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Read the following case study. Use the information in the case study to answer the accompanying follow-up questions. Although questions 1 & 2 have short answers, you should prepare a 150- to 200-word response for each of the remaining questions.
Dr. Zak developed a test to measure depression. He sampled 100 university students to take his five item test. The group of students was comprised of 30 men and 70 women. In this group, four persons were African American, six persons were Hispanic, and one person was Asian. Zak’s Miraculous Test of Depression is printed below: 1. I feel depressed: Yes No 2. I have been sad for the last two weeks: Yes No 3. I have seen changes in my eating and sleeping: Yes No 4. I don’t feel that life is going to get better: Yes No 5. I feel happy most of the day: Yes No Yes = 1; No = 0 The mean on this test is 3.5 with a standard deviation of .5. Follow-Up Questions 1. . Do you think Dr. Zak has a good sample on which to norm his test? Why or why not? What are your suggestions? 2. What other items do you think need to be included in Dr. Zak’s domain sampling?
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Do you think Dr. Zak has a good sample on which to norm his test? Why or why not? What are your suggestions?
Dr. Zak samples on which to norm his test
Dr. Zak defines a group of people as a representative of the population for the test that is designed. The population is “the complete universe or set of individuals with at least one common, observable observation” (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005, p. 103). Dr. Zak’s sample included 100 university students. Four of the students were black, six were Hispanics, and one was Asian. Although, it seems like this group is a good one to sample, more information is needed to obtain good results on his test. Therefore, Dr. Zak does not have a good sample on which to norm is test. For Dr Zak to have a good sample on which to norm his test, he would have to consider other things such as age norms, grade norms, and national norms. Age groups include different samples of test-takers, at various ages at the time each student took the test (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005, p.107). Dr. Zak does not provide the students ages in his sample. Grade norms indicate at which level of education each student is at the time he or she took the test (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005, p. 107). Dr. Zak’s sample consists of university students. Dr. Zak did not state if they are freshman, sophomores, juniors, or seniors. National norms “are derived from a normative sample that was nationally representative of the population at the time of the norming study was conducted” (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005, p. 108). In psychology, this would be obtained by testing a large group. This would include “different variables of interest such as age, gender, racial/ethnic background, socioeconomic strata, geographical location, and different types of communities within the various parts of the country” (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005, p. 108). The information provided to us did not include the student’s age, socioeconomic strata, geographical location, or the type of community each student came from. This information would have been helpful and would have made Dr. Zak’s sample a good sample on which to norm his test.
What other items do you think need to be included in Dr. Zak’s domain sampling? Suggest changes to this test to make it better. Justify your reason for each suggestion supporting
Dr. Zak’s Domain Sampling
Cohen and Swerdlik (2005) states”in the process of developing a test, a test developer has targeted some defined group as the population for which the test is designed” (p. 103). In Dr. Zak’s test his domain sampling consisted of the 100 university students who were African American, Hispanic, Asian, and others. He also sampled male and female but most were females he targeted. Dr. Zak could have expanded his sampling by using people who were poor, rich, had jobs or no jobs, and those of different religions. Dr. Zak could have also used different subgroups for his testing. According to Cohen and Swerdlik (2005), “subgroups within a defined population may differ with respect to some characteristics, and it is sometimes essential to have these differences proportionately represented in the sample” (p. 103). Dr. Zak could have targeted people who live in the New York area which is known as stratified sampling (Cohen and Swerdlik, 2005, p.103). These are all different examples of different domains Dr. Zak could have included in his sampling.
1. Do you think Dr. Zak has a good sample on which to norm his test? Why or why not? What are your suggestions?
I think that Dr. Zak has a good sample on which to norm his test. For the reason that Dr. Zak developed a test to measure depression among 100 learners from different gender and ethnicity, the gender comprise of 70 females and 30 males. And a wide measure in terms of the ethnicity that comprise of four African American, Asian, and six Hispanic person.
His mean was 3.5 on his test with a standard deviation of .5. This therefore represent a wide sample on which to norm a test score. The fact that he uses 70 females, for the reason that females are probable more likely to seek out medical help for depression. Granting that some warning sign of depression are similar for both males and females, but still females are more likely to experience particular symptoms extra often than males.
According to Martin Agnes and friends, (2013). “Women are more likely to experience depression than men, and more than 25% of women will experience an episode of depression
throughout their lifetime”. “Among African Americans, depression is frequently undetected, under-diagnosed, under reported, and undertreated. Only 7% of Black women will receive some type of mental health treatment”. “Factors associated with depression among Black women include: racial disparities, micro aggressions, poverty, cultural socialization, social health, obesity and diabetes, and exposure to interpersonal and community violence”. “Due to an overrepresentation of established factors for depression, such as race, gender, and class inequities, Black women are at a disproportionately higher risk for this mental illness”.
To me it is a good sample since the suicidal rates among African Americans, Asian, and Hispanic are still among the highest compare to others.
2. What other items do you think need to be included in Dr. Zak’s domain sampling?
Depression is a serious illness, and if it is not examined to its fullest it can evolve into a serious case which can lead severe consequences. This study could benefit from asking more questions because asking more questions can provide further insight into how serious their depression is, and perhaps gauge what level of depression they are experiencing. Some other questions that can be asked can be, it is difficult for me to concentrate, I have trouble making decisions, my sleep patterns bad and having difficulty relaxing, I often feel nervous or anxious, committing suicide has come into my mind, you are no longer sexually driven, is depression present in your family history, you often feel sad or worthless.
The issue with this test is that people experience different forms of depression where some cases may not be as severe as others. There are many different factors that have an effect in the development of depression from changes in hormones, genetic predispositions, relationships, or the experience of internal and external stressors. The more questions that are involved in the testing, the more information that can be gathered to help produce effective results.
3. Suggest changes to this test to make it better. Justify your reason for each suggestion supporting each reason with psychometric principles from the text book or other materials used in your course.
In the case study of Dr. Zak’s test for depression, because psychometrics deals with how consistently and how accurately a test measures what it is supposed to measure a few changes that I would recommend to the test would begin with one of the important principals of psychometrics which is reliability. Dr. Zak’s test should measure what is supposed to measure every time, so giving the test on more than one instance would help to be provide some information that it is consistent. Another area that could be recommended for adjustment is in the area of validity. This would involve making sure the test instrument that Dr. Zak used measured what it is supposed to measure. This can be achieved by possibly using a combination of instruments and determine would be the best to determine this measure. The last suggestion that I would recommend would be that Dr. Zak use normative data. This is a way of gathering meaning from test scores by evaluating an individual’s test scores and comparing them to a group of test takers. This would allow researchers to have a point of reference when evaluating individual test scores.
Agnes M., Noreen B., Caroline F., Sherry, W., & Tracy, R., W. (2013, Mar), Applying Resistance Theory to Depression in Black Women, Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.contentproxy.phoenix.edu/docview/1363529845/283FAFC1A56F4EDBPQ/4?accountid=35812
Cohen, R. J., Swerdlik, M. E, & Sturman, E. D. (2013). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.