move forward to what happened down range. Although working with people who are on a legal hold in a psychiatric facility is not ideal. It does offer them the ability to focus solely on their issues with people who want to help. Being their to work with them on their issues, and clear a path to career development or progress. Maybe someone became an alcoholic because they don’t want to deal with their thoughts and dreams, and this is affecting their job. Helping them work through this disability and even helping them to quit or lessen the amount they drink is progress and can safe their job and maybe even help them advance in their career.
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