Monday, October 30, 2017

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:
  https://www.bgsu.edu/ncfmr/resources/data/family-profiles/eickmeyer-payne-brown-manning-crossover-age-first-marriage-birth-fp-17-22.html


Creating Surveys
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Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors
Available from AMAZON





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Geoffrey W. Sutton www.suttong.com
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Saturday, October 28, 2017

How to measure hope








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.


I have also included a Spanish language measure of hope in this post.

Here's the text we (Sutton et al., 2017) 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.” Synder et al. (1991) reported alphas between .79 and .95 in four samples. 
In our two studies, the alpha reliability values were .82 and  .95.

As you might expect, hope is positively correlated with well-being, which provides some evidence supporting validity. Hope was significantly correlated with the Schwartz Outcome Scale in both studies (.64, .76) and with the Theistic Spiritual Outcome Scale in study 2 (.72).

Using the Hope Scale

Counselors and psychotherapists may consider the scale in assessment of clients because it strongly predicts satisfaction with therapy and patient well-being, which are used as outcome measures as noted above (See Sutton et al., 2017)

Researchers may want to use hope in a variety of surveys looking at characteristics of populations. The reliability values of the items vary with the study yet indicate an overall consistency in many contexts.

The 8-item Scale

LINK TO COPY OF THE ADULT HOPE SCALE (also called The Trait Hope Scale)


Creating Surveys
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Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors
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La Esperanza

A Spanish hope scale (Escala de Esperanza de Herth) is also available. An article suggests adequate psychometric properties for a 28-item version (Uribe, Bardales, & Herth, 2012).



References

Snyder, C. R., Harris, C., Anderson, J. R., Holleran, S. A., Irving, L. M., Sigmon, S. T., Yoshinoba, L., Gibb, J., Langelle, C., & Harney, P. (1991). The will and the ways: Development and validation of an individual-differences measure of hope. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 570-585. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.60.4.570

Snyder, C. R., Parenteau, S. C., Shorey, H. S., Kahle, K. E., & Berg, C. (2002). Hope as the underlying process in the psychotherapeutic change process. International Gestalt Journal, 25, 11-29.


Uribe, P. M., Bardales, M.C., & Herth, K. (2012). Propiedades psicom├ętricas de la Escala de Esperanza de Herth en espa├▒ol. RIDEP, 33, 127-145. (aidep.org)

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Geoffrey W. Sutton www.suttong.com
YouTube Psychology



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

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 84th percentile.


z
T
SS
PR
Sc
3
80
145
99.9
19
2.5
75
138
99.4
-
2
70
130
98
16
1.5
65
123
93.3
-
1
60
115
84
13
0
50
100
50
10
-1
40
85
16
7
-1.5
35
78
6.7
-
-2
30
70
2
4
-2.5
25
63
0.6
-
-3
20
55
0.1
1




Table Notes

z-scores, M = 0, SD = 1
T-scores, M = 50, SD = 10
SS-Standard Scores, M = 100, SD = 15
Sc- Scaled Score, M = 10, SD = 3
PR- Percentile Rank


 Find more practical concepts in Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors

An inexpensive reference book for students and counselors

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Learn more at the book's website  counselorstatistics

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

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 Intelligence Scales and the Stanford-Binet Scale. The tests are regularly updated with new materials and tasks appropriate to people of different ages. Several other tests are also available such as the Kaufman Assessment Battery, Woodcock-Johnson Tests of Cognitive Ability, and the Differential Ability Scales.

A full scale test can last over an hour, so it is not surprising that a number of shorter tests are available. The shorter tests are considered "screening tests" because they include fewer subtests (or sets of tasks), to measure problem-solving skills. It is common to use a test of verbal ability such as vocabulary and a test of "nonverbal" ability such as tasks that require solving visually presented tasks.

Intelligence tests yield a variety of scores that recognize people have different abilities. This fits with common sense as we observe people with different abilities--strong verbal skills, incredible abilities to design complex structures, create various artistic works, and so forth. Still, many people want to know their IQ-- a short hand way of identifying an overall general ability. The overall score is controversial but remains in use.

In years past, the IQ (intelligence quotient) was measured as a ratio of chronological age to mental age. Mental age referred to a person's score on test tasks compared to others of the same age. As I posted previously, there are problems with age scores. Today, the scores on tests of intelligence compare people of similar ages to their age peers. For traditional reasons, the average IQ (or standard score) has an arithmetic average (M, mean) of 100 and a standard deviation (SD) of 15 points (read more about a few statistics).

It turns out that despite different test tasks and scales, people earn similar scores. An IQ score or standard score on one test is likely within a few points of the same score on a different test. As people age, the scores are more reliable-- that is stable. So, if an adult earns a score of 110 today, she would likely have a score within a few points of 110 in 2-years--unless something happened.

The stability of the scores make the tests useful when considering the effects of brain damage or disease. Of course, neuropsychologists use other tests as well (e.g., tests of memory, visual-spatial skills).


Read More


On AMAZON



What is average intelligence?

That can be a trick question unless you clarify what you mean by intelligence. On tests that report standard scores, the average score is 100. Using the common standard deviation of 15 points, about 68% of our age peers will score beetween 85 and 115. Close to 95% of people the same age will have scores in the range of 70 to 130. As you can see, only a small percentage of people score above 130 or below 70.

