• Effect of item clarity and probability of item endorsement on response latencies on personality test items.

      Kinney, James.R (2012-04-16)
      In this study,regression analysis was used to examine the affects of item clarity and probability of endorsement on response latencies of 60 undergraduates responding on personality test items from the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire(16 Personality Factor test) (Cattell,Eber & Tatsuoka,1970,5th Edition).Response latencies to personality test items,though frequently studied,have yet to be operationally utilized in the interpretation of personality tests.Forty-four items from the 16 Personality Factor test were selected.Each item from the original test was rated for clarity and matched with an emotionally neutral statement with an equivalent number of words.The standard test items and reconstituted items were also matched for linguistic complexity.For example:Standard test item:"i consider myself a very socially bold,outgoing person."Reconstituted test item:"Books and magazines can be found in a library."Original test items were administered to 60 undergraduates in standard,pencil-and-paper format and computer format.In the computer format each standard test item was followed by a linguistically matched,emotionally neutral reconstituted item and all response latencies were recorded.The data were analysed with response latency being the dependent variable and item clarity and endorsement probability as independent variables.It was found that item clarity and endorsement probability did not relate to response latency on standard test items,neutral questions matched to standard test items or adjusted test items.This finding was attributed to the likelihood that subject responses to items reflect a binary decision-making process which requires relatively simple and consistent responses.16 Personality Factor test item response latencies adjusted by subtracting latencies of linguistically neutral items were also not affected by item clarity or probability of endorsement.Consistent with the finding of both Van Merrienboer et al.(1989) and Rattan(1992),it is suggested that the amount of time required for the successful completion of a task depends,in part,on the task's psychological complexity and specific nature.It is also suggested,consistent with Sternberg(1989),that the amount of time required for various tasks does not operate as a consistent function(of intelligence),but rather as a function of the interaction between the task and the individual's psychological and intellectual make up.