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Using Existing Tests And Scales In The Field

Robert W. Schrauf, Ellen Navarro

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Fieldworkers often adopt existing scales and tests for use in the field from the voluminous social science literature. Frequently, these instruments have been developed and validated on samples that differ markedly from those encountered in the field. To address this situation, this article proposes four steps for critically examining and adjusting the results from such existing scales. These are (1) evaluating the psycho-metric properties of the existing scale, (2) comparing the fieldwork sample with the test sample, (3) analyzing item performance in the fieldwork sample, and (4) adjusting the scoring and interpretation.