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PSYCHOMETRICS AND THEORY OF THE TESTS

CODE 67252
ACADEMIC YEAR 2020/2021
CREDITS 12 credits during the 2nd year of 8751 Psychological Sciences and Techniques (L-24) GENOVA

2 credits during the 2nd year of 9283 ORTHOPTIC STUDIES AND OPHTHALMOLOGICAL ASSISTANCE (L/SNT2) GENOVA

1 credits during the 1st year of 9286 PSYCHIATRIC REHABILITATION TECHNIQUE (L/SNT2) GENOVA

SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-PSI/03
LANGUAGE Italian
TEACHING LOCATION GENOVA (Psychological Sciences and Techniques)
SEMESTER 1° Semester
PREREQUISITES
Prerequisites
You can take the exam for this unit if you passed the following exam(s):
  • Psychological Sciences and Techniques 8751 (coorte 2019/2020)
  • GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY 55975
  • Psychological Sciences and Techniques 8751 (coorte 2020/2021)
  • GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY 55975
TEACHING MATERIALS AULAWEB

OVERVIEW

The course covers the basic concepts of psychometric theory and the basic statistical methods commonly used in psychology

AIMS AND CONTENT

LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course covers the basic elements of the measurement of psychological variables. Students will be provided with a conceptual and practical introduction to the basic statistical methods and techniques needed to adequately develop a psychological test and assess its validity and reliability. Specifically, the course focuses on the wording of questions and items that make up the test, on descriptive and inferential statistics, and on correlation analysis.

AIMS AND LEARNING OUTCOMES

The course comprises two parts, with different learning objectives

Part 1: Psychometric statistics: this part aims at developing students' skills in carrying out basic statistical analyses (descriptive and inferential analyses) on data from psychological research, and at introducing the basics of research methodology. These skills should enable students to design simple research projects, and to read and understand scientific research reports and articles.

Part 2: Psychometric theory and techniques: this part aims at developing students' knowledge and skills about designing, developing, validating, and administering psychological tests, about adapting psychological measures to another language, and about the empirical tests and related statistical techniques of the adequacy of validity and reliability of a psychological measure. These skills should enable students to critically evaluate the information about a psychological test.

PREREQUISITES

No specific prerequirements are needed

TEACHING METHODS

Combination of traditional lectures (72 hours) and assignments to be completed between the last lecture of a week and the first of the next. Depending on Italian Government's restrictions to social gatherings due to the Covid-19 epidemic and/or other factors that prevent the access to classrooms, lectures can be delivered online through the Microsoft Teams platform. Check the Aulaweb website of the course for further information. 

Students can also interact with the teacher and the other students on an online forum (see the Aulaweb website), where they can post solutions to exercises and questions about the topics covered by the course. Students can ask the teacher to be involved in his research activities.

SYLLABUS/CONTENT

Part 1: Psychometric statistics. Basic concepts of psychometric theory and research methods in psychology, descriptive statistics (measurement scales, common psychological tests, validity, reliability, measures of central tendency, ranking, dispersion, shape of the distribution, and standardization of scores; combinatorial analysis, probability theory); inferential statistics (hypothesis testing for one and two independent and related samples, measures of effect size); basics of the general linear model (one-way analysis of variance for independent and related samples); measures of association (chi-square test for the independence of categorical variables, correlation, linear bivariate regression)

Part 2: Psychometric theory and techniques. Theoretical foundations of measurement in psychology, construct definition and operalization, assessment of content and face validity, item wording techniques, item analysis, test reliability, factor analysis, asessmento of criterion and construct validity, adaptation of a psychological measure in another language.

A laboratory activity (Pratica dei test [Test practice]) is associated to this course. The activity aims at developing students' skills in choosing and administering psychological tests (intelligence and personality), and interpreting their scores.

 

RECOMMENDED READING/BIBLIOGRAPHY

International students can ask to receive materials in English and can take the written exam in English, French, Spanish, and German. Oral exams are available in English only.

International students can use a reference the following book:

Furr, R. M., & Bacharach, V. R. (2008). Psychometrics: An introduction. Sage Publications, Inc.

They can ask the teacher for study materials in other languages, but it cannot be guaranteed that they will be provided.

TEACHERS AND EXAM BOARD

Exam Board

CARLO CHIORRI (President)

FABRIZIO BRACCO

LESSONS

TEACHING METHODS

Combination of traditional lectures (72 hours) and assignments to be completed between the last lecture of a week and the first of the next. Depending on Italian Government's restrictions to social gatherings due to the Covid-19 epidemic and/or other factors that prevent the access to classrooms, lectures can be delivered online through the Microsoft Teams platform. Check the Aulaweb website of the course for further information. 

