Q1- Understand the distinction between conceptual and actual criteria. Ans- Criteria are defined as evaluative standards through which objects, individuals, collectivities or procedures are assessed for the purpose of ascertaining their quality. They are used as reference points in making judgments. Disagreements over the proper criteria to use in decision making are common. Values and tastes also dictate people’s choice of criteria. Conceptual criterion is a theoretical standard or an abstract idea that researchers seek to understand through their research. It is an ideal set of factors that constitute a successful person (or object or collectivity) as conceived in the psychologist’s mind. Actual Criterion is an operational or empirical standard that researchers measure or assess. It serves as measures of the conceptual criteria. Conceptual and actual criteria for a successful college student Conceptual Criteria Actual Criteria Intellectual growth Emotional growth Citizenship Grade point average Adviser rating of emotional maturity Number of volunteer organizations joined in college A high GPA is not equivalent to intellectual growth, but it probably reflects some degree of growth. Maturation is not exactly the same as emotional growth, but it is probably an easier concept to grasp and evaluate than the more abstract notion of emotional growth. The sheer number (quantity) of joined organizations does not reflect the quality of participation in these activities, and that “good citizenship” is more appropriately defined by quality rather than quantity. Nevertheless, because of the difficulties inherent in measuring quality of participation, plus the fact that one cannot speak of quality unless there is some quantity, the psychologist decides to use this measure. In a review of the relationship between the two sets of criteria (conceptual and actual), the goal is to obtain an approximate estimate of the conceptual criterion by selecting one or more actual criteria that we think are appropriate. Q 2- Understand the meaning of criterion deficiency, relevance, and contamination. Ans- The actual criteria selected are never totally equivalent to the conceptual criteria we have in mind, so there is always a certain amount (though unspecified) of deficiency, relevance, and contamination. Criterion deficiency is the part of the conceptual criterion and is the degree to which the actual criteria fail to overlap the conceptual criteria. Careful selection of the actual criteria can reduce (but never eliminate) criterion deficiency. In the example of setting criteria for a good college student: GPA alone cannot measure “intellectual growth.” Criterion is deficient as it neglects the various academic backgrounds the students come from. A rating of emotional maturity by an academic adviser might be deficient because the adviser is not an ideal judge. It is not enough to just count how many volunteer groups a student belongs to determine good citizenship, quality matters as well. Therefore, deficiency exists.
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- Fall '16