Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Dissertation dish: Scoring accuracy on IQ and achievement batteries

An examination of scoring accuracy on intelligence and achievement measures
by Gurley, Jessica R., Ph.D., Sam Houston State University, 2008, 144 pages; AAT 3329506

  • Abstract: Although many practicing psychologists spend a considerable amount of time administering and interpreting intelligence and achievement measures, there is little research examining how accurate psychologists are in scoring these measures. The research attempted to fill a void in the previous research by examining protocols from the most recent editions of two intelligence tests (the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Third Edition, and the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition) and the most recent edition of a comprehensive achievement (Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement, Third Edition) for scoring accuracy.
  • There were errors made across all three instruments. There were an average of 7.18 administrative errors on WAIS-III protocols and an average of 10.71 administrative errors on the WSIC-IV protocols. The most common type of error on both instruments was a failure-to-record responses, as required by the manual. The least common types of errors on both instruments were failures to obtain a correct basal or ceiling. On the other hand, the most common types of errors on the WJ-III were incorrectly scoring the items and not administering the entire page, as required by the manual.
  • Unlike previous studies (e.g. Slate & Jones, 1990a, 1990b), there were assessment protocols that did not contain any errors. One reason for this data could be a difference in training; the training program at SHSU, where the protocols used in this research were obtained, has a forensic focus. Due to the program's forensic focus, it is possible that graduate students trained in this program are more conscious of the need to be accurate in assessment, given the decisions made that are based on the assessments. Thus, these students may be more prone to check their scoring and consult with colleagues about scoring accuracy, as they may expect their protocols to be scrutinized by judicial officials or other mental health professionals.
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