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Showing posts from July, 2017

Understanding the Reliability of Educational and Psychological Tests

Why aren't tests reliable? The reason tests are not reliable is that reliability is a property of the interpretation of scores not the tests themselves.   This isn't a matter of semantics. Think about it this way. Give all the students in one school an achievement test. The test items don't change so they appear stable, consistent, and reliable. However, when publishers report reliability values, they calculate the reliability statistics based on scores. Scores vary from one administration to another. If you ever took a test twice and got a different score, you know what I mean. Individuals change from day to day. And we change from year to year. Also, even a representative sample of students for a nation can be different each year. Every time we calculate a reliability statistic, the statistic is slightly different. Reliability values vary with the sample. Reliability values vary with the method of calculation. Reliability values also vary with the method us

Assessing Spiritual Practices

Portsmouth Cathedral, UK; April 2017, Geoff W. Sutton Spiritual Practices Index (SPI) In recent years, researchers have characterized religion and spirituality as ways people find meaning in their lives--that is, religion and spirituality as meaning making systems. It isn't surprising that researchers disagree on a way to define religion and spirituality that encompasses all similar activities. Meanwhile, researchers continue to study various dimensions of religion and spirituality. In this post I will introduce a short scale that might be helpful in research and possibly in a clinical setting. Although it was written to assess Christian Practices, I will suggest how it could be modified. One way to think about the components of faith is three-dimensional, which includes beliefs, practices, and experiences. A few years ago, a group of us studied Christian counseling to discover what Christian counselors actually did that was different from other counselors. We wanted to ge