Ethical Dilemma in Relation to Reliability and Validity

In this discussion, you will debate an ethical dilemma around test development while relating it to validity and reliability concepts.

Consider the following scenario: A private school utilizes a test with well-established predictive validity for admissions. However, members of a particular group tend to score low on this test. In your initial post, answer the following question:

Is it ethical for the school to continue to use the test? Why or why not?
Respond to two peers who chose an opposite stance and address the strengths or weaknesses of their arguments.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.



In taking a gander at this circumstance, a test with a background marked by great prescient legitimacy demonstrates that the test has great standard related legitimacy, which means it ought to be a decent pointer of “a person’s most likely remaining on some proportion of intrigue” (Cohen, 2019), for this situation whether an understudy would be a solid match for admission to this school.Having great validity in any case, does not ensure that a test is the best one to gauge a specific attribute, conduct or trademark for each populace. The way that a specific gathering of students consistently have poor outcomes on this test demonstrates that maybe it isn’t the right one for this appraisal. On the off chance that it were an irregular gathering of people that did ineffectively each time that would be an alternate circumstance as in a typical dispersion, a few outcomes will consistently be at the low end.Cronbach’s alpha measures ought to be led to test for the inside consistency of this test. It is conceivable that the test does not have high unwavering quality which is required particularly for a significant choice, for example, deciding an understudy’s induction into a tuition based school.

The best approach to comprehend this issue is to locate another measure that spread a wide assortment of factors and that incorporates giving the tests in different dialects for understudies whose English isn’t their essential language. Another path is to distinguish which scoring criteria is off kilter for the particular gathering and even utilize the test-retest unwavering quality to evaluate where the connection is between the estimation and the particular gathering that are scoring low.


Cohen, R.J. & Swerdlik, M. (2018). Psychological Testing and Assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (9th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.


There are many reasons for private and independent schools to require assessment tests of sorts. However, I would consider a school that utilizes a test with well-established predicative validity for admission where there are specific group that score low, a measurement error. When measuring a predictive validity, the school needs to take into consideration why a particular group score low on the test. Is it related to cultural difference, language barrier, or perhaps the delivery methods of the test or some other types of variables?

Per our reading for this week (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2013), if the measure is found to be a systematic error or predictive, it should be fixed. If we look over from the sources of Error Variance, the culprit could be the test construction that cause a specific group to score low. If the test administers who are conducting the measuring know this, the test need to be changed or updated for all students during the admission tests to be fair to all.

The errors if not corrected could potentially be unethical and the private school could be accused of excluding a specific group intentionally.

The way to solve this issue is to find a new measure that cover a wide variety of variables and that includes giving the tests in other languages for students whose English is not their primary language. Another way is to identify which scoring criteria is off base for the specific group and even use the test-retest reliability to estimate where the correlation is between the measurement and the specific group that are scoring low.


Cohen, R.J. & Swerdlik, M. (2018). Psychological Testing and Assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (9th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.



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