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NCJ Number: 65179 Find in a Library
Title: RESPONSE-SHIFT BIAS - A PROBLEM IN EVALUATING INTERVENTIONS WITH PRE/POST SELF-REPORTS
Journal: EVALUATION REVIEW  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(FEBRUARY 1980)  Pages:93-106
Author(s): G S HOWARD
Corporate Author: Sage Publications, Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 14
Sponsoring Agency: Institute for Scientific Information
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Sage Publications, Inc
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
Sale Source: Sage Publications, Inc
2455 Teller Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91320
United States of America

Institute for Scientific Information
University City Science Ctr
3501 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE REVIEWS THE LITERATURE ON RESPONSE-SHIFT EFFECTS AND RECOMMENDS THE USE OF RETROSPECTIVE PRETESTS AS ONE APPROACH TO REMOVING THIS SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION FROM EVALUATION STUDIES EMPLOYING SELF-REPORT MEASURES.
Abstract: SELF-REPORT INSTRUMENTS ARE FREQUENTLY USED TO EVALUATE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF TREATMENT OR TRAINING INTERVENTIONS. THE TYPICAL DESIGN INVOLVES COLLECTING PRETEST AND COMPARING THESE DATA WITH SIMILAR RATINGS FOR AN APPROPRIATE CONTROL GROUP. HOWEVER, A TESTING PROBLEM ARISES WHEN PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT/INTERVENTION HEIGHTENS SUBJECTS' AWARENESS OF THEIR PERFORMANCE ON A PARTICULAR VARIABLE SO THAT THEIR SELF-REPORT ON THE DIMENSION FOR PRETESTING WOULD, IN THEIR OPINION, BE NO LONGER VALID. HENCE, THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN PRETEST AND PROTTEST MEASURE WOULD BE EXAGGERATED. THIS IS KNOWN AS RESPONSE-SHIFT BIAS. IN SUCH CASES, EVEN THE TRUE EXPERIMENTAL DESIGNS CAN PROVIDE INTERNALLY INVALID RESULTS. RETROSPECTIVE PRETEST RATINGS ARE RECOMMENDED AS ONE WAY IN WHICH RESPONSE-SHIFT BIAS MIGHT BE ATTENUATED. THE APPROACH PROFERRED IN THIS STUDY IS TO UTILIZE A RETROSPECTIVE PRETEST TO OBTAIN A PRETREATMENT ESTIMATE OF SUBJECTS' LEVELS OF FUNCTIONING THAT IS MADE FROM THE SAME PERSPECTIVE AS THE POSTTEST RATING. TWO PROBLEMS WITH THIS APPROACH ARE (1) HISTORICAL OR PHILOSOPHICAL SUSPICION OF MENTALISTIC APPROACHES TO RESEARCH AND (2) THE PROBLEMS OF RESPONSE-STYLE BIAS (E.G., SUBJECT COMPLIANCE, MEMORY DISTORTION). HOWEVER, RETROSPECTIVE MEASURES WOULD NOT BE ADVISABLE IF THE DATA DEMONSTRATING THE DELETRIOUS EFFECTS OF RESPONSE-SHIFT BIAS WERE NOT SO CONVINCING OR AN ALTERNATIVE METHOD FOR REMOVING THIS SOURCE OF CONTAMINATION FROM TRADITIONAL PRETEST OR POSTTEST SELF-REPORT DESIGNS COULD BE DEVELOPED. OVERALL, THE RESEARCH SUGGESTS THAT A THEN/POST ANALYSIS IS EQUAL, OR SUPERIOR, TO A PRE/POST SELF-REPORT APPROACH. USE OF PRETEST, POSTTEST, AND RETROSPECTIVE PRETEST SELF-REPORT DATA PROVIDES A MORE SENSITIVE ASSESSMENT OF A SUBJECT'S PERSPECTIVE OF PERSONAL CHANGE. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (PRG) (PRG)
Index Term(s): Effectiveness; Evaluation; Evaluation measures; Evaluation techniques; Failure factors; Feedback; Literature reviews; Personality assessment; Self concept; Self evaluation; Testing and measurement
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