Students can also interact with the teacher and the other students on an online forum (see the Aulaweb website), where they can post solutions to exercises and questions about the topics covered by the course. Students can ask the teacher to be involved in his research activities.

LESSONS START

Lectures will start on September 22nd, 2020 [Please note that they will be delivered in Italian, although foreign students can ask questions in English, French, and Spanish]

EXAMS

EXAM DESCRIPTION

Exams in classroom

The exam is a written test (120 minutes / 2 hours) on the content of lectures and study materials that comprises data analysis exercises and open-ended questions on theoretical subjects. The student is evaluated on their ability to adequately carry out the statistical analyses and interpret the results, on the one hand, and on their ability to concisely and precisely describe concepts.

The written exam enables the student to calmly perform all the stages of the data analysis exercises without the pressure of an interview-like test and to show that they can carry them out at the standard expected by the scientific community. The open-ended questions that require a concise and comprehensive answer allow the the evaluation of the student's ability to adequately report and explain the concepts, as expected by a future professional psychologist.

During the exam students cannot consult books, notes, nor they can use computers, smartphones, smartwatches, or other electronic devices. However, they can use an electronic calculator and can refer to the formulary provided by the exam commission (a copy of the formulary is available on the Aulaweb website of the course). Any violation of these rules will lead to the annulment of the exam.

The number of data analysis exercises and open-ended can vary depending on the time needed to carry out the analyses. Similarly, the number of open-ended questions can vary depending on the breadth of the issue at hand. Each exercise and open-ended question show the highest scores that can be achieved with a perfect answer.

The grading of the answers to data analysis exercises does not take into account the correctness of calculations (unless they lead to non-admissible results, such as negative variances or correlations outside the [-1;+1] range), but the adequacy of the statistical procedure. Specifically, the thoroughness with which the measurement scale of the variable is defined, the adequacy of the wording of the hypotheses, the consistency of the conclusions with the results, and the adequacy of visual representation of the data are considered.

The grading of the answers to open-ended questions takes into account their centrality with respect to the question, their comprehensiveness and detail with the respect to the issue at hand, the correct use of jargon and spelling of keywords, and, more generally, the clarity of the answer for someone who is not into psychometrics and data analysis.

Answers must be written with a pen only on the sheets provided by the exam commission (additional sheets are available once the initial ones have been filled completely). Answers written with a pencil that are not graphs or diagrams will not be considered valid.

The "Materiali Didattici" folder of the Aulaweb website of the course contains plenty of examples of exercises and open-ended questions that can be found in the test. The textbooks and the slides also contain examples.

Students with certified learning disabilities, special educational needs, and/or any sort of disability will be given more time (from 30 to 50% more) and will be granted the use of the appropriate compensatory tools, but they must notify this to the teacher a few days before the test, as a dedicated page for the test need to be published. The teacher cannot guarantee the fulfilling of the student needs in case of absence of notification. Should there be severe hindrance to taking the test in the way described here, the student can ask the teacher for ana alternative way.

Final grade

The final grade is the sum of the grades of each exercise and open-ended question, rounded to the nearest integer. The exam is passed if the score is at least 18. The grade is immediately registered in the student's career, but the student unsatisfied with it can reject it. Then, they can take the exams again (in this case any grade previously obtained is definitely lost and will never be considered again), or can ask for an optional oral exam through which they can increase their grade to up to two points. This oral examination will consist in two questions about the application of the concepts covered by the course. This interview can grant the student a maximum of two more points, but points can also be subtracted in case of poor performance.

The exam can be taken without limitation of attempts.

Students can reserve their seat at the exam here: https://servizionline.unige.it/studenti/esami/. Note that the website is accessible to up to 4 days before the exam day. If the student has not reserved a seat, the teacher cannot guarantee the participation to the exam.

Distance exam

Should the situation require to take exams at distance, the content of the exams will be the same as the exams in the classroom, but with a shorter time (45 mins) and a shorter list of exercises and open-ended questions.

In this case, the day of the test a new page on the Aulaweb website of the course will appear: "Prova di verifica del [date]" a few minutes before the scheduled time. Students who have properly signed up can access the page, open/download the participants' list, find their name and the number of the test they have been assigned to, and take the test. Each student must take the test that has been assigned to them, otherwise they will automatically fail.

The answers must be provided in a Word/Open Office Writer file whose template will be provided together with the list of exercises and open-ended questions. Answers provided on different files will be considered invalid and the student will fail the exam.

On the front page the student must fill in the fields for name, surname, matriculation number, date of the test, number of the test. Before each answer it must be clearly declared the exercise/question the answer is referring to.

