VALID Vs. VALUED MEASUREMENT STRATEGIES IN PSYCHOLOGY


Psychology is considered as a science and scientific method is considered to be the best method of knowing. So it includes steps such as systematic observation, measurement etc. I think there is a wide spread craze for quantitative research in Psychology as it is objective in nature. But we need to think how objective we really are! Measuring certain traits is an important element in quantitative research. Many of these inventories use Likert scale-which is an ordinal scale. Strictly speaking, according to statisticians- ordinal scale cant be used for statistical analysis. But we use it liberally for statistical analysis and arrive into the so called valid results.

The other problem that we confront is the validity of these validated measurement instruments. Let us take “creativity” for example. Creativity is a very complex construct and we have different definitions for it. We could find many scales that measure creativity. These scales would have been – no doubt, validated statistically and declared as valid scales. How effectively we can measure this construct as a performance test itself is doubtful. Tragically some of them liberally use even self rating scales - to measure a construct like creativity – which carries sufficient statistical validity and reliability coefficients. In the same fashion we could even measure the swimming skill of an individual using these types of valid scales!!

The problem that we confront happens at the time of administration of these scales. It includes the problem regarding the exact comprehension of the test items by the participants. The attitude of the test administrator towards the participants and vice versa will greatly affect the response. It will also be influenced by many other subjective elements. But still we are proud of the objectivity of quantitative research.

So what we require is more authentic measuring instruments and novel methods of measuring strategies in the field of Psychology. Otherwise the time, money and energy we spent for research will not be fruitful. The society expects great contributions from the field of Psychology, as it had an impact on every walk of life from mental health to space science. So we need to rise to the occasion to fulfil our obligation and one day we should be able to tell the exact causation of for our behaviour rather than in terms of probabilities and statistical significance.

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