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Reliability, Validity, Item Analysis, Normative DataCurrent research/trends

Psychometry or psychometrics is a field of psychology which uses tests to quantify psychological aptitudes, reactions to stimuli, types of behavior, etc., in an effort to devlop reliable scientific models that can be applied to larger populations.

Currently many new psychometric theories and statistical models are being proposed that will probably lead to changes in test construction. In addition, the use of computers to administer tests interactively is on the rise. Finally, studies of test bias and attempts to diminish it will likely increase in response to lawsuits challenging various occupational and school decisions based on test results.



Anastasi, A. Psychological Testing. New York: Macmillan, 1982.

Goldstein, G., and M. Hersen, eds. Handbook of Psychological Assessment. 2nd ed. New York: Pergamon Press, 1990.

Mitchell, J. An Introduction to the Logic of Psychological Measurement. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1990.

Marie Doorey


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—In statistics, a number that expresses the degree of relationship between variables. It is most commonly used with a qualifying term that further specifies its meaning as in "correlation coefficient."


—A statistical measure of the degree of relationship between two variables.

Error variance

—The amount of variability in a set of scores that cannot be assigned to controlled factors.

Normative data

—A set of data collected to establish values representative of a group such as the mean, range, and standard deviation of their scores. It is also used to get a sense of how a skill, or characteristic is distributed in a group.


—Values that are representative of a group and that may be used as a baseline against which subsequently collected data is compared.


—The consistency of a test, or the degree to which the test produces approximately the same results under similar conditions over time.

Representative sample

—Any group of individuals that accurately reflects the population from which it was drawn on some characteristic(s).


—Any group of people, animals, or things taken from a particular population.


—How well a test measures what it intends to, as well the degree to which a test validates scientific inferences.


—A measure of variability in a set of scores that may be due to many factors such as error.

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