When finished, the student must convert the file to PDF and upload it to the Aulaweb page of the test. Note that the system only accepts PDF files no bigger than 10MB, and it does not allow the upload of files after the time is up. Students are invited to take these details into account, as files in different format and/or turned in in a different way will not be graded.

It is strongly advised to practice the use of word processing software for this task, especially for learning how to insert equations and graphs. Tutorials on how to do this are available on the internet and YouTube.

The teacher declines any responsibility for any technical issue.

Before being graded, files are inspected for plagiarism by a dedicated software. Any answer that will be found to be identical to textbooks and/or other files will be given a grade of zero, hence students are invited to phrase their answers in their own words.

The grading process is similar to the exam in the classroom, except that calculation errors and wording errors will be more severely penalized, given that the student will have access to devices and textbooks not allowed in the other situation. The final grade is the sum of the grades of each exercise and open-ended question, rounded to the nearest integer. The exam is passed if the score is at least 18. The grade is immediately registered in the student's career, but the student unsatisfied with it can reject it. Then, they can take the exams again (in this case any grade previously obtained is definitely lost and will never be considered again), or can ask for an optional oral exam through which they can increase their grade to up to two points. This oral examination will consist in two questions about the application of the concepts covered by the course. This interview can grant the student a maximum of two more points, but points can also be subtracted in case of poor performance.

Students with certified learning disabilities, special educational needs, and/or any sort of disability will be given more time (from 30 to 50% more) and will be granted the use of the appropriate compensatory tools, but they must notify this to the teacher a few days before the test, as a dedicated page for the test need to be published. The teacher cannot guarantee the fulfilling of the student needs in case of absence of notification. Should there be severe hindrance to taking the test in the way described here, the student can ask the teacher for ana alternative way.

ASSESSMENT METHODS

Exams in classroom

The grading of the answers to data analysis exercises does not take into account the correctness of calculations (unless they lead to non-admissible results, such as negative variances or correlations outside the [-1;+1] range), but the adequacy of the statistical procedure. Specifically, the thoroughness with which the measurement scale of the variable is defined, the adequacy of the wording of the hypotheses, the consistency of the conclusions with the results, and the adequacy of visual representation of the data are considered.

The grading of the answers to open-ended questions takes into account their centrality with respect to the question, their comprehensiveness and detail with the respect to the issue at hand, the correct use of jargon and spelling of keywords, and, more generally, the clarity of the answer for someone who is not into psychometrics and data analysis.

 

Distance exams

Before being graded, files are inspected for plagiarism by a dedicated software. Any answer that will be found to be identical to textbooks and/or other files will be given a grade of zero, hence students are invited to phrase their answers in their own words.

The grading process is similar to the exam in the classroom, except that calculation errors and wording errors will be more severely penalized, given that the student will have access to devices and textbooks not allowed in the other situation. The final grade is the sum of the grades of each exercise and open-ended question, rounded to the nearest integer. The exam is passed if the score is at least 18. The grade is immediately registered in the student's career, but the student unsatisfied with it can reject it. Then, they can take the exams again (in this case any grade previously obtained is definitely lost and will never be considered again), or can ask for an optional oral exam through which they can increase their grade to up to two points. This oral examination will consist in two questions about the application of the concepts covered by the course. This interview can grant the student a maximum of two more points, but points can also be subtracted in case of poor performance.

Exam schedule

Date Time Location Type Notes
07/01/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
07/01/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto
11/01/2021 10:00 GENOVA Orale
21/01/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
21/01/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto
04/02/2021 09:00 GENOVA Scritto
04/02/2021 11:00 GENOVA Scritto
08/02/2021 10:00 GENOVA Orale
20/05/2021 10:00 GENOVA Scritto
03/06/2021 10:00 GENOVA Scritto
14/06/2021 08:30 GENOVA Orale
14/06/2021 10:00 GENOVA Orale
17/06/2021 10:00 GENOVA Scritto
01/07/2021 10:00 GENOVA Scritto
06/07/2021 10:00 GENOVA Orale
19/07/2021 08:30 GENOVA Orale
01/09/2021 10:00 GENOVA Orale
03/09/2021 10:00 GENOVA Scritto
06/09/2021 08:30 GENOVA Orale
20/09/2021 08:30 GENOVA Orale

FURTHER INFORMATION

Students with learning disabilities, special educational needs, and/or any sort of disability that can prevent them to take the exam as described are invited to e-mail the teacher to agree upon a way of taking the exam that suits their needs.  

Students can join the research activity of the teacher of the following topics:

Development and validation of psychological tests

Italian adaptation of tests originally in a foreign language

Multivariate statistical analyses: factor analysis, structural equation modeling, Rasch and Item Response Theory Models

Personality traits and individual differences

Personality disorders and clinical assessment

Cognitive styles