Importance of Considering Test Bias

It is essential to follow test administration procedures in order to obtain valid results. It is even more vital to consider test bias. Test bias is invalidity or systematic error in how a test measures for members of a particular group(Reynolds & Kaiser, 1990). By being systematic,it creates a distortion in test results for members of a particular group. Test bias is a significant risk to a test’s construct validity. Examples of test bias include construct, methods, and item biases. This paper willexpress andemphasize the importance of considering test bias and three major factors to bear in mind.

Recognizing and avoiding test bias in assessment is essential in achieving reliability and validity. The first factor to look out for is the construct of the test. A test construct is the internal trait of a test that is not observable(Flaugher, 1978). Cases in point include intelligence, self-esteem, and motivation. If a researcher conducts an intelligence test on participants from the Asian culture using items from the western culture, they create a test bias. Thus, avoiding such instances can aid in averting construct bias.

Secondly, taking into consideration the methods of a test is crucial in maintaining the genuineness of a trial. Methods refer to factors that surround the administration of a test. Examples include the length of a test, the testing environment, and assistance by the researcher. If a participant is used to receiving support during standardized tests but fails to receive it during test administration, the test would create inaccurate representations. Methods bias constitutes to test bias and researchers should critically examine the methods they use to ensure validity.

Lastly, considering the individual items of a test is fundamental in realizing reliability and validity. Item bias refers to problems that arise with discrete items of the test(Jensen, 1980). For instance, poor use of grammar and poorly written assessment items are common causes of item bias. Therefore, psychologists should bear in mind the choice of articles they include in specific tests. Additionally, it is critical to watch out for clear and systematic differences between results in a test because they signify the presence of possible test biases.


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