Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Interdisciplinaria]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/rss.php?pid=1668-702720050001&lang=es vol. 22 num. 1 lang. es <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/img/en/fbpelogp.gif http://www.scielo.org.ar <![CDATA[Construcción de un banco de ítem de razonamiento verbal]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272005000100001&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es El objetivo de este trabajo es presentar el desarrollo de un banco de ítem de razonamiento verbal a partir de la Teoría de Respuesta al Item (TRI). Se presenta la TRI y su aplicación en la elaboración de bancos de ítem que posibilitan el diseño de tests adaptativos. Los ítem son de elección múltiple y miden la habilidad para reconocer y discriminar relaciones entre palabras. Un banco de ítem es un conjunto de ítem que miden una misma variable y cuyos parámetros están calibrados (estimados) en una misma escala. La construcción de un banco es un proceso de creación-calibración de ítem que se realiza en sucesivas etapas. Como los sujetos de las muestras son diferentes en cada etapa, los ítem a calibrar deben ser administrados junto con un pequeño grupo de ítem calibrados en etapas anteriores, los cuales sirven de enlace para que todas las estimaciones resulten en la misma escala. La estimación de los parámetros se lleva a cabo por el método de máxima verosimilitud marginal ajustando el modelo logístico de tres parámetros con el programa XCALIBRE TM. Los análisis del funcionamiento diferencial (Differential Item Functioning - DIF) se basan en el test normal para la diferencia de los parámetros de dificultad, dicha diferencia con sus errores estándar para cada ítem es proporcionada por BILOG-MG TM. Se eliminan aquellos que no ajustan al modelo y los que presentan DIF. El banco cuenta hasta el momento con 93 ítem.<hr/>One of the advantages of the Item Response Theory (IRT) compared to the Classical Test Theory is the possibility of building measurement instruments with properties independent to the subjects to be measured with them. Within IRT it is verified that the difficulty and discrimination item parameters remain invariant no matter which subject population is used. An item bank is a set of items which measure the same variable and whose parameters are calibrated, that is estimated, in a common scale. Whenever an item bank is available, administrations of adaptive tests become possible; this means the bank offers the possibility of choosing those items which assess each subject more accurately. Also, it allows designs of tests with pre-established characteristics according to the measurement objective. The application of the IRT is still incipient in Argentina and Differential Item Functioning (DIF) studies have not been known so far. The aim of this work is to show the development of a Bank of Verbal Reasoning Items according to the IRT. This theory, as well as its application to the elaboration of item banks, are here in presented. These items measure the ability to identify and discriminate relationships among words. Such ability is related to the ideative factor of the verbal comprehension, which is common to all tasks of deductive, serial and probabilistic reasoning, classification and problem solution. Therefore, it is one of the main factors to get the intellectual aptitude profile of students. Each item consists of a pair of basic words with some relationship existing between them and four alternative pairs of words. The instruction commands to choose the pair with the most similar relationship to the one existing between the words in the basic pair. The construction of this bank has involved an iterative process of invention-calibration of the items. In the invention stage, the items have been selected and improved through successive pilot trials. In the selection processes, some classical statistics procedures were considered such as the question evaluation index. The calibration stage has been developed in two main phases: the initial phase and the current one. In the initial phase the calibration was done with samples from different student populations. Although some of them had responded different item sets, the calibration was done in a simultaneous running of the program BILOG-MG TM in order to obtain the estimates in a common scale. The assumption of unidimensionality was checked through a scree plot implemented by MicroFACT TM. The current phase consists of adding new items to the bank until it has a substantial number of them. Before calibration, DIF analysis have been done in both phases. Taking into account the different subjects of the corresponding samples, it is necessary to manage the items together with a small group of already calibrated ones. These items serve as a link so that the parameter estimates of the new items result in the same scale as the one of the rest of the bank. Link items have been chosen with difficulty parameters representing