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PSYCHOMETRICS AND THEORY OF THE TESTS

CODE 67252
ACADEMIC YEAR 2022/2023
CREDITS
  • 6 cfu during the 1st year of 9286 TECNICA DELLA RIABILITAZIONE PSICHIATRICA(L/SNT2) - GENOVA
  • 12 cfu during the 2nd year of 8751 SCIENZE E TECNICHE PSICOLOGICHE (L-24) - GENOVA
  • 6 cfu during the 3nd year of 9280 EDUCAZIONE PROFESSIONALE(L/SNT2) - GENOVA
  • 4 cfu during the 2nd year of 9283 ORTOTTICA ED ASSISTENZA OFTALMOLOGICA(L/SNT2) - GENOVA
  • SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR M-PSI/03
    LANGUAGE Italian
    TEACHING LOCATION
  • GENOVA
  • 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 2021/2022)
    • GENERAL PSYCHOLOGY 55975
    • Psychological Sciences and Techniques 8751 (coorte 2022/2023)
    • 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 are expected to enable students to critically evaluate the information about a psychological test.

    PREREQUISITES

    No specific prerequirements are needed

    TEACHING METHODS

    The course consists of lectures (online or in person, depending on the situation of the Covid-19 outbreak or other factors preventing classroom attendance) given by the lecturer with the visual support of slides. 

    Students also have the opportunity, via the forum on the course's Aulaweb site, to ask questions and propose exercises and their solutions to both the lecturer and their fellow students, and to receive a reply as soon as possible. Students interested in the course topics also have the opportunity to carry out internship or laboratory activities with the lecturer and his research group, as well as dissertations. 

    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

    LESSONS

    LESSONS START

    The calendar of classes will be published in September 2021 on the DISFOR website (https://disfor.unige.it/).

     [Please note that they will be delivered in Italian, although foreign students can ask questions in English, French, and Spanish]

    Class schedule

    All class schedules are posted on the EasyAcademy portal.

    EXAMS

    EXAM DESCRIPTION

    The way in which the examinations are conducted is regulated by the University in accordance with the Government's provisions concerning the containment of the Covid-19 epidemic. In the absence of specific provisions, examinations are only conducted in person. If this is not the case, the lecturer will inform students via the course Aulaweb forum of the arrangements made by the University.

    Examination procedures

    The exam will be a single test and will include both the topics of Part 1 and Part 2, both for students of this academic year and for students of previous academic years who have not already passed either the old Module 1 or the old Module 2. Students from previous years who have already passed one of these parts may take the missing part at the scheduled examinations, without any restrictions. 

    In general, the examinations do not distinguish between attending and non-attending students, between workers and non-workers, or between students in progress and out of course students.

    In-person exam

    The single examination in presence is a written test lasting 2 hours (120 minutes, with the compensations foreseen for those who have provided certification of disability) on the topics of the programme presented in class and contained in the recommended texts, consisting of practical exercises of analysis and interpretation of data and open questions of theory in which the student must show that he/she has the necessary skills: 

    • sufficient knowledge of the procedures for carrying out basic statistical analyses, both descriptive and inferential, for research in psychology and the social sciences
    • the knowledge and ability to discuss the topics of the course in an appropriate manner, both in terms of clarity of presentation and terminological precision

    The written test allows the student to reflect on the necessary steps to be taken to carry out the data analysis without the pressure of the lecturer waiting for an answer and to show that he/she is able to carry them out as required by the international scientific community. In addition, the presence of open questions that require a response that is both concise and exhaustive allows the teacher to check whether the student is able to express the concepts covered by the course in an adequate manner, both in terms of terminology and clarity of exposition, for a future professional.

    During the test, the student may bring along a common calculator (the use of a calculator on a mobile phone, smartphone, computer, pad or other electronic instrument is not permitted) and is provided with a form identical to the one available on the course website. Apart from this, the student may not consult any publications. Any student caught violating these rules during the test is automatically failed.

    The test consists of data analysis exercises and open-ended theory questions.  The number of exercises may vary according to the time required to carry out the calculations, just as the number of questions may vary according to the breadth of the subject under investigation. In all cases, the maximum mark achievable for each exercise or question is indicated on the sheet.

    Answers should only be written in pen on the sheets provided by the teacher (additional sheets may be obtained when all the sheets available have been filled). Answers written in pencil which are not diagrams or other graphical representations useful for the answer and/or on sheets of paper not supplied by the teacher will not be considered. 

    Examples of data analysis exercises, examples of theoretical questions, and facsimiles of examination papers can be found in the Teaching Materials folder dedicated to this part on the Aulaweb site for the current academic year. Further examples of solutions and exercises can be found in the manuals indicated for the examination.

    Students with DSA or disability certification are entitled to 30% and 50% extra time, respectively, to take the exam, but they are requested to inform the teacher of this by e-mail before the Aulaweb page with the exam is published, as a special page must be generated. The teacher does not guarantee that extra time or compensatory measures will be granted in the event of non-communication. If students have serious difficulties or are unable to take the exam in this mode, they are invited to contact the teacher and the Contact Person for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities (contact) to report their condition and request a different exam mode.

    Students that have to take just one part

    The examination arrangements for students who only have to take one part are identical to those indicated in the programme for the academic year in question.

    Online exam

    If it is not possible to take the examination in person, the examination will take place online using the Aulaweb assignment mode. This test lasts 60 minutes (+ 5 minutes for uploading the document) and is structured and assessed in the same way as the in-person test, albeit with fewer exercises and questions.

    The distance mode test is conducted as follows. On the day scheduled for the test, a new page entitled "Test of [date]" is published on the course Aulaweb site shortly before the scheduled starting time. Regularly enrolled students must log on, open/download the file with the list of participants where the number of the test assigned to them is indicated, open/download the corresponding file and take the test. The student must take the test with the number indicated. If the student takes another test, the test will be cancelled.

