Developments in psychological measurement over a
50-year period reveal a growing awareness of the
modifiability of human behavior, as exemplified in
cross-cultural comparisons, as well as in intergenerational
changes within a single culture. Implications for
testing are examined with special reference to the need
for considering the context in which test takers developed
and the contexts in which they are expected to
function. Norms are viewed as the test performance of
a population at a particular time and place. This orientation
affects the interpretation of test scores. At a
more basic level, cohort studies reveal systematic population
changes. Cognitive scores may rise or decline,
depending on concomitant societal changes. Progressive
changes in attitudes, self-concepts, and other affective
traits may in turn influence cognitive development.
Affective variables may thus serve as
intervening variables in the complex chain of events
from genes to aptitudes. The traits identified by factor
analysis are being increasingly recognized as descriptive
categories for summarizing behavioral consistencies,
rather than as underlying, fixed, causal entities.
For testing purposes, this orientation provides flexibility
in developing and choosing tests that fit the needed
level, from highly specific behavioral units, through
group factors of intermediate breadth, to theoretical viewpoint,
the question of factor formation becomes meaningful,
insofar as the very traits into which intelligence
becomes organized reflect the influence of individuals’
learning histories and the experiential contexts in
which they were reared.
Anastasi, Anne. (1985). Some emerging trends in psychological measurement: A fifty-year perspective. Applied Psychological Measurement, 9, 121-138. doi:10.1177/014662168500900203
Some emerging trends in psychological measurement: A fifty-year perspective.
Retrieved from the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy,
Content distributed via the University of Minnesota's Digital Conservancy may be subject to additional license and use restrictions applied by the depositor.