different levels of ability and high discrimination parameters. DIF analysis have been based on the normal test of the difference between the difficulty parameters, which has been obtained from BILOG-MG TM. This software as well as XCALIBRE TM have been used to calibrate the items by fitting the three-parameter logistic model. Stout's test of essential unidimensionality analysis has been done by using DIMTEST. After removing those items which present DIF or where the model does not fit, 93 items have been remained for the bank. <![CDATA[Posibilidad de integración de las teorías cognitivas y la psicometría moderna]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272005000100002&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Se analizan dos orientaciones de la psicología científica actual: la psicología cognitiva y la psicometría. Se presenta una breve revisión histórica de la psicología cognitiva, que utilizando metodologías que permiten estudiar comportamientos observables en condiciones experimentales bien controladas y haciendo uso frecuente de modelos y técnicas matemáticas sofisticados (análisis multivariados, modelos exponenciales, etc.) avanzan sobre el conductismo al interesarse por los procesos internos de la mente. Se señalan importantes aportes de los pioneros en el campo de la lógica (Boole), la máquina de Turing, la computadora de von Neumann, la lógica binaria de Shannon, los programas de Newell y Simon, los modelos de McCullock y Pitts para lograr la metáfora de la mente como una computadora capaz de recibir información, manipular símbolos, registrar elementos y guardarlos en la memoria, recobrarlos, reconocerlos y organizar información (Neiser). Se presentan sumariamente los aportes de las teorías cognitivas a la lingüística y para ejemplificar el pensamiento científico del cognitivismo, se describen los aportes de Kahneman (Premio Nobel 2002) y de Tversky sobre la incertidumbre y los problemas de decisión y sus múltiples consecuencias en los campos económico, médico, etc. También se destacan los progresos de la psicometría a partir de los pioneros Binet y Spearman hasta la Teoría de la Respuesta al Item que permite una medición en los tests más confiable y estricta. Así se llega al núcleo de la propuesta que es la necesidad y la posibilidad de integrar la psicometría con las teorías cognitivas. Con respecto a esto se analizan los aportes de Hunt, Sternberg, Carroll, etc. y se presentan instrumentos, con los cuales se estudian no solo los resultados o producto final, sino también procesos, tales como los tests de Kaufmann y Woodcock-Johnson y el de matemática de Real y colaboradores. Además se señalan los trabajos de pioneros argentinos en este campo como Rimoldi, López Alonso, Roselli, Cortada de Kohan, etc. que han tratado de estudiar los procesos intermedios en la solución de los problemas que representan los ítem.<hr/>The interest of man for himself could be traced in the words at the Delphos Temple in Greece "gnwsi se auton". But in Classic Greece (Plato and Aristotle), as well as in the Middle Age (Saint Thomas), the man was seen as a compound of body and soul in the context of onthology and methaphysics. Only in the Renaissance Luis Vives (1538-1947) said “that it does not matter much what is the soul. Instead what it matters to us is to know how it works”. In the Renaissance the knowledge of the world gave birth to the natural sciences and also more value was given to the person and its subjectivity. Scientific psychology starts, as everybody knows, at the Wundt Laboratory in Leipzig in 1879 as an experimental science with Herbart, Weber, Ebbinhaus, Fechner and some others. There are two trends in scientific psychology: cognitive psychology and psychometrics. The interest of psychologists for the study of the mind started around 1950; this concept was rejected by behaviorists. Cognitive psychology tries to find out in detail the mental processes that are used by man. However, cognitive psychology, as behaviorism, studies psychological constructs through observable behavior using experimental designs, establishing good control of the variables and using mathematical models such as multivariate analysis, exponential functions, statistical analysis for the verification of hypothesis, and so on. There are many fields studied by cognitive psychologists, sometimes using different ways to explain the same phenomena. For instance, the language and its evolution is analyzed in very different contexts by Chomsky, Piaget, Vygotsky and Brunner, but all of them are considered cognitivists. Cognitive Psychology may be defined as an objective science of the mind understood as a system of knowledge (Rivière, 1991). Sometimes in a restricted sense the metaphor of mind-computer is used. Contributions to this point of view were made by Boole (1815-1854) with the Mathematical Analysis of Logic, by Turing with his calculator machine, by Shannon, from the MIT, by means of reducing uncertainty with binary logic and