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Analyzing Tests and Scales

Analyzing Tests and Scales


As a social science researcher, you must become familiar and comfortable with the tests and scales others in your discipline choose to measure data. Sometimes critiquing the measurement methods of a study can help clarify how you yourself might employ these measurement instruments. In this Discussion, you will find an example of a test and a scale used in your discipline’s literature, analyze its use in the study, and analyze the relationships among these instruments, populations, and the concepts of reliability and validity.

To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review Chapter 18, “Index Construction and Scaling Methods” (pp. 414–415, 422–431) in the course text Research Methods in the Social Sciences, and the Web site on criterion- and standards-referenced testing.
  • Search your discipline’s literature for an example of a test and an example of a scale. For each example, determine the typical population and the reliability and validity.
  • What considerations need to be made to ensure that the scale and test examples are reliable and valid for another population?

With these thoughts in mind:

Post  a 2- or 3-paragraph analysis of the relationships among tests and scales, populations, and reliability and validity. Additionally, post 1 or 2 paragraphs describing the test and scale examples from your discipline, including the populations, the reliability and validity of each test, and whether the test and scale could be applied to another population.


When appropriate, be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the reading(s) and/or video program(s) and use APA format.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.


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