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Showing posts from 2017

Presenting Survey Results

We can learn a lot about presenting survey results by looking at what experts do. The scientists at Pew Research presented findings from a Christmas in America survey . Take a look at their work. 1. Focus on highlights. For general audiences, select the most important facts. For example, it is no big news to say over 90% of Christian Americans celebrate Christmas. But to learn there’s a drop in celebrating Christmas as a religious rather than a cultural holiday is news (46% down from 51% in 2013). It’s also interesting to learn that younger persons are lower on the religious emphasis than are older adults. Of course, to focus on highlights, you have to create good survey questions in the first place. So, check out the items Pew reports to make their findings more meaningful (e.g., include age groups and religious affiliation in your survey). 2. Use percentages and graphics to depict trends. On fact 2, “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays,” Pew shows a change

How to Measure Wisdom

Thinker As you might guess, psychological scientists disagree on the definition of wisdom. Here's one definition with a list of features that captures some scientific thinking ( from evidenced-based ). Psychologists are finding that societies do share an agreed understanding and conception of wisdom. Wisdom is a construct composed of the following traits: Deep self-knowledge Social intelligence and life skills Broad compassion Emotional management Multi-model perspective-taking Uncertainty navigation Several scales have been developed to measure various characteristics. As with many psychological survey items, measures of wisdom rely on self-report. In this post, I will present one scale and provide links to information about additional wisdom scales. 3 D Wisdom Scale (3DWS) Monika Ardelt is a professor of sociology at the University of Florida. She developed the Three-Dimensional Wisdom Scale (2003). Her model of wisdom included the fol

Marriage & Divorce Rates by Age and Year

Two charts illustrate how the divorce rate and the remarriage rate in the United States vary across seven age groups. See the captions in the charts for the sources of these data. The rate of divorce is much higher for younger persons than for older persons but the rate of divorce has declined among younger persons than for older persons for the two-year comparison—1990 and 2015. Remarriage rates are also much higher for younger persons but there is a significant drop since 1990 for younger persons compared to the relatively stable rate for older persons. What is not obvious in these data are changes in people living together. About Creating Surveys and understanding  Applied Statistics... FIND my books on AMAZON

Chart Example Marriage Age by year

The chart based on data from CDC 2015 provides an example of tracking three trends over time. The bars indicate the percentage of births to unmarried women. The upper teal line represents the median age at first marriage and the orange broken line indicates median age at first birth. Notice the "crossover" of the two lines referring to first birth and first marriage. Note also the stabalized trend for births to unmarried women easily visible on the bar portion of the chart. About 40% of women are unmarried when their children are born. You can read text related to the story at the BGSU weblink: Creating Surveys Available from  AMAZON Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors Available from  AMAZON Connect Geoffrey W. Sutton Facebook Twitter @GeoffWSutton YouTube

HOPE - How to measure hope

The Adult Hope Scale The Adult Hope Scale developed by C. R. Snyder of the University of Kansas is an easy to use measure of hope. The original scale has 12-items, which measure two dimensions of hope based on hope theory. Four measure agency and four measure pathways--the other four are distractors. The agency concept measures the capacity to focus energy on a goal. The pathways concept assesses plans to achieve goals. In recent studies, the four distraction items are often dropped leaving 8-items. Researchers often use the total score for the 8-items as a measure of trait (aka dispositional) hope. Find Snyder's The Psychology of Hope I have also included a Spanish language measure of hope in this post. Here's the text we (Sutton et al., 2018) used to refer to the scale along with our findings. The items used a response format of 1 =  definitely false  to 8 =  definitely true . A sample item is, “I meet the goals I set for myself.” Snyder et al. (1991) repor

How to Compare Test Scores

When counselors and psychologists report test scores, they often report one of the scores found in the table below. When several tests are used, it is helpful to know how the scores compare from one test to another. A good place to begin is to locate the average score-- that's the row where z = 0. Then look at the broad middle range between z = -1 and z = 1. About 68% of people score between z = -1 and z = 1. Intelligence Tests use Standard Scores abbreviated as SS. These scores take the place of the old IQ score. An average IQ is 100 -- about 68% of people score between 85 and 115. Here's a table from Appendix B of Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors Each row contains the equivalent score on a different scoring system. For example, a z -score of 1 equals a T score of 60, and a standard score of 115. The score is at the 84 th percentile. z T Standard Percentile Ra

INTELLIGENCE TESTS - What Counselors & Psychologists Know

Intelligence tests (IQ tests) are in the news lately as people banter about terms from many decades ago. IQ tests are widely used because they measure the ability of people to solve various problems, predict academic achievement, and help with job placement in some settings. The tests also help neuropsychologists assess functioning in people with impairments due to head injuries and brain diseases. During part of my childhood, I passed a facility where American IQ testing began. I saw people on swings and on the grounds of the Vineland Training school in Vineland NJ. It turns out that a little over 100 years ago, American psychologist, Henry Goddard, brought a test by French scientist, Alfred Binet , to the New Jersey Training School for Feeble-Minded Girls and Boys in Vineland, NJ. The test was modified and widely used in the U.S. What tests are used today? Today, a number of tests are available in the US and elsewhere. Popular American tests are the Wechsler Intelligenc