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Avaliação Psicológica

Print version ISSN 1677-0471On-line version ISSN 2175-3431


PRIMI, Ricardo. Advances in scale interpretation with the application of Item Response Theory. Aval. psicol. [online]. 2004, vol.3, n.1, pp. 53-58. ISSN 1677-0471.

One of key points in psychological tests is related to the meaning of test scores, that is, the interpretation of different levels of achievement. Usually the scores intelligibility is accomplished by the use of three procedures: (a) norm reference, content reference and criterion reference. The most common method, norm reference, informs the relative standing of a specific score in relation to a group of reference. Although, the main limitation of this procedure is the lack of information about what kind of attainments a person is capable to achieve. Behavioural scaling, defined by John B. Carroll, is a procedure based on Item Response Theory which overcame this limitation. Using this method it is possible to state, in behavioural terms, the implications of test results in respect to what the subject knows or is capable to realize. This paper discusses this procedure and illustrates its application in the assessment of reading comprehension and fluid intelligence.

Keywords : Item Response Theory; Criterion referenced measures; Scale interpretation and psychometric methods.

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