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Chapter 32: Qualitative approaches to career counselling

AUTHORS: M. Watson, M. McMahon

ABSTRACT: Sometimes viewed as a newcomer in the field of career psychology, qualitative career assessment has a long history that has been overshadowed by the dominant story of quantitative career assessment. This proposed book chapter explores the potential of qualitative career assessment to accommodate less tangible and therefore less measurable variables that may influence individual career development. Specifically, a qualitative approach to career assessment may be sensitive to variables such as culture, socio-economic background, barriers to career development and other contextual influences that have been less focused on in quantitative career assessment. The book chapter also considers the issue of complementarity between qualitative and quantitative career assessment from various international perspectives. This proposed chapter describes the development of a qualitative career assessment measure, My System of Career Influences (MSCI; McMahon, Patton & Watson, 2005a, b), which has been developed for use with adolescents in South Africa and Australia. The MSCI was developed according to guidelines suggested for qualitative career assessment by McMahon, Patton and Watson (2003). Subsequently, the MSCI has been translated for use with adolescents in The Netherlands, Iceland and Hong Kong. The chapter also describes the development of an adult version of the MSCI (McMahon, Watson & Patton, submitted a, b) which was trialled in Australia, England and South Africa. The chapter concludes with an overview of recent research using the MSCI on diverse South African population groups of adolescents and adults.

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Chapter 30: The ImPACT Neurocognitive Screening Test

AUTHORS: A. Edwards, V. Whitefield, S. Radloff

ABSTRACT: The recent development of computerized neurocognitive screening programmes has revolutionized medical management in the sports concussion arena where there is a need for mass testing of athletes, and repeat follow up testing of the concussed athlete to monitor recovery and facilitate safe return-to-play decisions.  Automated programmes of this type have the facility for more accurate evaluation on timed tasks than paper-and-pencil testing, are time and cost effective in that group testing can be undertaken, and multiple randomized versions of the tasks reduce the problem of practice effects on repeated test occasions.  In South Africa, the ImPACT test (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) that was developed within a research context at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, has been employed for clinical and research purposes since 2003, and is the only test of its type registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) for clinical use in this country.  This chapter reviews research data derived using the ImPACT test in respect of players of contact sport from school through to the professional level that attests to the clinical sensitivity of this test in the identification of subtle neurocognitive deficit in association with participation in the contact sport of rugby.  In addition, available South African normative indications in respect of the test are presented and discussed.  Finally, the potential to use the ImPACT test to facilitate medical management and increase safety within other contexts is discussed, such as screening of aviation personnel (pilots and ground control employees) on a regular basis to identify the onset of intellectual dysfunction that might have sinister consequences.

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Chapter 29: Using computerised and Internet-based testing in South Africa

AUTHOR: N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: South Africa was an early adopter of computerised tests, with the earliest testing systems being developed in the late 1970’s. Initially computerised testing systems were developed by state-funded organisations, with some funding from the private sector. As a result of political changes in South Africa, financial support for research and development in Psychometrics in statutory organisations decreased. Psychometrics, and specifically computerised testing, was then advanced by various private commercial interests, with increasing involvement from foreign test publishers. With the development of the World Wide Web and the availability of broadband connectivity, delivery of tests and reports across the Internet became a reality.  Publishers were concerned about piracy of content and cheating by respondents who were doing the tests unsupervised.  The International Test Commission drew up guidelines for computer-based and internet-delivered testing, and these were adapted to the existing South African legislative framework and ethical guidelines for psychologist. A legal battle ensued, resulting in the repeated withdrawal and re-adopting of the South African guidelines. The main point of contention was whether or not unsupervised Internet-based testing should be allowed.  This legal battle eventually led to changes in legislation.  This chapter will discuss the regulatory framework as it currently stands.  The risks attached to different types of computerised implentations of tests will be considered, taking into account the rights of the respondent, the psychometric impact of computerisation, and the exposure for the practitioner to charges of possible misconduct. A proposal for best practice in South Africa will be formulated.

