education

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.

 

Chapter 16: The BTI in South Africa

AUTHORS: N. Taylor, G. P. de Bruin

ABSTRACT: This chapter describes the Basic Traits Inventory, a South African developed measure of the Big Five personality traits. The basic premises of the Big Five personality theory are given, along with descriptions of the five personality factors. The development of the BTI is described, where issues surrounding developing tests in the cross-cultural South African context are discussed. Further, research done using the BTI in South Africa is presented. The reliability and validity of the BTI is examined and the subject of cross-cultural bias and fairness is addressed. Lastly, examples of the application of the BTI in various fields, such as education and the workplace, are provided and the future of the BTI is discussed.

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Chapter 15: The 15FQ+ in South Africa

AUTHOR: N. Tredoux

ABSTRACT: This chapter will discuss the development of the 15FQ+ and how it differs from the 16PF, which measures the same model of personality. An overview of the questionnaire’s reliability and validity will be done, comparing early studies with newer results.  The effect of language proficiency, reasoning ability and education on the reliability of the questionnaire will be discussed.  Differences between race and language groups of the various scales will be considered, with a discussion of the importance of these differences for the fair use of the questionnaire in South Africa. An overview of South African norms will be presented. Guidelines for the choice of norm groups will be discussed, with particular emphasis on the decision whether to use a general population norm or a smaller norm which would be specific to a given language or race group.  For some assessment situations, the best choice may be to use a simpler questionnaire, or not to assess personality using a questionnaire at all.  Attention will also be given to differences between age groups on the personality dimensions measures by the 15FQ+. The various computer-generated reports available for the 15FQ+ will be considered, to facilitate their appropriate use.  Attention will be given to the practice of matching personality dimensions to competencies, the obtaining of matched scores, and the implications for fair use of the questionnaire. The importance of doing an integrated assessment will be emphasised, and some consideration will be given to additional sources of information that can be used to arrive at a fair and accurate assessment.

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Chapter 13: Neuropsychological assessment in SA

AUTHOR: M. Lucas

ABSTRACT: Neuropsychology is frequently defined as the relationship between brain functioning and behavior but with the collapse of Cartesian dualism, this focus has been expanded.  With the mind today seen as the output of the brain it is therefore available to objective consideration as well.  Modern Neuropsychology thus encompasses not only the understanding and interpretation of structural/functional brain systems but includes broader understandings such as the subjective experience of self (Solms, 2006). There have been two traditions in Neuropsychology: A syndrome based approach, dependent upon a clinic-anatomical analysis, which we will refer to as the clinical approach; and a cognitive neuroscientific approach, with close links to information processing and artificial intelligence.  The former approach has its origins in the times of cortical localization beginning with Broca, Wernicke and Charcot, but more recently is based upon integrated theories of brain function; while the latter approach is based on principles of cognitive psychology and assumes that mental activities operate in terms of specialized sub-systems or modules.  It has primarily researched cognitive systems that can be separated out (dissociated) from each other.  Both approaches are complementary, use case studies, experimental designs and quantitative analysis.  Each adds valuable information to the study of the brain and mind and currently they are moving towards a more unified model.

Clinical neuropsychology is primarily concerned with anatomical brain variants and pathology and uses the syndrome-based medical model as its theoretical basis.  Typically this discipline is concerned with assessment, diagnosis, management and rehabilitation of people who have neurocognitive impairment.  Deficits are usually acquired as a result of illness and injury to the nervous system; may be temporary or permanent but measurable by subjective complaints (e.g. I am forgetful) and objective measures (e.g. psychometric tests, neuro-imaging studies). Further, clinical neuropsychology is concerned not only with the cognitive impairments but the emotional and behavioural consequences of such illness and injury.  Most importantly, these areas are assessed within the framework of person’s social and cultural background. Thus, neuropsychological assessment must take place through use of triangulation using firstly, personal narratives, collateral information, medical records and investigations such as neuro-imaging and secondly, extensive knowledge on the part of the psychologist of mind/brain issues, neuroanatomy, pathology and physiology, and thirdly, careful administration, scoring and interpretation of appropriate measures of cognitive, emotional and behavioural functioning.  Test measures may be in the form of appropriate standardised or individualised batteries. In South Africa, Neuropsychologists have typically used the standardized norms supplied by test manufacturers for their middle-class, usually white, clients and made judgements on levels of function using standardized scores and statistical analyses (e.g. standard deviations, z scores, t scores, percentile ranks etc.).  However, this group forms a small part of the South African population, making this approach an invalid one for most South Africans.  There have been attempts to standardize various tests for the local population but this has met with only limited success (e.g. Nell, 1999).  The general failure to produce working norms has been for several reasons: i) population heterogeneity in terms of language, education, socio-economic status and cultural stance ii) a dynamic and emerging population, thus tests standardized for a group have limited life as members become better educated iii) changes in level of test sophistication as communities move from pre-modern (rural) to modern (urban) lifestyles. In the face of these challenges, it has been recommended that neuropsychologists use a more hypothesis driven approach first promulgated by Luria (Solms, 2008) as a basis.  Test scores can be then interpreted from a differential score or pattern analytical approach (Zilmer, Spiers & Culbertson, 2008).

