Saturday, September 29, 2012

Defining Standard Scores

In norm-referenced measurements, standard scores show the relative position of a score compared to other scores, whereas a raw score provides little to no information about the test takers results, such as how the raw score compares to the average of all scores (Little, n.d.; Whiston, 2009). Standard scores explain raw scores in terms of the distance they fall from the mean (Little, n.d.). The measurement used for this distance is a standard deviation (SD). Standard scores provide a visual example on a normal distribution, for example, exactly where the score falls on the normal curve. When scores are standardized, they are translated to a common language, so to speak. After being standardized, the scores show the results in comparison to other test takers. They also make it easier to compare the results of more than one test. For example, if the test taker scored 8 on one test and 32 on another, if both tests scores are standardized, it is easier to see where each test falls on the normal distribution, or how they compare with other test takers. Standard scores determine how a score relates to the test-taking population as well as the variability of all the scores (Little, n.d.; Whiston, 2009).

Measuring Intelligence

If I were to measure the intelligence of an individual, I would want to determine how the raw score compares to the average scores and where on the range of scores his or her score lies. Using the handy 68-95-99.7 rule (Little, n.d.), which states that on the normal distribution, approximately 98% of scores fall within ±3 SD of the mean; 95% fall between ±2 SD of the mean; and 68% fall between ±1 SD of the mean, I can easily determine the test taker's level of intelligence. (For a nice visual of this rule, please see Figure 2.5 on page 37 in Whiston (2009)).

Two Standard Deviations Above and Below the Mean

So, a score of 2 SD below the mean would tell me that the scores were in the bottom 2.5% (or so) of all the scores (2nd-3rd percentile). As long as the intelligence test was fair and ethical for the individual test taker, I would assume the individual scored quite low in intelligence. This may prompt me to check for cognitive deficiencies, mental retardation, or other issues that will be beneficial for creating an overall case conceptualization for this particular client. On the other hand, if the scores were 2 standard deviations above the mean, I would know the individual's score is in the top 2.5% of all scores (98th percentile). I can assume, if the test is reliable and valid, this individual is highly intelligent and I would tailor an intervention accordingly. Any intelligence test used on a client should be carefully reviewed to make sure the norming group is an appropriate comparison for the client. The ultimate responsibility for utilizing appropriate assessments lies with the counselor (Laureate Education, Inc., n.d.) .

One Standard Deviation Above and Below the Mean

As Whiston (2009) explained, when a standard score is used, counselors understand the relative position of how the test taker scored compared to other test takers without having to consider other statistical data. If the test taker's score was 1 SD below the mean, I would know that the individual's score fell within the bottom 16% of all test takers (16th percentile). If the score was 1 SD above the mean, the test taker has scored in the top 16% of test takers, or in the 84th percentile. If the individual's score was between -1 and +1 SD, it would be within the 16th and 84th percentile.

Examples Utilizing Intelligence Tests

For example, if I utilize an intelligence test and my client has a raw score of 95, and the test has a mean of 80 and a SD of 15, the client's score is 1 SD above the mean, and in the 84th percentile. If the raw score is 65, it is 1SD below the mean, and in the 16th percentile. If the score was between ± 1 SD, the score was between 65 and 95, or between the 16th and 84th percentile. Two SD above the mean was a raw score of 110, and the score was right around the 97th percentile; the raw score for 2 SD below the mean was 50, and in the 2.5th percentile.


Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (n.d.). Introduction to Assessment. Baltimore, MD: Executive Producer.

Little, S. G. (n.d.). Standard Scores [PowerPoint slides]. Retrieved from

Whiston, S. C. (2009). Principles and applications of assessment in counseling (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning

Factors that Influence Motor Skill Development

                  Biological/Genetic Factors that Influence Motor Skill Development

Impaired Sight

Esther Thelen's dynamic systems theory described how babies couple the abilities to perceive and act (Santrock, 2008). According to this theory, children learn how to do new things (for example, develop motor skills) because they are motivated to do so, at least in part, by their ability to perceive, hence, see. Having impaired sight affects the perception and motivation of a blind child. Hartle and Clark (2011) believed, however, that the constraints of blind children don't have to negatively affect their development. Although blind children are not stimulated by visual cues that motivate them, there are other ways to alter the environment so children still receive the motivation (Hartle & Clark, 2011). Visually impaired children can learn by doing with other experiences such as touching the parents' hands while they perform an action, and using the voice to simultaneously explain what they are doing (Hartle & Clark, 2011)


