Scale Evaluation Project Guidelines
Scales are used extensively by practitioners and clinicians to diagnose psychological disorders and to measure the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions. They are also used by researchers to provide measures of psychological variables being studied. However, badly constructed scales can do more harm than good.
As such, an important skill you need to have as a psychologist is the ability to evaluate psychological scales before you use them. As an introduction to the scale evaluation process, you will be investigating the Humor Styles Questionnaire (HSQ).
Research has identified sense of humour as an important buffer against the negative effects of stress. Basically, a good sense of humour can act as an effective coping mechanism. However, it is clear that people rely on different styles of humour, and not all humour may have beneficial effects.
The HSQ was developed to identify individual differences in humour styles, with findings pointing to some distinct differences that may indeed have implications for health. For us to be confident with any research results obtained from use of the scale, we must check that it has strong psychometric properties.
In this assessment you will be writing a report to assess the construct validity and internal consistency reliability of the HSQ. The items have already been created and a dataset has already been collected which will be available in vUWS.
Part 1 of the project will focus on writing the introduction for the study.
This section will consist of the title page, introduction, method and reference list, all according to APA style and up to 1,500 words. A template for this is found in vUWS in the folder about Assessment 1. Some parts of the Methods section are already in that template, although you will be required to fill in some additional information.
Such as metarials : you need to give enough detail about how the study wasconducted so that somebody else could come along and repeat / replicate it.
Use martin et.el or other papers that used it as a guide but do not copy copy what they say. E.g. Martin et al had to report how the scale as developed. You do not because your study is not about developing the scale.
Resources for writing Part 1:
· Lecture recordings or Module 3 – Outlines the concepts of validity and reliability and why they are important. This is a good place to start for understanding the general topic area.
· Chapters 21 and 22 on Reliability and Factor Analysis in the Hills textbook (Foolfproof Guide to Statistics), and chapter 11 on building scales. This will give you a basis for understanding what scales are all about, and how we evaluate their psychometric properties.
· The primary source article (available on vUWS): Martin et al. (2003) on the development and initial evaluation of the HSQ.
· Find and read at least 4 additional journal articles that have used this scale, preferably in a variety of different contexts. These articles do not need to specifically evaluate the HSQ, but you must be able to show how they support or argue against the strength of the scale as that’s the purpose of your report.
Your Introduction should:
create your own title
· Introduce the general topic of humour styles and its theoretical background, but remember that the main focus of your paper is evaluating the scales’ reliability and validity, not about humour styles.
· Describe briefly how the HSQ was developed, its structure (i.e. any subscales), its initial evaluation by Martin et al. (2003). Although this information will come from the source article, be sure to put it in your own words.
· Provide a critical review of key articles that have used the HSQ indicating the evidence they provide for its strengths and/or weaknesses, its psychometric properties (i.e. reliability and validity) and the stability of its structure (i.e. the reliability and validity of its subscales).
· You may wish to briefly review some of the key findings of studies that have used the questionnaire, but make sure that this is logically integrated into the introduction so that it is relevant to the argument you are developing.
· Conclude with the purpose of the study, which in general terms is to evaluate the questionnaire in an Australian sample drawn from a multicultural population.
· State your hypothesis (or hypotheses), i.e. whether or not you think you will find the same or different results as Martin et al. The hypotheses should flow logically from your critical review of the evidence, so make sure you have set up the arguments well to justify your hypothesis.
· every paragraph should have an opening and closing sentences that demonstrates where that paragraph fits within your argument
· when you are reading article about the HSQ think about what you learned about realibility and validity and how well it has been established in the case of the paper you are reading, make notes about what has not been established in each study.
· Use other studies (including martin et.al. ) as aguide to what information should be included and how to set up your argument.
Part 1 (< 1,500)
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Participants and Procedure (provided)
The References are part of both sections, they may grow from Part 1 to Part 2. and are not counted in the word-count.
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