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The test of validity and reliability are extremely important in any research and they can be described as being pivotal in the field of psychological research. They should be assessed in a manner that is right to the scientific community and which follows the rights methods. There is a need for forensic testing especially in terms of persons that have violence, there is a need for violence assessment instrument. The psycho social evaluation and Threat risk assessment is a 60 item self- report that is often designed to address the psycho social characteristics that are often associated with violence. This paper assesses the concepts of validity and reliability in relation to norm population and their relation to the psycho social evaluation and threat risk assessment.
The field of forensic psychology can be described as the intersection that exists between psychology with the justice system. Forensic Psychologists earned their credibility as mind assessors during the First World War when the Army Alpha was developed to test verbal skills and Army Beta came up to test the non verbal ones. Research has very intricate uses in the processes of Forensic psychology. Just like in any other field, previously done research brings with it a foundation of theoretical knowledge which is very important for one to understand any phenomenon in forensic psychology.
A psychologists’ knowledge about former researches helps him in deducing mental health, the connection between physical diseases and the patient’s state of psychological health. Secondly, research carries a myriad of evidences which guide the forensic psychologists in their practice. These are through valid methods used to assess people’s problems in relation to crime scenes and their states of mind at the time of the crime. The researched methods are more reliable than any trial and error ways of attempting solutions in addition to their obvious high degrees of validity (Meloy, 2014).
There is a need to norm populations in forensic testing. This is done because most of the psychological tests cannot be described as mastery tests with criterion references that can be used in the determination of performance, a different way that might be used classification of scores as either being low or high. Therefore, in order to effectively assess the overall performance, most psychological tests employ a standardization sample that allows the test makers to be able to create what can be described a normal distribution that can be used for comparison for any specific future test score.
There is a need for reliability in the forensic psychology assessment tests. The idea behind reliability in these tests is that there is a need for significant results that can be proved and are inherently repeatable (Andrade, 2009). Other forensic psychologists should be able to carry the same forensic analysis, under the same conditions and be able to generate the same results. This will be important as it will effectively reinforce the findings and consequently ensure that the wider scientific community is able to accept the proposed solutions and results.
Validity on the other in the field of forensic psychology can be said to encompass the whole entire experimental concept and it should be able to establish indeed whether or not the results that have been obtained from the experiments meet the requirements of the intended scientific research method. Using the forensic assessment tools there is a need to ensure internal validity through following the right experimental design being structured as well as encompassed in all the steps that should be followed when following the scientific research method.
It is of the essence to note that even if the results of the forensic assessment are great, validity is extremely important (Meloy, 2014). This is because results that are not valid are seen as being because of sloppy as well as inconsistent design that eventually compromises the integrity of the results in the eyes of the scientific community and courts.
In addition to this, researched and well documented findings bear the reputation of being more effective in use in court settings than the otherwise alternative forms and ways of treating people with mental disorders. Finally, for research and forensic psychology, it is a win-win situation in that each field builds unto the other (Andrade, 2009). This is because as researchers will give new information to the forensic psychologists, the ideas brought by forensic occurrences and experiences forms hypotheses for the upcoming researches. The research does also give about newer perspectives and ideas for use in forensic psychology and provides a link between the study to other related areas like behavioral, social and biological sciences. The statistics realize from these researches gives a picture of the severity of the problem at hand, or the improvements that are occurring on the ground.
The psycho social evaluation and threat risk assessment is a 60 item self report that is often designed to address the psycho social characteristics that are often associated with violence. The instrument is designed to assess the violence levels using several checklists for risk factors and warning signs developed form a norm referenced perspective. The instrument is a self-report and is consistent with understanding the client’s perspective (Meloy, 2014). Further, the instrument also involves the inclusion of the social desirability and inconsistency scales.
Therefore, validity is extremely important in the core of any experimental research method and design. It is important in psycho social evaluation and threat risk assessment to use the right procedures in order to make the tests valid and reliable. There is also a need to examine the results in the validity section and question whether or not there any other possible causal relationships that might exist. There is always a chance that there might be another unknown factor that has contributed to the findings and results, however, this extraneous casual relationship may become minimized as validity and reliability of the results from the psychological assessments.
Andrade, J. T. (2009). Handbook of violence risk assessment and treatment: New approaches for mental health professionals. New York: Springer.
