Psychometrics Syllabus

Fall 2000

Dr. Sandra K. Webster


Course Description: This course explores issues related to the assessment of human functioning within a variety of areas, including intelligence, academic achievement, personality and other dimensions of psychological adjustment. In each of these areas, assessment tools are used to make a variety of important decisions about educational placement, treatment needs, program evaluation or employment.  Students in this course will explore, evaluate and, in some cases, experience commonly used assessment instruments. Required readings will explore current directions in psychological assessment as well as the broader historical context from which the field has emerged. Cross-cultural considerations are included.

Texts:  Murphy, K. R. & Davidshofer, C. O. (1998). Psychological testing: Principles and applications (4th Ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall. (Chapters 1 and 2)
          Aiken, L.R.  (2000). Psychological testing and assessment.  Boston:  Allyn and Bacon.

Course Outline:

Week 1  and  2 Introduction to Psychometrics   Chapter 1 (Murphy and Davidshofer)
Week 3 and 4  Psychological Attributes   Chapters 2 (Murphy and Davidshofer)
Week 5 Test Design and Construction  Chapter 2 (Aiken)
Week 6 Test Administration and Scoring      Chapter 3 (Aiken)
Week 7 Item Analysis  & Norms      Chapters 4 (Aiken)
Week 8 Reliability & Validity      Chapters 5 (Aiken)
Midterm
Week 9 Interests, Attitudes and Values Chapter 10 (Aiken)
Week 10 Personality I Chapter 11 (Aiken)
Week 11 Personality II  Chapter 12 (Aiken)
Week 12 Psychological Assessment in Applied Settings  Chapter 13 (Aiken)
Week 13 Special Abilities Chapter 9 (Aiken)
Week 14 Criticism and  Issues   Chapter 14 (Aiken)
Week 15 Group Assessment Reports
Final

Course Mastery Evaluation
Course mastery will be determined through assessment of course requirements:
Quizzes (25%)
There will be short quizzes (10-item multiple choice) on each chapter of the textbook at the beginning of the class period immediately following the class period during which the chapter was covered in lecture.
Exams (50%)
There will be a midterm and a final.  Each will be composed of multiple choice (3/4) and essay (1/4) items.  The final will be comprehensive in that the second portion of the course depends upon the first section.  It will cover the chapters assigned after the midterm.
Term Project (25%)
Students will engage in a team term project that will be presented through a formal written paper (APA style).  The team project will be the development and pretesting of a psychometric instrument.

Policies

Class Attendance: All class members are expected to attend class, participate actively in discussion and participate on team course work.

Academic Integrity:  Plagiarism is using another personís words or ideas without giving credit to that person by citing his or her work.  The penalty for plagiarism on written work is an automatic zero grade for the assignment.

Class Courtesy:  Please do not disrupt class by receiving telephone calls in class or by leaving class early.  If you must be late for class, please enter quietly.

Class Web Site:  http://www.psych.westminster.edu/psychometrics-ws/

The class web site is a resource for information about assignments, class notes and class discussion using electronic bulletin boards. Students may earn extra credit points on quizzes through participation in the Bulletin Board Discussions.  Students may also participate in an anonymous class Bulletin Board Discussion with no extra credit.