The Second Century of Ability Testing: Some Predictions and Speculations

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Title: The Second Century of Ability Testing: Some Predictions and Speculations
Author: Embretson, Susan E.
Abstract: Dazzling changes in many areas, such as technology and communications, marked the 20th century—the first century of ability testing. Predictions about the second century of testing seem difficult in such a context. Yet, looking back to the turn of the last century, Kirkpatrick (1900) in his APA presidential address presented fundamental desiderata for ability testing (normative age standards, emphasis on culture-general tasks, simultaneous measurement of many persons, and adult ability measurement) that, in fact, guides major testing research even today. An overview of the last century shows that most fundamental principles in psychometrics and testing were available by 1930. With a few notable exceptions, the remainder of the last century of testing was devoted to applying or refining these principles. I predict that the same pattern will occur in this century of testing. Further developments in model-based measurement and cognitive psychology principles in testing, intermingled with technology, will guide ability testing throughout the next century. These changes, which I will elaborate in detail, include fundamental changes in test development procedures, the nature of the measuring tasks, aspects of ability that are measured, and types of interpretations given to ability.
Description: The seventh annual William H. Angoff Memorial Lecture was presented at Educational Testing Service, Princeton, New Jersey, on January 11, 2001. Copyright © 2003 by Educational Testing Service. All rights reserved. Educational Testing Service is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer. Educational Testing Service, ETS, and the ETS logos are registered trademarks of Educational Testing Service.
Type: Lecture
Citation: Embretson, S. E. (2003). The second century of ability testing: Some predictions and speculations. Educational Testing Service Policy Report
Date: 2003
Contributor: Georgia Institute of Technology. School of Psychology
Publisher: Georgia Institute of Technology
Subject: Ability testing
Cognitive psychology
Cognitive psychology principles

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