Congenitally deaf infants commonly have deficient vestibular function that can effect balance and the child's ability to move and maintain posture (Kaga, Shinjo, Jin, & Takegoshi, 2008). Kaga, Shinjo, Jin, and Takegoshi (2008) found a lack in vestibular function impaired children's motor functions such as controlling the head, sitting, and walking. Although some delay in development was found, there was also evidence of compensation in other vestibular functioning as well as sight and intellect, that helped the children continue to develop. For example, Kaga, Shinjo, Jin, and Takegoshi described a child, who in infancy had marked delays in controlling his head and walking, although during adolescence, he developed normal skills despite the vestibular deficiency. Early identification of faulty vestibular function can help parents learn how to help the child develop normally. Kaga, Shinjo, Jin, and Takegoshi believed in the importance of evaluating deafness and deficient vestibular functioning in infants to eliminate the common misdiagnosis of brain damage or other motor dysfunction.

                                                      Two Environmental Factors


If children do not have experiences that develop musculature during gross motor skills, their fine motor skills will be delayed. Santrock (2008) explained how muscular development follows a proximodistal pattern, so development starts at the center of the body, then moving outward. The development of motor skills start with the major muscle groups, like flailing the arms and legs, then develops into more refined movements, until eventually the refinement takes place in the fine motor skills such as holding a pencil or handling a fork or spoon. Huffman and Fortenberry (2011) described the stages of fine motor development as a progression in which muscles are developed in sequence. One must master one stage prior to moving toward the next stage (Huffman & Fortenberry, 2011). Caregivers can help the child develop finer motor skills by making sure he or she has adequate opportunity for growth at each stage along the progression of muscle development.

Infants who Receive Care at Public Child Care Centers
Considering differences in attention received by the infant, Souza, Santos, Tolocka, Baltieri, Gibim, and Habechian (2010) found some evidence of deficiencies of motor skill development in infants who attend public child care centers during the first 17 months of life. If this deficiency is solely from lack of attention or lack of practice of movement because of the constraints of public child care, it might be easily remedied with adequate, or perhaps compensatory parental behavior with the child at home. Rezende, Beteli, and Santos (2005) found differences in day care centers may directly affect motor development in children attending such facilities. Some children thrived and developed normally in similar child care centers. Perhaps this information will help parents understand the importance of choosing a facility that will engage the child in normal practice for developing motor skills. Even for parents whose options for child care are limited, additional interaction with the child at home may compensate for deficiencies in the day care environment.


In the above four examples, biological and environmental factors were mitigated with extra care. I found it particularly striking that in a variety of cultural settings as described by Santrock (2008), infants seem to develop normally. Even in deficient circumstances or physical defects, compensatory care from parents and caregivers can contribute to normal development.


Hartle, M., & Clark, J. (2011). Reweighting and constraint: The development of movement in young blind children. Future Reflections, 30(1), 6-10.

Huffman, J. M., & Fortenberry, C. (2011). Developing fine motor skills. Young Children, 66(5), 100–102.

Kaga, K., Shinjo, Y., Jin, Y., & Takegoshi, H. (2008). Vestibular failure in children with congenital deafness. International Journal of Audiology, 47(9), 590–599.

Rezende, M. A., Beteli, V. C., & Santos, J. D. (2005). Follow-up of the child's motor abilities in day-care centers and pre-schools. Revista Latino-Americana De Enfermagem, 13(5). doi: 10.1590/S0104-11692005000500003

Rule, A. C., & Stewart, R. A. (2002). Effects of practical life materials on kindergartners’ fine motor skills. Early Childhood Education Journal, 30(1), 9–13.

Santrock, J. W. (2008). A topical approach to life-span development (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Souza, C., Santos, D., Tolocka, R., Baltieri, L., Gibim, N., & Habechian, F. (2010). Assessment of global motor performance and gross and fine motor skills of infants attending day care centers. Revista Brasileira De Fisioterapia, 14(4), 309-315.

Impact of Bodily Growth and Changes on Development

Infancy and late adulthood are stages of development in which bodily growth and changes significantly affect functioning. As the body changes during these developmental stages, the effect on psychological, social, and emotional development is substantial and even life altering. The apparent interconnectivity between bodily functioning and psychological, social, and emotional development is striking, and even during physical and cognitive decline, development continues (Benoît, 2008).