measuring information, by Wiener (1894-1964) with the concept of cybernetics and the use made by McCullock and Pitts of the concept of feedback in analogy with the neuronal functioning. The nervous system could be understood as a computer system. The human being as the computer, receives information, manipulates and memorizes symbols, memorizes them, and recognizes forms, in fact it processes information (Neiser, 1976). At this point the dualism mind-brain disappears. From now on, the mind is to the brain as the software is to the hardware. In 1960, Miller and Brunner organized the Center for Cognitive Studies at Harvard. It is impossible to consider all the advances of cognitive psychology. I would like only to point out, as an example, the problems studied by Kahneman (Nobel Prize in Economics, 2002). He studied mainly psychological decision problems and the risk biases using the concepts of risk aversion and the prospect theory. He, together with the late Tversky, demonstrated that intuitive prediction of probability judgements of people do not follow the mathematical probability laws, but showed many biases. These theories have great importance in everyday life. Theory of tests: Psychometrics has contributed strongly to the mathematization of psychology specially through the great impact of the works of Spearman, Thurstone, Guilford, Cattell, Gulliksen and others. Most of the advances in tests theory come from the use of ANOVA, MANOVA, and factorial analysis to construct more reliable and valid tests. Today, besides the so called classic theory which is a regression model, we have the generalizability model which uses the concept of facets, and lately through the works of Rasch, Birnbaum, Lord, Hambleton, and others, we have the Item Response Theory (IRT model), a probabilistic model that offers the possibility to know the level of information of each item of a test and to create tests according to what is necessary for different circumstances. Need of integration of the two scientific trends: Some researchers see now the need to stress the knowledge through the tests of the cognitive processes and not to evaluate only the final outcome of the process, as it happens in most tests. There exist already some commercial tests with this aim in view, such as the Kaufmann and the Woodcock tests. Besides, there is a new trend in tests construction to consider psychometric tests as cognitive tasks and to use different multicomponent response models (Bejar, 1993; Embretson, 1993; Fischer, 1995). These are the consequences of the significant impact cognitive theory has made on the theories of abilities and intelligence. Cognitive tasks are viewed as requiring multiple stages, strategies, and knowledge store. Both tasks and persons vary on the processing components. Of course this new research requires sophisticated software. In Argentina this impact has been seen in the pioneering studies work of Rimoldi related to test construction, but also in the efforts of López Alonso, Roselli, Richaud de Minzi, Cortada de Kohan, and others. <![CDATA[Análisis Comportamental Aplicado (ACA) y Trastornos Generalizados del Desarrollo (TGD): Su evaluación en Argentina]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272005000100003&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Se presentan los resultados obtenidos con la intervención basada en Análisis Comportamental Aplicado (ACA) o manejo de contingencias, en 9 niños (8 varones y 1 mujer) de 2 a 5 años con Trastornos Generalizados del Desarrollo (TGD). Este tratamiento basado en métodos desarrollados por Lovaas y colaboradores (1981) fue implementado en una institución argentina especializada. Se evaluaron las siguientes áreas: comprensión del lenguaje, funciones del comportamiento, nivel de desarrollo mental y grado de autismo. Tres terapeutas administraron las siguientes pruebas: Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (Dunn & Dunn, 1981), Vineland Adaptative Behavior Scale (Sparrow, Balla & Cicchetti, 1984), Bayley Scales of Infant Development (1993), la Batería de Evaluación Kaufman para Niños (K.ABC) de Kaufman y Kaufman (1997) y The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS) de Schopler, Reichler, DeVellis y Daly (1988). Los resultados fueron evaluados por una psicóloga que no había participado de la administración. Se utilizó un diseño intra-sujeto antes-después (inicio de la intervención y entre nueve y doce meses después) sin grupo control. Los datos se analizaron con Análisis de Variancia (ANOVA) de medidas repetidas. Siete participantes obtuvieron cambios positivos significativos en las cuatro áreas estudiadas: uno en tres áreas y uno en dos. Los mejores resultados se obtuvieron en funcionalidad del comportamiento (p < .004) y en dos de sus subdominios: autovalimiento (p < .006) y habilidades motrices (p < .001). También se observaron diferencias significativas en los otros dos subdominios: comunicación (p < .01) y socialización (p < .01). Las diferencias en lenguaje receptivo, funcionamiento intelectual y nivel de autismo también resultaron significativas: (p < .01), (p < .02) y (p < .04) respectivamente.