4
What Makes an Aptitude Test Valid?

Malcolm James Ree and Thomas R. Carretta

Most aptitude tests measure more than a single ability. One of the earliest test factor theorists, Charles Spearman ( 1904), suggested that all tests measure a common core and a specific element. The common core he called g for general cognitive ability, and the specific elements were noted as s1 . . . sn. Although multifactor theorists like Thurstone ( 1938) proposed alternative models, the conceptual values of g and s have not been lost. Vernon ( 1969) has demonstrated that ability test factors are arranged in a pyramidal hierarchy with g at the apex. Lower-order group factors are at the next level down. These lower-order factors are highly g saturated. Below the lower-order factors are individual aptitude tests. Each aptitude test measures g and one or more specific factors. An example is provided in Figure 4. 1. It shows a three-level hierarchy for the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB; Ree & Carretta, 1994b) with g at the highest level, specific factors at the middle level, and tests at the lowest level.


RESEARCH METHODS IN STUDYING APTITUDE

There are many methodological issues that make the study of aptitude or ability more difficult, but three are particularly troublesome. Confusion over them can lead to erroneous conclusions about what the tests measure and what makes them valid. Here we offer cautions about each and recommend remedies. The concerns are rotated factors, censored samples, and unreliability of measurement. See Ree ( 1995) for a broader treatment of methodological issues in aptitude and ability testing including sample size, capitalization on chance, and failure to use marker variables.

-65-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook on Testing
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 390

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.