                                                      Infancy/Early Childhood

Physical Changes

Early childhood is a time of rapid change for the body and the brain (Santrock, 2008). During the first two years of a child's life, the body reaches 20% of its adult weight (Santrock, 2008). The brain grows from 25% of its adult size at birth to 75% of its adult size at age two. The growth pattern, for the human body follows a cephalocaudal pattern in which growth is fastest at the top of the body, or the head (Santrock, 2008). Physical health, growth, and stamina translate to the babies' ability to thrive during the first few months of life and have significant implications for children's psychological, social, and emotional development (Corbett & Drewett, 2004).

Muscle development follows a proximodistal pattern that starts at the center of babies' bodies and works outward. Following this pattern, babies develop larger skills, such as moving and waving arms and legs, and later develop finer motor skills. Steri (2005) found when children develop muscles, the development not only supported children's desire to touch their surroundings, but it also affected the way babies perceive their environment. In effect, touching developed cognitive abilities. Growth and muscle strength begins to support children's eventual navigation of their environment. Muscular strength supports them, literally, in learning how to perceive the world from an upright position which consequently supports an entirely new way to interact with the world.

Changes as they Affect Psychological, Social, and Emotional Development
The rapid changes in infancy and early childhood alter children's perception of the world and their ability to interact with it. Clarity of sight lets them see, muscle growth supports locomotion and their ability to develop a physical relationship to objects and people around them (Santrock, 2008). During the rapid brain development during the first two years of life, cognitive abilities develop quickly and help children begin to understand how their environment functions as well as how they can affect their surroundings (Santrock, 2008). Rapidly developing mental capabilities help them understand and learn how to communicate with the people around them, which supports their emotional intelligence and social development. Language achievement and the ability to communicate is a major achievement that connects them to other people and enhances their ability to socialize and develop emotionally (Tsao, Liu, & Kuhl, 2004).

                                                           Late Adulthood

Physical Changes

In late adulthood, the primary change is a decrease in functioning of most aspects of bodily functions. Often, the older adult is plagued by chronic illness and other health problems, mobility becomes more difficult, and cognitive decline can cause mild to extreme symptoms of dementia (Santrock, 2008). The circulatory system pumps less blood throughout the body and the respiratory system becomes less effective. Older adults generally slow in their ability to respond to external stimuli because of a decrease in functioning of the nervous system and the brain (Santrock, 2008). Many older adults have losses of hearing and sight.

Changes as they Affect Psychological, Social, and Emotional Development

The changes that take place during late adulthood have an effect on the established normal functioning of older adults. Perhaps the most significant detriment is how these changes affect the self perception or psychological development of aging individuals, which contributes to an overall experience of health and well being (Guindon & Cappeliez, 2010; Mossey, 1995). Some of the losses and deficiencies sustained in late adulthood contribute to a feeling of separation and loneliness which may cause withdrawal from social encounters, in effect, altering social development (Guindon & Cappeliez, 2010). Chronic loss, mental and physical deficiency, separation, loneliness, and an inability to perform according to normal expectations can contribute to emotional changes and psychological ill health. Furthermore, these typical changes during late adulthood can cause older adults to perceive themselves as deficient. This, as much as any physical ailment has powerful implications in psychological and physical health and well being as well as longevity (Guindon & Cappeliez, 2010; Mossey, 1995).

Changes in the body directly affect individuals psychological, social, and emotional development (Santrock, 2008). The contrast between the two stages chosen for this assignment is striking. During the first two years of life, the increases in development support more accurate overall functioning, which, consequently supports positive changes in psychological, social, and emotional development. On the contrary, during late adulthood the deterioration in bodily functioning causes an overall deficiency in physical development. Perhaps because of the intrinsic adaptive nature of the human species, older adults continue to develop psychologically, emotionally, and socially, although bodily changes can render this population physically and cognitively compromised (Santrock, 2008).