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Chapter 28: Ethical Perspectives in Assessment

AUTHOR: N. Coetzee

ABSTRACT: Psychological assessment practices in South Africa are informed by several governing bodies. Firstly, there are the codes of conduct proposed by the International Test Commission and the American Psychological Association (APA). Secondly, practitioners must adhere to statutory control in the form of the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974. Thirdly, practitioners working in organizational and institutional contexts soon discover that they must also deal with two other forms of important legislation, namely the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997) and the Employment Equity Act (1998). Add to this the fact that South Africa is in dire need of appropriate measures of assessment, and it soon becomes clear that practicing psychological assessment could approximate a walk through a mine-field. The aim of this chapter, however, is not to add to the sense of confusion South African practitioners currently experience, but to provide them with detailed step-by-step guidelines on how to interpret and integrate the ethical codes proposed by the International Test Commission, the APA and the Health Professions Act 56 of 1974. Discussions and guidelines on how to interpret the Basic Conditions of Employment Act (1997) and the Employment Equity Act (1998) when conducting psychological assessment within the organizational context will also be provided. Research findings of relevant South African studies on psychological assessment will be incorporated throughout the text to illustrate that, despite all the hindrances experienced by practitioners, the ethical use of psychological assessment is possible.

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Chapter 17: The MBTI in South africa

AUTHORS: K. Knott, N. Taylor, Y. Niewoudt

ABSTRACT: This chapter provides an introduction to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®), a well known and popular measure of personality type.  The basic theory and development of the indicator are covered, followed by a summary of South African research and psychometric properties of this well loved instrument.  In particular, the issues of reliability and validity are addressed, and an analysis of the two current forms, namely Form M and Form Q, is presented.  As the instrument is so widely used, some information on the misuse of type is included and there is a focus on the ethical use in South Africa. A substantial portion of the chapter will be spent on the application of type, and how it can be used to improve self understanding, communication, team work, managing change and conflict, among others.  Lastly, we look at the future of the MBTI and new and exciting ways to bring type to life in different contexts.

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Chapter 20: The OPQ in South Africa

AUTHOR:  N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: With the current population norm group for the Occupational Personality Questionnaire at almost 55000 people, this is one of the most widely-used personality questionnaires in South Africa. This chapter will give an overview of the development of the Occupational Personality Profile and the rationale for the various scales. A brief historical review of reliability and validity studies in South Africa will be discussed, and the different norm groups available for the test will be compared.  In the context of fairness and best use, the relationship between the reliabilities of the OPP scales and the home language, race and educational level of the respondents will be discussed. Age groups and sexes will also be compared. The groups will also be compared in terms of their mean scores on the OPP scales. This leads us to the question of whether one should use a group-specific norm or a general population norm, and how to decide between the options.  A discussion of differential item functioning for race and language groups will follow.   Some attention will also be given to the decision of whether the Occupational Personality Profile is suitable for an intended respondent, or whether a different means of assessing personality (which need not be a questionnaire) should be employed.  The different delivery methods of the OPP, and the available computer-generated reports will be discussed, with the emphasis on using technology to facilitate the fair and appropriate use of the questionnaire. The use of the Occupational Personality Profile for assessing competencies will be discussed, as well as the implications of automating this process. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of doing an integrated assessment and not relying on one source of information only.

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Chapter 19: The OPPro in South Africa

AUTHOR:  N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: With the current population norm group for the Occupational Personality Questionnaire at almost 55000 people, this is one of the most widely-used personality questionnaires in South Africa. This chapter will give an overview of the development of the Occupational Personality Profile and the rationale for the various scales. A brief historical review of reliability and validity studies in South Africa will be discussed, and the different norm groups available for the test will be compared.  In the context of fairness and best use, the relationship between the reliabilities of the OPP scales and the home language, race and educational level of the respondents will be discussed. Age groups and sexes will also be compared. The groups will also be compared in terms of their mean scores on the OPP scales. This leads us to the question of whether one should use a group-specific norm or a general population norm, and how to decide between the options.  A discussion of differential item functioning for race and language groups will follow.   Some attention will also be given to the decision of whether the Occupational Personality Profile is suitable for an intended respondent, or whether a different means of assessing personality (which need not be a questionnaire) should be employed.  The different delivery methods of the OPP, and the available computer-generated reports will be discussed, with the emphasis on using technology to facilitate the fair and appropriate use of the questionnaire. The use of the Occupational Personality Profile for assessing competencies will be discussed, as well as the implications of automating this process. Special emphasis will be placed on the importance of doing an integrated assessment and not relying on one source of information only.