Meloy, J. R., & Hoffmann, J. (2014). International handbook of threat assessment.
Reliability, according to the free online dictionary, is the capability of a person or an item that makes them dependable. The term reliability is used in a couple of doctrines like; engineering, philosophical studies, computer networking and psychometrics (Bain, 1991). In all these diverse doctrines, reliability portrays a different meaning from one doctrine to another. For an item or person to be considered reliable, they must possess the capability to produce stable and consistent results when assessed. There are methods that are used to assess the reliability of an item. Reliability can be calculated mathematically to configure an accurate answer. This is the reason why reliability is measured through estimation which gives a rough figure. This paper presents the methods that Gliner can use to measure the reliability of his multiple choice test, and the difference between validity and reliability. Lastly, the possible repercussions of Gliner concluding his test is reliable and finding out it is not.
The first and most common method that Gliner can use to measure the reliability of his multiple choice test is the test-retest reliability. This process involves assessing the same test two times to a group of individuals. The administering of the test should be at two different times and with the same audience every time. The results of Test one and Test two then should be compared to assert the difference if there is one. This test beats the basic human thinking that the results must be the same for the two tests. At times, this is not the case, and the same individuals may produce different results every time compared to the timeline between taking the two tests. This method, however, may not be recommendable as it may prove to be more reliable than expected (Bain, 1991). This is the case when the individuals take the second test just a short while after they have undertaken the first one. The individuals will, therefore, remember the answers that they gave for the first test, and since they are similar produce the same results. The results obtained from the two tests should show the consistency of the results expected.
The parallel forms reliability is another method that can be used to assess the reliability of Gliner’s multi-choice test. The first step of using this method is the creation of a large number of questions and then splitting them into two to create parallel tests. In this case, Gliner would have to split his multiple choice test into two making it seem like two different tests since the questions are different. The different tests then would be administered to a similar group of students at two different times. The results will then be compared to try and figure out the most reliable ones. In this case, the set of questions used should be those that were a little bit harder since the test should not be easy. This method is quite dependable since it gives on an option to choose from two sets of questions. The only negative thing about this method is the assumption that the split questions are the same, yet this might not be the case.
The inter-rater reliability is a method that involves the use of different opinions and ratings that the judges who evaluate the test identify. This method is considered better than the previous methods. This is because the judges’ way of thinking is different from those taking the tests, and their opinion is rather professional than rational (Bain, 1991). In this method, disagreements are bound to occur before a unanimous decision is arrived at since everyone in the panel is trying to articulate their view. In consideration that people think differently, disagreements are, therefore, inevitable.
Validity, on the other hand, is a measure of how well a test achieves its purpose or goal. For a test to be considered valid, the results it provides must be must have the capability to be well interpreted or applied. Validity, like reliability, cannot be measured statistically, and there are methods used to estimate the validity of an item (Lissitz, 2009). Content validity is the first method that can measure the validity of the test. Individual test questions come from a very large pool of topics that need to be tested. Therefore, it a test contains content validity; this means it contains all the questions that are necessary for it to cover.
The criterion related validity ascertains that the test can be used for future predicaments, in addition to its current use. The test must possess the ability to fulfill the current duties and also be useful in future assignments that may arise. For example, this test would be used to assess in what other way Gliner’s multiple choice test would be used other than joining grad school. The test is proven to possess constructing validity if the results of the test show any relation to the predicted results. A very good example of a test that has construct validity is an intelligence test. This method involves the experts coming up with expected results of the tests after which students are subjected to the tests to try and prove these expected results right or wrong.
In conclusion, if Gliner decides that his test is reliable then it becomes proven otherwise, this might call for rapid action. If the test is not reliable, Gliner might, therefore, be put in a decision where he has to investigate the parts of the test that are not reliable (Baumgarten, 2013). After this, the next best move would be to eliminate those questions and possible replace them with reliable ones. An assessment of the validity and reliability of his test is important to portray the success of the test. If the test fails the reliability and validity assessment, then it might not be approved at the school.
Bain, L. J., & Engelhardt, M. (1991). Statistical analysis of reliability and life-testing models: Theory and methods. New York: M. Dekker.
Lissitz, R. W. (2009). The concept of validity: Revisions, new directions, and applications. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Pub.
Baumgarten, M. (2013). Paradigm wars - validity and reliability in qualitative research. S.l.: Grin Verlag.
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