    The tests must be taken by writing down the answers in a Word/Open Office Writer file, which is supplied empty when the tests are published. Tests taken on other self-generated files will be cancelled.

    On the first page the student's name and surname, the student's matriculation number, the test date and the test number must be indicated. Before each answer, the exercise/question for which the solution/answer is given must be clearly indicated.

    Once the test has been completed, the student must produce a single PDF document of the paper and upload it to the Aulaweb site. The system accepts a single PDF file of a maximum size of 20MB (larger files will not be accepted) and automatically blocks the uploading of files of a larger size at the end of the allotted time. Therefore, students are invited to take into account the time required to carry out these operations, as files in any other format and/or delivered by a method other than that described here will not be accepted or evaluated.

    As an indication, students who have difficulty inserting formulas or graphs into the text document may also write/draw them on paper and insert the image acquired by photo or scanner into the file. Please note that this can be time-consuming and may result in files larger than 20MB. It is therefore advisable to practise these operations during the exercises that are proposed at the end of each week of lessons and by following, for example, the following tutorials for equations (Word link and Open Office link) and graphs (Word link and Open Office link). 

    The teacher declines all responsibility for any computer and/or connection problems, which are therefore not considered as justification for not uploading the file. Failure to upload a file is always interpreted as a failure to hand it in and therefore as a failure to pass the test.

    Students with DSA or disability certification are entitled to 30% and 50% extra time, respectively, to take the test, but are requested to inform the teacher of this by e-mail before the Aulaweb page with the exam is published, as a special page must be generated. The teacher does not guarantee that extra time or compensatory measures will be granted in the event of non-communication. If students have serious difficulties or are unable to take the exam in this mode, they are invited to contact the teacher and the Contact Person for the Inclusion of Students with Disabilities (contact) to report their condition and request a different exam mode.

    Students that have to take just one part

    The arrangements for the distance examination for students taking a single part are identical to those indicated here except that the test lasts 45 minutes (+ 5 minutes for uploading the paper) and the examination topics will be limited to the relevant part.

    Examination registration

    Online registration for the examination is required. Registration can be done at: https://servizionline.unige.it/studenti/esami/
    Registration closes automatically 4 days before the date of the exam. This advance notice is necessary so that the lecturer can book a room adequate for the number of participants in accordance with the legal provisions imposed by the prevention of the Covid-19 epidemic. No reply will be given to e-mails requesting admission to the examination after the deadline for online registration. If there is a problem with your registration, you can solve the problem by emailing the teacher and reporting the problem, but always before the deadline for online registration expires.

    Students who are not signed up will not be able to take the exam.

    There are no restrictions on the possibility of registering for the exam (i.e. there is no skip appeal in case of a failed exam).

    ASSESSMENT METHODS

     

    In-person exam

    The evaluation of the solutions of the exercises is not based on the result of the calculations but on the procedure by which the student arrived at the result; calculation errors are not taken into account unless they lead to inadmissible results (such as, for example, negative variances or correlation coefficients outside the range -1;+1). It is also considered the precision and correctness with which the variables and their scales are defined, the precision and correctness of the formulation of the hypotheses, the consistency of the conclusions with the results obtained and, when required, the adequacy of the graphical representation of the data.

    The assessment of the answers to the open questions is based on their centrality to the question, on the fact that they are exhaustive and detailed with respect to the subject, written with the correct terminology and spelling of terms and authors' names and such that even those who know nothing about the subject can understand the fundamental aspects of the topic.

    The final mark consists of the sum of the marks obtained for each part of the test, rounded up to the customary whole number. The examination is deemed to have been passed if the student has obtained at least a mark of 18. Only in this case is it possible to take an oral supplement. This integration covers the entire programme and consists of one or two questions designed to check the student's understanding of the topics and his or her ability to reflect on what has been learnt. The oral integration may lead to variations in the mark already obtained of a maximum of 2 points, either upwards or downwards. The oral integration cannot be taken without having obtained at least 18 in the written part. After the oral integration, the grade is considered final and the unsatisfied student will have to repeat the test, starting with the written paper (with the final loss of the grade already obtained).

    Grades are automatically recorded one week after the publication of the results. Rejection can be expressed by e-mail or on receipt of the registration notification. Rejection of a mark means the definitive loss of the mark obtained, which cannot be recovered at a later date.

    Online exam

     

    Before formal assessment, the file uploaded by the student is examined by anti-plagiarism software. Answers that are identical to textbook excerpts and/or other students' answers from the same and previous examinations will be assessed for cancellation (mark 0), and students are then invited to express themselves in their own words.

    The assessment of the examination is similar to that described for the face-to-face examination, but since in this case the student can benefit from many more tools and aids than in the face-to-face examination, more weight will be given to any errors or inaccuracies. The examination is considered to have been passed if the student has answered all the questions asked in a sufficient manner (failure to answer a question or a single insufficient answer means that the examination is failed) and has obtained at least a mark of 18. This integration covers the entire programme and consists of one or two questions designed to check the student's understanding of the topics and his or her ability to reflect on what has been learnt. The oral integration may lead to variations in the mark already obtained of a maximum of 2 points, either upwards or downwards. The oral integration cannot be taken without having obtained at least 18 in the written part. After the oral integration, the grade is considered final and the unsatisfied student will have to repeat the test, starting with the written paper (with the final loss of the grade already obtained).

    Grades are automatically recorded one week after the publication of the results. Rejection can be expressed by e-mail or on receipt of the registration notification. Rejection of a mark means the definitive loss of the mark obtained, which cannot be recovered at a later date.

    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