Benoît, J. M. (2008). How the body shapes the mind. Dialogue: Canadian Philosophical Association, 47(01), 199-202. doi: 10.1017/S0012217300002535

Corbett, S., & Drewett, R. (2004). To what extent is failure to thrive in infancy associated with poorer cognitive development? A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 45(3), 641-654. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2004.00253.x

Guindon, S., & Cappeliez, P. (2010). Contributions of psychological well-being and social support to an integrative model of subjective health in later adulthood. Ageing International, 35, 38–60. doi: 10.1007/s12126-009-9050-7

Mossey, J. M. (1995). Importance of self-perceptions for health status among older persons. In M. Gatz (Ed.), Emerging issues in mental health and aging (pp. 124–162). Washington: American Psychological Association.

Santrock, J. W. (2008). A topical approach to life-span development (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Streri, A. (2005).  Touching for knowing in infancy: The development of manual abilities in very young infants. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 2(4), 325-343. doi: 10.1080/17405620500145669

Tsao, F., Liu, H., & Kuhl, P. K. (2004). Speech perception in infancy predicts language development in the second year of life: A longitudinal study. Child Development, 75(4), 1067-1084. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2004.00726.x

Interpreting Data

The basic principles of assessment provide a fundamental understanding of statistics. Utilizing means and standard deviations in the analysis of empirical study helps counselors understand the value and effectiveness of an intervention or a technique. Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, and Shen (2007) determined that counselors can make reliable recommendations for exercise and its ameliorative properties for mild and moderate depression based on measurements obtained by utilizing the Beck Depression Inventory-II on participants.

                                                          Demonstrating Gain

From the descriptive statistics in Table 1 (Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, & Shen, 2007), the aerobic exercise group demonstrated the largest gain with a 29% decrease in depressive symptoms. The anaerobic group showed a 24% decrease, and the control group showed the least gain with a 20% decrease in depressive symptoms. (Percentages are approximate). These decreases were calculated based solely on the mean results of the three groups. Taking into consideration the inconsistency in the response measured by the standard deviations of each group, Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, and Shen (2007) found the aerobic group experienced the most benefit and the anaerobic group experienced less of a benefit than the aerobic group and the control group. Although the positive effects of weight lifting or other anaerobic exercise may exist, a significant effect on depressive symptoms was not apparent in this study (Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, & Shen, 2007).

                                           Most and Least Consistent Responses
In the posttests for all three groups, using the standard deviation as the determinant of consistency, the aerobic group had the smallest standard deviation, meaning the responses of that group were most consistent. The anaerobic group responded least consistently as evidenced by the widest standard deviation. When used in assessments, the standard deviation demonstrates the extent to which the scores vary from the mean score (Whiston, 2008). The smaller the standard deviation, the closer to the mean the scores varied, whereas the larger the standard deviation, the more the scores deviated from the mean score. Larger standard deviations show less consistency in the response and smaller standard deviations show a more consistent response (Whiston, 2008).

                          Recommending Exercise for Mild to Moderate Depression
Although Bass, Enochs, and DiBrezzo (2002) found results to the contrary, research across a variety of populations determined that aerobic exercise has ameliorative properties for depressive symptoms in mild to moderate depression (Aan het Rot, Collins, & Fitterling, 2009; Johnson et al., 2008; Nabkasorn, 2005; Ströhle, 2009). Barring any medical contraindications, when counseling individuals with mild to moderate depression, I would recommend a program of regular aerobic exercise. Although any type of exercise may have some health benefits, aerobic exercise may have the most meaningful benefit in improving mood and ameliorating depressive symptoms (Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, & Shen, 2007; Eriksson & Gard, 2011).

                            Strength and Limitation of the Principles of Assessments


Basic assessment principles give counselors the foundational guidelines by which to understand the purpose of assessments and translate their results into practical and useable applications in counseling (Whiston, 2008). If counselors wish to draw conclusions based on an assessment or interpret the meaning of their results in specific circumstances, they must understand the fundamental precepts of assessment. This common language provides a basis for communicating results and using the data appropriately (McMillan, 2000). The principles of assessments help counselors follow the established guidelines so they can make professional judgments based on the assessments they utilize. For example, Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, and Shen (2007) used the means and standard deviations of participant scores to demonstrate the effects of aerobic versus anaerobic exercise on depression. Utilizing the information in this study enables counselors to make empirically derived recommendations to clients with depressive symptoms.


One limitation in this study and in studies in general is obtaining an adequate sample that is representative of a larger population to which the results can be applied. In Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, and Shen (2007), the sample size was small and representative of a particular segment of the larger population. When samples are small, they are less apt to apply to larger populations. The same can be said of samples that do not include members of diverse populations. The selection process for enlisting participants can be challenging because of the improbable nature of including representation from diverse populations (Whiston, 2008). Random sampling is difficult for a study like Balkin, Tietjen-Smith, Caldwell, and Shen's (2007), so the results are only applicable to the represented young adult population.