The test scores compare people to others of the same age. The skill levels develop rapidly in young children. Several months can make a difference in average scores. In adults, scores vary in how they change for people in large age brackets. Some abilities decline more rapidly than others. For example, young adults tend to be faster than older adults when solving tasks requiring eye-hand coordination.

What are some problems with IQ tests?

Test scores do not capture the range of abilities of people who are differently abled. For example, those with severe visual impairments cannot see visual test tasks. And those with severe hearing impairments may not respond well to spoken instructions or auditory tasks. Clearly, it would be wrong to assume something about a person's intelligence using tests that are not designed for people who have limited vision, hearing, or some other similar condition.

Some clinicians fail to document vision, hearing, or other limitations. For example, many people show up for testing and leave their eyewear at home. A child may forget his glasses or hearing aids.

People with temporary limitations cannot take tests as well as they could at other times. If you cannot use your dominant hand due to an injury, you will have difficulty on tests that require using your hands.

People taking medication can respond differently when taking medicine that either helps or interferes with attention and concentration. Of course, illegal drugs can also affect the brain processes needed to remember instructions and solve problems.

People who are not fluent in the language of the test may have a difficult time depending on their language skills.

So called "nonverbal tests" measure different abilities than tests that include language so mistakes can be made when making judgments about general intelligence or ability.

Clinicians make mistakes in recording information, scoring, or writing reports.

Tests are not perfect measuring instruments. Even when administered to people under the best of circumstances, there is measurement error. Measurement error is usually more variable for children than for adults. Measurement error refers to a variation in scores from one administration to another.

What about labels?

I suppose we will have a hard time escaping labels. The words used for people getting high scores or low scores have changed over the years--too many to cover in this post. Insulting words about a person's intelligence were terms used many decades ago. Today, clinicians and organizations like schools use a variety of terms focused on helping high scoring students learn in more challenging environments. And students who score very low on several tests, are elligible for services designed to help them maximize their potential. Insurance programs use cutoff scores and other criteria when awarding benefits to people with severely impaired abilities.

Who administers IQ tests?

A variety of professionals are qualified to administer, score, and interpret IQ tests. They are most commonly used by School Psychologists in schools and private practices. But other psychologists who specialize in neuropsychology also use IQ tests as part of their assessment. Many school counselors also have the necessary skills. In some cases, a psychological technician will administer the tests but the interpretation is left to the clinian holding an advanced degree along with the appropriate license or certification.

Read more


Applied statistics: Concepts for counselors. 

Amazon  Paperback ISBN-10: 1521783926, ISBN-13: 978-1521783924





You can also read more about the assessment of"thinking" in Creating Surveys.






Books by Geoffrey W. Sutton

www.suttong.com




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Take a brief Counseling Test Quiz 101




Can you answer these questions that every counselor ought to know?

Choose the BEST available answer.

I'll post the answers below.

1. If the correlation between a test of intelligence and a test of achievement is usually between .88 and .92, how well can you use the intelligence test results to predict achievement test results?

A. Very well
B. Moderately well
C. Not well at all
D. None of the above

2. A personality test score was high on a scale of Extraversion. The validity of the Extraversion scale was reported as .52 to .57 compared to similar tests. How much confidence should the person have that their score is "valid?"

A. A high degree
B. A moderate degree
C. A low degree
D. None of the above

3. School counselors administered a questionnaire to 1,000 students. They calculated results for answers about four school improvements rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Most of the scores were in the range of 18 to 20. The counselors reported a mean rating of 4.6 for each of the 4 items. Based on these data, what should they have reported?

A. The mean is fine-- an average is all that is needed.
B. They should report the Mean and Standard Deviation.
C. They should report the reliability with the mean.
D. They should report the median and range.

4. An agency director asks a counselor to determine if there was evidence of improvement in well-being for clients in one of three treatment groups. Assuming a normal distribution of the data, which of the following statistical procedures could provide the best answer?

A. An independent samples t test
B. A one-way analysis of variance
C. A two-way analysis of variance
D. A chi-square test





ANSWERS



1. A. Other things being equal, the correlation between the two tests is strong thus, most of the time the intelligence test score will be a good predictor of the achievement test score. See Chapter 12 in Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors.

2. C. We do not know much about the vaidation of the Extraversion scale ; however, we know the validity values in the .50s are low so the best answer, given the limited data, is C. Validity coefficients range from 0.0 to 1.0. Validity is a product of the interpretation of data based on scores. See chapter 20 in Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors.

3. D. The data appeared skewed given that 4 items on a 5-point scale would yield a maximum of 20. So, based on the limited data, the median would be the most typical value. When reporting the mean, counselors ought to report the standard deviation, but in this case, the median appears to be the best value. See Chapters 7-10 of Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors.


4. A one-way analysis of variance can be used to analyze data from two or more groups. If the overall value is statistically significant, t tests or other post hoc tests can be used to compare pairs of means. See Chapters 15-17 of Applied Statistics: Concepts for Counselors.



APPLIED STATISTICS: CONCEPTS FOR COUNSELORS is available as an eBook or paperback from AMAZON.






Book website  
https://sites.google.com/view/counselorstatistics/home


"If you need to review basic statistics and don’t know where to begin, this book is perfect! It makes difficult concepts easy to understand. I would recommend it for my undergraduate students who haven’t had Statistics in a while and need a refresher, or for graduate students facing their first graduate level research class!"
...Heather L. Kelly, Psy.D., Professor of Psychology, Evangel University
Springfield, Missouri, USA



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