Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology
The accuracy of psychological assessment may be determined largely by the quality of the test(s) selected; however, in clinical practice, tests may be selected impressionistically, and without sufficient consideration of test validity. Appreciating that not only psychometric standing, but also pragmatic considerations may be of import in test selection may help explain why surveys of test usage have not necessarily shown robust associations between frequency of test use and psychometric quality. The primary goal of this dissertation was to examine whether brand recognition (BR; presence/absence of the name of a well-known test) may sometimes diminish attention to psychometric qualities, and thus, when brand recognition exceeds test quality, impede optimal test selection. Participants (N = 123) were neuropsychologists and graduate students trained in neuropsychological assessment. This study explored the impact of BR in three primary areas: (1) appraising test-retest reliability; (2) estimating error in obtained scores; and (3) estimating the true discrepancy between two scores. Contrary to the hypothesized results, BR did not result in significant differences across any of the variables, an encouraging outcome suggesting that judgments were not swayed by a potential biasing factor. The null results, however, may have been due to focusing too heavily on judgment tasks (e.g., rating psychometric quality) that were assumed to be inherent to test selection, but instead may be partially independent. Certain interpretive practices based on configural relationships may be particularly vulnerable to test selection that places limited emphasis on psychometric adequacy. For example, study results suggested that participants markedly overperceived normal levels of scatter as rare or aberrant, and that some neuropsychologists may not sufficiently account for measurement error. Although this study yielded positive or encouraging findings, given the frequent discordance between psychometric standing and frequency of test use found in survey research, concerns remain that BR or other variables can impede test selection and warrant further examination.
Baker, Aaron M., "IMPACT OF BRAND RECOGNITION IN PSYCHOLOGICAL TEST SELECTION: IDENTIFICATION AND CORRECTIVE PROCEDURE" (2020). Open Access Dissertations. Paper 1159.