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Psychological Tests: Uses and Abuses


by Anne Anastasi 1961

A common misuse of psychological tests arises from the confusion of measurement with etiology. No test can eliminate causality. Nor can a test score, however derived, reveal the origin of the behavior it reflects. If certain environmental factors influence behavior, they will also influence those samples of behavior covered by tests. When we use tests to compare different groups, the only question the tests can answer directly is: "How do these groups differ under existing cultural conditions?" This limitation of tests may appear so obvious as to be trite. But it needs to be made explicit, because it is still frequently forgotten in discussing the implications of test results.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 62 Number 5, 1961, p. 389-389
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 3159, Date Accessed: 10/22/2017 1:34:35 PM

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