4141-Article Text-10371-1-10-20141210.pdf - Critique of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test The More You Know the Lower Your Score KEVIN

4141-Article Text-10371-1-10-20141210.pdf - Critique of the...

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© Kevin Possin,Informal Logic, Vol. 34, No. 4 (2014), pp. 3939416.Critique of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test: The More You Know, the Lower Your Score KEVIN POSSINProfessor Emeritus, Philosophy Winona State University The Critical Thinking Lab 24847 County Road 17 Winona, MN 55987 USA [email protected] Abstract:The Watson-GlaserCritical Thinking Appraisal Testis one of the oldest, most frequently used, multiple-choice critical-thinking tests on the market in business, government, and legal settings for purposes of hiring and promotion. I demonstrate, however, that the test has serious construct-validity issues, stemming primarily from its ambiguous, unclear, misleading, and sometimes mysterious instructions. Erroneously scored items further diminish the test’s validity. As a result, having enhanced knowledge of formal and informal logic could well result in test subjects receiving lower scores on the test. Many of the W-G’s validity issues, however, could be easily remedied. Résumé: Le Watson-GlaserCritical Thinking Appraisal Testest un des tests de la pensée critique à choix multiples les plus anciens et les plus fréquemment utilisés à des fins de recrutement et de promotion par des entreprises, le gouvernement et divers domaines juridiques. Je démontre, cependant, que le test a des problèmes graves provenant principalement de ses instructions ambiguës, confuses, trompeuses, et parfois mystérieuses. Le fait que des questions sont mal notées diminue davantage la validité du test. En conséquence, des sujets doués d’une bonne connaissance des logiques formelle et non formelle qui subissent l’épreuve pourraient bien aboutir à des résultats plus faibles que les résultats des sujets moins doués de telles connaissances. Plusieurs questions de validité du test W-G, cependant, pourrait être facilement résolues. Keywords:arguments, construct validity, content validity, critical-thinking assessment, critical-thinking skills, deductive and inductive reasoning, syllogistic reasoning, Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test1. IntroductionThe Watson-GlaserCritical Thinking Appraisal Test[W-G] is one of the oldest multiple-choice critical-thinking [CT] tests on
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Kevin Possin© Kevin Possin,Informal Logic, Vol. 34, No. 4 (2014), pp. 3939416.394the market. Despite the introduction of many competing means of CT assessment, many focusing on “performance” or “constructed response” tasks as opposed to “recognition” tasks, the W-G has not only survived but evolved and thrived. It has long been (Ryan & Sackett, 1987), and continues to be, the most frequently used CT assessment test internationally, in business, government, and legal settings, for purposes of hiring and promotion. A version of the W-G—the Bar Course Aptitude Test (2013)—is now becoming mandatory in the UK, to determine admission into law schools. So, just how good is the W-G at assessing one’s CT skills? That is the important question here. Please note that this will not be a traditional psychometric critique of the W-G.
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