Date of Award
Doctor of Education
School of Education
Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.
Wilfred G. A. Futcher
Robert A. Williams
Roy E. Hartbauer
One of the concerns in education today is bias in intelligence tests. Examiner bias and the expectancy effect is largely ignored. An unexplored variable in the research is an examinee's speech handicap and the effect it may produce in the scoring of an intelligence test.
Identical responses to the Comprehension subtest of the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised were audiotaped on separate cassettes by two children, one with and one with no speech handicap. Sixty-four examiners, thirty-two practicing psychologists and thirty-two graduate students of psychology, were randomly assigned to score the responses on one of the tapes. Sixteen of each group of examiners scored the responses by the child with the speech handicap; sixteen of each group scored the responses of the child with no speech handicap. A two-way analysis of variance and the test of simple effects were utilized to analyze the obtained scores.
1. There was no significant difference between overall means of scores awarded to the speech-handicapped and non-speech-handicapped responses.
2. There was a significant difference between the scores awarded by the practicing psychologists and the graduate psychology students to the speech-handicapped responses. The psychologists gave the lowest mean score to these responses, the students the highest.
3. There was no significant interaction between type of examiner and type of response.
4. There was a surprisingly wide range of scores overall--a range of two standard deviations.
5. The range of scores awarded by the psychologists was greater than that awarded by the graduate students.
6. Each group awarded a wider range of scores to the speech-handicapped responses than to the non-speech-handicapped responses.
7. The graduate students awarded higher mean scores than did the psychologists to each type of response.
The results corroborate the body of research which has found widely different IQ's obtained by different examiners and that the examiners' experience level is not a significant factor in obtaining more reliable or consistent results in the scoring of test responses. The wider range of scores awarded by each group of examiners to the speech-handicapped responses, as well as the significant difference in their scoring of these responses, exemplify the wide variety of effects a speech handicap has on examiners, ranging from one that is negative to one of compensation, i.e., a negative to a positive "halo effect."
Intelligence tests, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, Speech disorders in children.
Peyser, Julia B., "Examiner Bias and Intelligence Test Scoring : a Study of the Effect of Speech-Handicapped Responses on the Scoring of the WISC-R Comprehension Subtest" (1984). Dissertations. 630.
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