Response bias in computerized tests

Fogarty, Gerard J. (1999) Response bias in computerized tests. South Pacific Journal of Psychology, 10 (2). pp. 71-80. ISSN 1329-2617

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[Abstract]: Choosing a response format is a problem when designing computerised tests. Programmers often solve this problem by highlighting a response option and allowing the user to select this option or choose another by using the cursor keys. It is possible that such well-meaning attempts to make computers more userfriendly may heighten response style tendencies. The two experiments to be reported in this study were designed to test the effect of cursor positioning in personality and ability tests. In the first experiment, sixty two Participants were randomly assigned to two groups and asked to complete computerised versions of Forms A and B of the Eysenck Personality Inventory. The position of the highlight was manipulated to produce a two-by-two factorial design with repeated measures on one factor. Results showed that there was evidence of a cursor effect but that it was confined to one of the conditions in the design. Experiment two employed the same sort of manipulation in a computerised version of the ACER Word Knowledge Test with another sample of 36 participants. Here, no evidence was found for any effect of cursor positioning. Overall, it was concluded that the highlighting technique itself is unlikely to have any effect on measures of cognitive ability but that it may have some effect in the more subjective personality testing domain.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Depositing User: epEditor USQ
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 11 Oct 2007 00:32
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 22:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: computerised tests, personality tests, ability tests, Eysenck Personality Inventory, ACER Word Knowledge Test, design, designing, response formats, cursor positioning, highlighting
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170109 Personality, Abilities and Assessment
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis

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