Cross-Cultural Assessment of Psychological Assessment Measures

7360 Words Oct 22nd, 2010 30 Pages
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
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An understanding of international developments is therefore important if the South African context is to be understood. Included here is a brief summary of the international perspective.
Behaviorist theory and advances in statistical methodology contributed towards the development of assessment measures. There was an interest and need for psychological assessment in different settings; including educational, military, clinical and industrial settings (Foxcroft & Roodt, 2005). Other important developments include a more humane approach towards mental illness necessitating identification of mental illness in the population, and the development of the Binet -Simon scale. The scale was originally designed to differentiate intellectually impaired school children in France, and became a benchmark for future psychological tests (Foxcroft & Roodt,2005).
During World War 1 military recruits were tested for intellectual impairment to assist with correct selection and placement of troops. Group testing was needed because of the very large numbers who needed to be tested. This led to the development of large-scale measures and multiple-choice format. The Wechsler Intelligence scale was developed in 1937 and in its third edition is still in use today. It was developed in response to a criticism that assessment procedures were too dependent on verbal and language skills; it allowed separate scoring of verbal and

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