[IPAC-List] Norms

Dennis Doverspike dennisdoverspike at gmail.com
Wed Jan 8 14:29:56 EST 2014


You really have two or three different issues here.

1. First with regard to the general issue of retest effects, there is quite
a bit of literature, I might start with a study by Paul Sackett

Lievens, F., Buyse, T., & Sackett, P. R. (2005). Retest effects in
operational selection settings: Development and test of a framework. *Personnel
Psychology*, *58*(4), 981-1007.

>From the abstract

This study proposes a framework for examining the effects of retaking tests
in operational selection settings. A central feature of this framework is
the distinction between within-person and between-person retest effects.
This framework is used to develop hypotheses about retest effects for
exemplars of 3 types of tests (knowledge tests, cognitive ability tests,
and situational judgment tests) and to test these hypotheses in a high
stakes selection setting (admission to medical studies in Belgium).
Analyses of within-person retest effects showed that mean scores of repeat
test takers were one-third of a standard deviation higher for the knowledge
test and situational judgment test and one-half of a standard deviation
higher for the cognitive ability test.

I would probably disagree with Fred on one thing he said, in that again I
believe research by Sackett and colleagues shows that there are substantial
gains on the retest with personality test scores, especially when the
person believes or knows that is what they failed the first time. Not sure
if all that research is published.

So, your assumption that the results for a test and a retest would be
similar seems unlikely.

2. Second,

I guess this is the question of what are you doing - are you really
norming or are you looking at the results for something like EEOC purposes.
If for EEOC purposes, then I believe you have received a number of good
answers. If for norming, then I think that is a different issue. There is a
science of norming, similar to one for survey sampling. If you are really
generating norms, then you would want some sort of sampling strategy. It
would be a strange sampling strategy that would include people more than


On Wed, Jan 8, 2014 at 12:49 PM, Patrick McCoy
<Patrick.McCoy at psc-cfp.gc.ca>wrote:

> I am currently running off some normative data on a test (means and

> frequency distributions) to see how people are doing on it and to see what

> proportion pass at various cutoff scores.


> My question concerns how to handle the issue of candidates taking the same

> test more than once. One option would be to use only the first test

> score. Another would be to use all scores. A third option would be to use

> only the most recent score.


> My tendency would be to use the most recent score or all scores, and I

> suspect that the results from these two approaches will be quite similar in

> most instances. Does that make sense or am I missing something?


> Your thinking on this would be appreciated!



> Pat McCoy

> Ottawa Canada





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Dennis Doverspike, PhD., ABPP
Licensed Psychologist, #3539 (OHIO)
Independent Consultant
Professor of Psychology, University of Akron
dennisdoverspike at gmail.com

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