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Chapter 23: Assessment and Monitoring of Symptoms in the Treatment of Psychological Problems

AUTHORS: D. Edwards, C. Young

ABSTRACT: This chapter considers the clinical application of brief symptom measures in South African contexts. Although typically developed in the USA and UK, these measures can assist South African clinicians to assess the severity of their clients’ presentations, to track the progress of psychological therapy from one session to the next and to evaluate therapy outcomes. There is evidence for their value not only for research but also for practice, as such systematic tracking of symptoms improves clinical outcome. While many competing measures have been developed over the years, a few dominate in the literature and even fewer have been used and at least partially validated in South Africa. This chapter summarizes recent local validation studies on the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation – Outcome Measure (CORE-OM), and of the Xhosa translations of the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS).  Other disorder-specific measures that have been used in local contexts include the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) and a number of trauma scales such as the Posttraumatic Diagnostic Scale (PDS), the Impact of Events Scale (IES), the Posttraumatic Cognitions Inventory, and the Traumatic Grief Inventory (TGI). The utility of these scales in everyday settings, and their interpretation in conjunction with other assessment data are examined by reference to clinical examples, including published case studies.  Problems encountered in the translation of scales as well as their use in local multicultural and multilingual contexts are discussed.

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Chapter 11: The APIL and TRAM learning potential instruments in South Africa

AUTHOR/S: T. Taylor

ABSTRACT: This chapter covers three main topics involving the APIL and TRAM learning potential instruments developed by Aprolab, namely, the underlying theory, the nature and contents of the instruments and technical information. Early theory by Vogotsky, Feuerstein and others suggested that learning potential is solely reflected in the zone of proximal development, the degree to which an individual’s performance improves with intervention.  APIL and TRAM instruments are based on a broader theory drawn from cognitive psychology, information processing theory and learning theory. This theory incorporates four main elements – fluid intelligence, information processing efficiency, transfer and learning rate. The first two constructs are static (not direct measures of learning potential, but nevertheless critical to learning). The last two dimensions are dynamic (direct measures of learning). Only learning rate is related to the zone of proximal development concept from which the learning potential construct originally arose. There are actually three Aprolab learning potential instruments: APIL, TRAM-2 and TRAM-1. They cover the educational spectrum from no education to tertiary education. All of them are based on the theory mentioned above and incorporate separate measures of the four constructs listed above. In some cases the constructs are broken down into sub-dimensions. APIL has eight scores, TRAM-2 six and TRAM-1 five. The sub-dimensions are described, the techniques whereby the raw-scores are converted into normed scores on these sub-dimensions explained, and examples of stimulus material provided. The APIL and TRAM instruments have been used since the mid-90’s. Technical information is given on scale inter-correlations, reliabilities, predictive and concurrent validity, and culture-fairness/lack of bias.

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Chapter 14: The 16PF in South Africa

AUTHORS: N. Taylor, C. Prinsloo, R. van Eeden

ABSTRACT: Personality assessment and the general history of the development of the 16PF are briefly discussed. An overview of the history of the 16PF in South Africa is subsequently given including the development and psychometric properties of older versions of the questionnaire and of related questionnaires. This is followed by a detailed discussion of two versions of the questionnaire, namely the SA92 version and the SA fifth edition. Both versions are locally used and supported by test publishers (although the form SA92 is being phased out in favour of the SA fifth edition). The latter represents current local and international developments and the former is important in terms of the associated research results both from a practical and a methodological point of view. The versions are described in terms of their development and the subsequent research conducted in South Africa. The emphasis is on critical discussion/examination of the instruments in the local context, focusing on cross-cultural research. In addition to comparisons across groups, issues such as the understanding of items, the role of language proficiency and translation difficulties are discussed. Issues related to the 16PF in practice are discussed and the chapter concludes with ideas on the future of the questionnaire in South Africa. Reliability, validity and bias issues are highlighted as far as possible.

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Chapter 10: The Learning Potential Computerised Adaptive Test (LPCAT) in South Africa

AUTHOR/S: M. de Beer

ABSTRACT: In the multicultural and multilingual South African context where differences in socio-economic and educational background and opportunities of individuals further complicate psychological assessment, the measurement of learning potential provides additional information in the cognitive domain that has shown positive results.  This chapter deals with the history of dynamic assessment internationally and locally and provides empirical results on the LPCAT that provide support for utilizing this approach in conjunction with standard tests of cognitive ability and aptitude.  It further elucidates how the use of Item Response Theory (IRT) and Computerised Adaptive Testing (CAT) addresses a number of practical and measurement issues that have been hampering the wide-scale implementation and use of dynamic assessment of learning potential in assessment in education and in industry.

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