<hr/>The behavioral model has proven to be an effective treatment approach for people with Pervasive Developmental Disabilities -PDD- (Birnbrauer & Leach, 1993; Lovaas, 1987). It has enhanced intellectual, social and emotional functioning of that people that required less professional attention, as they grow older. This model considers that autism is an organically based disorder and that people with PDD have behavioral excesses (e.g. ritualistic behavior, self stimulation, tantrums, self injurious behaviors) and deficits (e.g. social attachment, language) that can be modified and maintained through time. The general aim of this study was to examine the effect of an intervention implemented by an Argentine specialized foundation. It evaluates the impact of a treatment based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) on nine children (8 boys and one girl) between 2 and 5 years of chronological age. All the children met the criteria for autism or pervasive developmental disorders outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (APA, 1994). The intervention was based on methods developed by Lovaas and collaborators (1981). It was intensive (the children were exposed to 30 hours of therapy per week during 9 to 12 months), home based, and highly structured. The skills where divided into small, discrete tasks and systematically rewarded or reinforced desired behaviors and ignored or discouraged inappropriate behaviors. All the data was recalled so that the assessment of the effectiveness of the treatment could be done. At the very beginning the instruction was one to one, the child worked along with a therapist. This emphasized the use of experimentally validated teaching approaches based mainly on operant conditioning principles such as shaping, chaining, discrimination training, and behavior management. When the child learned a new skill the therapist prompted him to respond appropriately and immediately reinforced each trial. The therapist faded prompts over subsequent trials until he only reinforced correct, unprompted responses. Once the skills were learned, the therapist worked to help the child maintain and generalize them to natural settings (as school, squares, markets), and acquire new skills in such settings. A single-subject design base line treatment was used. All children were evaluated at intake and between 9 and 12 months after treatment begun. Three examiners from the foundation assessed the following areas: receptive language, adaptive functioning, intellectual functioning and autism level. The instruments administered were, respectively: Peabody Picture Vocabulary (Dunn & Dunn, 1981), Vineland Adaptative Behavior Scale (Sparrow, Balla & Cicchetti, 1984), Bayley Scales of Infant Development (1993), Batería de Evaluación Kaufman para Niños -K.ABC- of Kaufman and Kaufman (1997) and The Childhood Autism Rating Scale -CARS- of Schopler, Reichler, DeVellis and Daly (1988). A clinical psychologist with expertise in autism carried out the assessment. The data collected was assessed with repeated measures Variance Analysis. The results showed that there was an improvement of the measures after the treatment and that 8 of the 9 children had benefited from it. The best outcome was in general adaptive functioning (p < .004), and in two of the domains: daily living skills (p < .006) and motor skills (p < .001). There were significant differences in the two other domains: communication (p < .01) and socialization (p < .01). The improvement in receptive language, intellectual functioning and autism level were significant too: (p < .01), (p < .02) and (p < .04), respectively. Only 8 children could answer the receptive language test, and 7 children improved their scores. All the children responded better regarding the general adaptive and intellectual functioning. Seven children had better scores in the measure of autism level, but only one child changed of category showing a lower level. Seven children obtained significant differences at all the measures, one child had better results at three measures and another one at two tests. <![CDATA[Construcción y validación de una escala para la evaluación de la deseabilidad social infantil (EDESI)]]> http://www.scielo.org.ar/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1668-70272005000100004&lng=es&nrm=iso&tlng=es Las pruebas verbales de evaluación de la personalidad suelen considerarse objetivas teniendo en cuenta la naturaleza estandarizada de los estímulos verbales utilizados y de las opciones de respuesta, la transformación de las puntuaciones en típicas y también, por la valoración objetiva de la prueba (Fernández-Ballesteros, 2000). Sin embargo, este tipo de evaluación no deja de estar sujeto a posibles limitaciones y problemas. Algunos de ellos son: la respuesta al azar, en la que el sujeto sigue un patrón no determinado