Choosing Between an Objective and Projective Test for Children The Dood Caoek Joms University It has been observed that there has been a growing acceptance and understanding to the necessity and value of personality testing. It is at this stage in time where there is increasing demand and consumption for such services, met by a diverse range of offerings, it is important to know the ideal service to meet one’s needs.
Keeping this in mind, this essay will attempt to compare and contrast between two known personality tests, the Five-factor Personality Inventory-Children (FFPI-C), an objective test, and the Rotter incomplete sentences blank (RISB), a projective test, as to their similarities, differences, advantages, disadvantages and suitability for children.
The two mentioned tests, the RSIB and FFPI-C are similar in that they utilize a scoring guide provided, whereby responses are given scores which are used to identify specific states or predictions about the subject within their respective manual, providing for standardization and consistency in evaluation (Rogers, Bishop, Lane, 2003, p. 239; Klingbeil, 2009, p. 61). Another similarity is that both tests are easily administered either to an individual or large groups without need for special environmental or situational prerequisites for a general administration.
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A more significant similarity is that both tests are capable of either testing for a subject’s deviation from a population norm or for a specific trait within a subject (Churchill & Crandall, 1955, p. 345; McGhee, Ehrler, Buckhalt, 2007, p. 207). As seen from above, the similarities between the two tests are confined largely to the method of assessment and also the ease of administrating the tests. The differences however begin from the fundamentals of what the tests aim to get from the subjects and how the assessor views the responses from the subjects.
The RISB aims to illicit projective responses that contains emotive and referencing elements from its subjects, in a situation whereby the purpose and or method of assessment is unknown (Rogers, Bishop, Lane, 2003, p. 236). The subject under those circumstances will be unable to attempt responding in favor for a particular outcome, and even if the subject attempts to respond neutrally to emulate a non-response, the indicated non-response or even a refusal to provide any input in itself is a consideration within the RISB scoring guide. The RISB however has a cut-off point to the number of omitted or ncomplete responses wherein hit or exceed would render the test voided (Rotter & Willerman, 1947, p. 45). Responses from the RISB when scored objectively as according to the manual will allow for the assessor to make an analysis based on its established baseline. Given situations whereby a deeper analysis is required, an experienced practitioner can utilize psychodynamic interpretation to individually analyze each of the response, wherein various aspects such as time taken for responses, content and even the tone or language used are taken into consideration for specific meanings or relations (Rogers, 1978, p. 137). The FFPI-C in contrast is objective in its nature whereby participants are required to fill up a questionnaire where two opposing views are place upon a single line, presenting them with five choices of appreciating either one of the views in terms of “agree” or “somewhat agree” on each side, and a “in between” selection which participants are encourage to avoid using unless if they are unsure as to how they feel about a given question(McGhee, Ehrler, Buckhalt, 2007, p. 02). The FFPI-C’s objective style of testing differs from the RISB’s projective stance in the sense that the subjects are limited to given choices of responses to specific questions. That is not to say that the FFPI-C is in any way inferior to the RISB due to the limitation of a subject’s response, but simply that the approach is fundamentally different (Masling, 1997, p. 265).
The advantage in the objective testing method of the FFPI-C is that it is straight forward and that it leaves little room for abnormalities or unprecedented responses that would be beyond what the inventory encompasses. Unlike the RISB, the FFPI-C relies upon the adherence to its given guidelines when scoring, leaving only further interpretation of the results when necessary to the assessor’s discretion (McGhee, Ehrler, Buckhalt, 2007, p. 203). The FFPI-C’s objective of testing would be ideal in a situation whereby the subject is honest and sincere in answering the question.
However, if the subject was to be unwilling to or has a disposition to provide for inaccurate responses, such as a child would try to answer in favor of a more positive manner to impress or conceal certain details, then the scores gathered will result in a wrong interpretation of the subject’s state (Masling, 1997, p. 264). The RISB has an upper hand in that aspect as mention previously in that it does not provide any hints on how the scoring will go or the implications of a response, thus making any form of deliberate bias or inaccurate response very difficult especially for a child.
Furthermore, the RISB’s projective nature allows for the assessor to look further read into a single or a train of responses to draw relational or contextual interpretations. This will allow for picking out nuances and valuable information that would have been lost in the FFPI-C’s objective testing. To administer the FFPI-C on a larger scale, for example within a school population, would be ideal in that it may be administered and assessed on either paper or computer. The FFPI-C due to its standardized question and answer structure can be digitally scored without error, allowing for fast yielding of analysis (Masling, 1997, p. 64). The RISB however in this case is limited in its methods of assessment in the sense that it has to be scored by hand, with each response taken into consideration. Within a large setting such as a school population, the RISB may take much more time to be scored and there is also the possibility of the occurrence of human error in scoring the responses. As one can observe from the above points, there are pros and cons attributed to each of the tests and that each one of the tests is suited best for a specific situation.
But as far as suitability for child testing goes, the RISB is shown to be the choice test to use, reason being as mentioned, there is little indication from the test structure whereby a child may determine what would be the “favorable” answer to give or pick, the response yielded from the test may contain secondary information beyond the standardized scores and the assessment method that requires for the evaluator to score each response individually will further enhance the emphasis on each input made.
Much as the FFPI-C is reliable and efficient, it does not account for as much depth as the RISB is capable of with its utilization of psychodynamic applications. Reference Churchill, R. (1955). The reliability and validity of the rotter incomplete sentences test. Journal of consulting psychology. 19, 345-350. Klingbeil, D. , A. (2009). Test review: A review of the five factor personality inventorychildren. 35, 61-64. doi: 10. 1177/1534508408326248 Masling, J. , M. (2010). On the nature and utility of projective tests and objective tests. Journal of personality assessment. 69: 2, 257-270. McGhee, R. , L. , Ehler, D. , J. , Buckhalt, J. A. (2008). Test Reviews: Five factor personalityinventory – Children. 26:2, 202-209. doi. 10. 1177/0734282907312830 Rogers, K. , E. , Bishop, J. , Lane, R. , C. (2003). Consideration for the use of incompletesentence tests. Journal of contemporary psychotherapy. 33: 3, 235-242. Rogers, G. (1978). Content analysis of the rotter incomplete sentences blank and theprediction of behaviour ratings. Educational and psychological measurement. 38,1135-1141. doi. 10. 1177/001316447803800434 Rotter. , J. , B. & Willerman, B. (1947). The incomplete sentences test as a method of studyingpersonality. Journal of consulting psychology. 11:1, 43-48.
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