Cross-Cultural Assessment of Psychological Assessment Measures

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1. Introduction and background A College of Nursing has expressed an interest in using Psychological Assessment as a tool to assist in the selection of prospective students. As much as there is a keen interest in improving the selection process by using psychological measures, there is however some degree of reservation amongst staff about the value of psychological measures in a multicultural context. From the beginning of time a need existed for assessment, albeit it to choose soldiers for battle or to select participants for work programmes. Non scientific assessments, such as physiognomy, humorology, phrenology and graphology were used to describe human behaviour. When subjected to rigorous scientific measures, they could not…show more content…
It is important not to confuse psychological assessment with psychological testing. Psychological testing is only one part of the assessment process, and the two most important characteristics of a psychological test are standardization and objectivity. An assessment measure is a broader term than an assessment test, it involves methods of measurement and quantification, and is applicable to many kinds of tests and techniques used when studying the characteristics of people ( Foxcroft & Roodt, 2005). 2. Context of psychological testing in South Africa Objective measurement forms the basis of psychology as a scientific discipline. Guilford a well known psychologist who developed the three dimensional "Structure of Intelligence", said as cited in Foxcroft & Roodt, (2005 p.11) that "Psychologists have adopted the motto of Thorndike that 'whatever exists at all, exists in some amount', and they have also adopted the corollary that what whatever exists in some amount, can be measured". Psychometrics has since the 20th Century referred to measurement in the field of psychology, and refers to the measurement of individual differences such as knowledge, abilities, attitudes, and personality traits (Foxcroft & Roodt, 2005)
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