Understanding basic assessment principles helps counselors understand and apply the results of assessments. Furthermore, it helps them choose evaluative instruments that will yield the greatest benefit for their clients (Whiston, 2008). The ability to judge assessments as reliable, valid, fair, and ethical supports the effectiveness of counselors as well as the reputation and reliability of the profession.


Aan het Rot, M., Collins, K. A., & Fitterling, H. L. (2009). Physical exercise and depression. Mount Sinai Journal of Medicine: A Journal of Translational and Personalized Medicine, 76(2), 204-214. doi: 10.1002/msj.20094

Balkin, R. S., Tietjen-Smith, T., Caldwell, C., & Shen, Y. (2007). The utilization of exercise to decrease depressive symptoms in young adult women. Adultspan: Theory, Research, & Practice, 6(1), 30-35. doi: 10.1002/j.2161-0029.2007.tb00027.x

Bass, M. A., Enochs, W. K., & DiBrezzo, R. (2002). Comparison Of Two Exercise Programs On General Well-Being Of College Students [Abstract]. Psychological Reports, 91(8), 1195. doi: 10.2466/PR0.91.8.1195-1201

Eriksson, S., & Gard, G. (2011). Physical exercise and depression. Physical Therapy Reviews, 16(4), 261-268. doi: 10.1179/1743288X11Y.0000000026

Johnson, C. C., Murray, D. M., Elder, J. P., Jobe, J. B., Dunn, A. L., Kubik, M., ... Schachter, K. (2008). Depressive Symptoms and Physical Activity in Adolescent Girls. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(5), 818-826. doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181632d49

McMillan, J. H. (2000). Fundamental assessment principles for teachers and school administrators. Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, 7(8). Retrieved September 20, 2012, from

Nabkasorn, C. (2005). Effects of physical exercise on depression, neuroendocrine stress hormones and physiological fitness in adolescent females with depressive symptoms. The European Journal of Public Health, 16(2), 179-184. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/cki159

Ströhle, A. (2009). Physical activity, exercise, depression and anxiety disorders. Journal of Neural Transmission, 116(6), 777-784. doi: 10.1007/s00702-008-0092-x

Aging and Decline

Two problems associated with aging are cognitive decline and chronic disease and illness. Both create a tremendous burden on the aging individual as well as family members. Cognitive decline is not uncommon during the latter part of the lifespan. The aging brain shrinks and slows in its ability to function (Santrock, 2008). Along with the brain shrinkage, most individuals experience a decline in physical coordination as well as in their intellectual capacity. In most forms of dementia, not only do individuals experience a decline in cognitive abilities, they lose a range of functions that include "memory, attention, language, visuospatial skill, perceptual speed and executive functioning" (Prabhavalkar & Chintamaneni, 2010, p. 388).

Strategies for Thriving with Dementia
Robinson, Clarke, and Evans (2005) found early detection helps individuals and their families understand and adjust to a diagnosis of dementia. Furthermore, it gives them more time to find the most appropriate services and treatment options prior to needing them. Prabhavalkar and Chintamaneni (2010) found early diagnosis and aggressive treatment of mild dementia is critical because even mild dementia puts an individual at higher risk of Alzheimer disease. Prabhavalkar and Chintamaneni also believed that the increase in the aging population at risk necessitates the need for "valid diagnostic tools, understanding of causative and conversion factors, early prognostic counseling, pharmacologic intervention, and health care" (p. 391).

Chronic Disease in Aging
The second issue common in ageing adults is an increase in chronic disease and health issues. Not only do older adults experience the ordinarily self-limiting aches and pains of age, they are also more likely to be diagnosed with chronic, even life threatening or terminal illness. Although the complex issues of illness must be left to medical science, research (Guindon & Cappeliez; ) suggests there may be another more arcane aspect to health.

Subjective Health

Guindon and Cappeliez (2010) and Mossey (1995) determined subjective health or having a positive self perception regarding one's health, is an essential component to overall psychological health and well being in older adults and seems to be predictive of a loss of functioning and even mortality. Of particular interest is that research has demonstrated positive emotions changed physical malfunction, specifically, cardiovascular issues precipitated because of stress (Guindon & Cappeliez, 2010; Mossey, 1995).

