By Their Tests We Will Know Them An examination of the tests clinicians use can expose the clinicians’ beliefs. Their definition of a construct should be evident in the description of the test they use to measure the construct. Further examination of the test should provide evidence of aspects they endorse or at least tolerate in the ... Clinical Forum
Clinical Forum  |   April 01, 1996
By Their Tests We Will Know Them
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Darrell L. Sabers, PhD
    Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721
Article Information
Development / Clinical Forum: Observing and Interpreting Behaviors
Clinical Forum   |   April 01, 1996
By Their Tests We Will Know Them
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1996, Vol. 27, 102-108. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2702.102
History: Received March 29, 1994 , Accepted November 4, 1994
 
Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, April 1996, Vol. 27, 102-108. doi:10.1044/0161-1461.2702.102
History: Received March 29, 1994; Accepted November 4, 1994

An examination of the tests clinicians use can expose the clinicians’ beliefs. Their definition of a construct should be evident in the description of the test they use to measure the construct. Further examination of the test should provide evidence of aspects they endorse or at least tolerate in the measurement of the construct. In this article, striking differences in philosophical views behind a construct are demonstrated through an examination of a type of scale found in personality and vocational preference inventories. Next, several subtests of sentence production as a particular type of language expression are examined to demonstrate differences in authors’ views. The subtests are examined to disclose definitions of expressive language as found in sentence production and the restrictions on those definitions imposed by the measurement methods chosen. A clinician’s choice regarding which measure to use should be based on agreement with the test authors regarding essential aspects of measuring expressive language.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
I thank Elena Plante, Tom Hutchinson, Judy Rein, Sandi Samuelson Thompson, and anonymous referees for comments on previous drafts of this manuscript. I also thank Ann Warren and Glenda Wilkes for instruction and discussion in the area of sociocultural gender.
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