por el contenido de los ítem en sus contestaciones, el disimulo o engaño con que el sujeto pretende falsear sus respuestas para ocultar información o darla distorsionada, el estilo de respuesta que el sujeto escoge y puede ser moderado o extremo, negativo o positivo en su forma de contestar y la deseabilidad social. La deseabilidad social, que se define como la tendencia psicológica a atribuirse a sí mismo cualidades de personalidad socialmente deseables y rechazar aquéllas socialmente indeseables, produce un efecto distorsionador que en extremo, puede invalidar una medición psicológica. En un estudio realizado (Lemos, 2003) se observó que los niños son muy proclives a dar respuestas esperables desde el punto de vista social, a fin de agradar a los demás. Por este motivo se consideró importante diseñar una escala que permita evaluar la deseabilidad social en los niños de 10 a 12 años. Se analizaron los ítem de la escala construida en función de su poder discriminativo, se evaluó la consistencia interna de la misma y se estudió su validez factorial y constructiva. Todos los análisis arrojaron resultados satisfactorios.<hr/>Personality assessment verbal tests are often considered objectives taking into account the standardized nature of verbal stimuli utilized and response options, the transformation of punctuations to typical, and the objective valuation of the test (Fernández-Ballesteros, 2000). Nevertheless, this supposedly objective valuation is subordinated to some problems and limitations. Some of these are: random responses, in which the individual follows a pattern of response not determined by the content of items, dissimulation or feigning, with which the subject tries to misrepresent his answers to hide information or distort it; the subjects response style, which means the individual chooses to be moderate or extreme, positive or negative in the way he answers; and last we refer to the social desirability which makes the subject respond approximating his answers to those considered socially more desirable. This psychological tendency of attributing socially desirable personality traits to oneself and rejecting those that are socially undesirable produces a distorting effect that, if taken to extreme, can invalidate a psychological measurement. In a previous research (Lemos, 2003), it was observed that children are very prone to give socially expected answers with the aim of pleasing others. This is the reason why it was judged important to design a scale, which may assess social desirability in children, since such an instrument is not available in our environment. A sample of 141 middle class children of both sexes between 10 and 12 years old of Entre Ríos ( Argentina ) was employed. For the instrument's psychometric analysis, discriminating power of items was considered in the first place, analyzing the distribution of given responses with frequency analysis, considering discriminating those items that didn't exceed 75% of adhesion to one of the two response options ( yes-no ). With the same purpose, a t -test, mean difference, was also applied to compare the answers given to each item by the subjects that had higher social desirability (superior 25%) and lower social desirability (inferior 25%), supposing that if the item was discriminating the differences in response should be highly significant ( p = .000). In second place Cronbach's alpha was calculated to evaluate the instrument's reliability related to its intern consistency. In third place factor analysis of the scale was realized to assess its factorial validity. In the last place, the scale's construction validity was analyzed using variance analysis, ANOVA, in which social desirability related to age was compared. The theoretic hypothesis on which this analysis was based is that in proportion to age increases, social desirability diminishes, since it could be related to the child's affective dependence to adults, which diminishes as the child gains more independence and self assurance/self reliance. With regard to findings concerning validity and reliability of the test, we have observed that the ultimate version of the scale presents good psychometric properties, being its intern consistency satisfactory and its factorial structure simple and clear. We consider that in children, the social desirability could be related in part to personality characteristics linked, for example, to social adaptability, to environmental characteristics of the child, and fundamentally it would be highly related to developmental characteristics of this period. Because of this reason we believe that smaller children could be the most affected, and this would add one more difficulty to the many difficulties children's psychological assessment already has. We think the scale designed can be useful to complement childhood personality assessment, whether analyzing social desirability in children as a characteristic of personality, whether as a possible distortion effect of measurement.