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Psychometrics in Context

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Professor John Rust.

Assessment methodology began 2,300 years ago with the civil service examination in ancient China. In more recent history medical diagnosis, psychophysics, Darwin, Galton and the eugenics movement have all contributed. Events accelerated with the invention of IT, and today the world’s investment in assessment technology is huge and one of the fastest growing areas of the internet. Psychometrics has high stakes applications in business for recruitment, promotion and staff development; in education for the evaluation of achievement, learning and ability; and in clinical settings for diagnosis and clinical trials. The psychometric principles of reliability, validity, equivalence, and standardization are equally applicable to alternative forms of assessment such as interviews, examinations, diagnosis, biodata and assessment centres. Today we are assessed at every stage of our lives, and the ethical, political and social implications are inescapable for anyone involved in assessment, whether it be in education, recruitment or research more generally. On completing this session you should be aware of the potential of psychometric testing for both harm and good.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Psychometrics Centre Seminars series.

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