Don't Worry, Be Happy!

Throughout history, conventional wisdom has advised humankind to seek happiness. According to Guindon and Cappeliez (2010), research has demonstrated when people experience satisfaction in life, happiness, self-esteem, and control over their lives, they perceive themselves as healthy. Although the effects of a strong support system cannot be understated (Zunzunegui, Béland, & Otero, 2001), Guindon and Cappeliez contend an individual's mood directly contributes to illness. In practice, especially with aging adults, it seems prudent to help them gain psychological and subjective health. If subjective health is predictive of physical health and longevity, this practice has tremendous implications for aging adults, and most likely, for the rest of us.


Guindon, S., & Cappeliez, P. (2010). Contributions of psychological well-being and social support to an integrative model of subjective health in later adulthood. Ageing International, 35, 38–60. doi: 10.1007/s12126-009-9050-7

Mossey, J. M. (1995). Importance of self-perceptions for health status among older persons. In M. Gatz (Ed.), Emerging issues in mental health and aging (pp. 124–162). Washington: American Psychological Association.

Prabhavalkar, K. S., & Chintamaneni, M. (2010). Diagnosis and treatment of mild cognitive impairment: A review. Journal of Pharmacy Research, 3(2), 388–392.

Robinson, L., Clarke, L., & Evans, K. (2005). Making sense of dementia and adjusting to loss: Psychological reactions to a diagnosis of dementia in couples. Aging & Mental Health, 9(4), 337–347. doi: 10.1080/13607860500114555

Santrock, J. W. (2011). A topical approach to life-span development (3rd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Zunzunegui, M. V., Béland, F., & Otero, A. (2001). Support from children, living arrangements, self-rated health and depressive symptoms of older people in Spain. International Journal of Epidemiology, 30, 1090–1099. doi:10.1093/ije/30.5.1090

NEO-PI-R in Diverse Populations

I was curious about the validity of the NEO-PI-R in diverse populations. Doing a quick search, I found several cross-cultural studies on this instrument that found it reliable (Mui Yik & Bond, 1993; Pulver, Allik, Pulkkinen, & Hämäläinen, 1995; McCrae, Costa, Del Pilar, Rolland, & Parker, 1998). I found several more that I could not access. The most personally interesting aspect of this reliability is that it demonstrates a generality of personality traits in humans. Of course, these three studies do not necessarily indicate reliability across every diverse population, but it is compelling to think that although the issues and challenges across humanity vary radically, we are all dealing with the same deck (so to speak).

Mui Yik, M. S., & Bond, M. H. (1993). Exploring the Dimensions of Chinese Person Perception with Indigenous and Imported Constructs: Creating a Culturally Balanced Scale. International Journal of Psychology, 28(1), 75-95. doi: 10.1080/00207599308246919

Pulver, A., Allik, J., Pulkkinen, L., & Hämäläinen, M. (1995). A Big Five personality inventory in two non-Indo-European languages. European Journal of Personality, 9(2), 109-124. doi: 10.1002/per.2410090205

McCrae, R. R., Costa, P. T., Del Pilar, G. H., Rolland, J., & Parker, W. D. (1998). Cross-Cultural assessment of the five-factor model: The Revised NEO Personality Inventory. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 29(1), 171-188. doi: 10.1177/0022022198291009

Allegiance Bias

Leykin and DeRubeis (2009) believed that psychotherapy researchers have allegiance bias, which they describe as distortion related to personal beliefs. In effect, that the inferences made about study results are tainted by expectations and the standing beliefs of the researchers. This does not suggest researchers are wittingly distorting findings, but it does speak to the nature of intrinsic bias that is a part of our humanness. Because so much rests on the inferences made on findings, my suggestion is that researchers must employ another set of researchers to make inferences on findings, and perhaps choosing individuals whose primary experience rests on one a different side of the research hypothesis than the primary researchers. That way, perhaps, a balance of bias could be created. It sounds convoluted, but because the inferences we make in research find their way into real life applications, it seems critical to remove any allegiance bias in studies.


Leykin, Y., & DeRubeis, R. J. (2009). Allegiance in Psychotherapy Outcome Research: Separating Association From Bias. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 16(1), 54-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2850.2009.01143.x