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Testing, Testarea, Pruebas, Essai


by SIOP Administrative Office

New white paper helps take tests to other cultures and languages

Test Adaptation and Measurement Equivalence is the latest in the SIOP white paper series. Written by Neal Schmitt, emeritus professor of Psychology and Management at Michigan State University, and DragoČ™ Iliescu, professor of Psychology with the University of Bucharest, this paper explains the methods needed to effectively convert a test made for one culture, specifically an English-speaking one, to another. Simply translating the words is not enough.

Dr. Schmitt explains why he and Dr. Iliescu felt this topic needed coverage:

As we become increasingly involved globally, many countries in which we work do not have indigenous instrumentation that reflects the constructs in which we might be interested for research and consulting projects.  The purpose of the paper is to indicate how instruments developed for and by those of us working in one culture might adapt our instrumentation to serve similar objectives elsewhere and how we might evaluate the equivalence of the original and adapted measures.

Schmitt and Iliescu discuss the best practices for not only making sure that the test is understood in a new culture, but that it accurately conveys the meaning and constructs that are targeted by the test item/test. Beyond translation, the authors discuss transformations of other components of the test, such as item content, item format, scaling of items, structure of the test, scoring keys, norms, graphical layout, and others.

This latest paper can be accessed at http://www.siop.org/WhitePapers/Test%20Adaptation%20and%20Measurement%20Equivalence.pdf.

The SIOP White Paper series organizes and summarizes important and timely topics in I-O psychology for business and HR professionals, members of the press, and interested individuals. SIOP White Papers are produced by three SIOP committees: International Affairs, Scientific Affairs, and Visibility. For more information about the SIOP white papers, read the "About the Authoring SIOP Committees" section at the bottom of this page. All white papers listed are downloadable PDFs.