Maximum effort may not be required for valid intelligence test score interpretations

Gilles E. Gignac, Asher Bartulovich, Emilee Salleo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Intelligence tests are assumed to require maximal effort on the part of the examinee. However, the degree to which undergraduate first-year psychology volunteers, a commonly used source of participants in low-stakes research, may be motivated to complete a battery of intelligence tests has not yet been tested. Furthermore, the assumption implies that the association between test-taking motivation and intelligence test performance is linear – an assumption untested, to date. Consequently, we administered a battery of five intelligence subtests to a sample of 219 undergraduate volunteers within the first 30 min of a low-stakes research setting. We also administered a reading comprehension test near the end of the testing session (55 min). Self-reported test-taking motivation was measured on three occasions: at the beginning (as a trait), immediately after the battery of five intelligence tests (state 1), and immediately after the reading comprehension test (state 2). Six percent of the sample was considered potentially insufficiently motivated to complete the intelligence testing, and 13% insufficiently motivated to complete the later administered reading comprehension test. Furthermore, test-taking motivation correlated positively with general intelligence test performance (r ≈ 0.20). However, the effect was non-linear such that the positive association resided entirely between the low to moderate levels of test-taking motivation. While simultaneously acknowledging the exploratory nature of this investigation, it was concluded that a moderate level of test-taking effort may be all that is necessary to produce intelligence test scores that are valid. However, in low-stakes research settings, cognitive ability testing that exceeds 25 to 30 min may be inadvisable, as test-taking motivational levels decrease to a degree that may be concerning for a non-negligible portion of the sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-84
Number of pages12
JournalIntelligence
Volume75
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

Fingerprint

Intelligence Tests
Motivation
Reading
Intelligence
Volunteers
Research
Aptitude
Test Scores
Psychology

Cite this

Gignac, Gilles E. ; Bartulovich, Asher ; Salleo, Emilee. / Maximum effort may not be required for valid intelligence test score interpretations. In: Intelligence. 2019 ; Vol. 75. pp. 73-84.
@article{416554b72f6e402182c97dc1fb422f0e,
title = "Maximum effort may not be required for valid intelligence test score interpretations",
abstract = "Intelligence tests are assumed to require maximal effort on the part of the examinee. However, the degree to which undergraduate first-year psychology volunteers, a commonly used source of participants in low-stakes research, may be motivated to complete a battery of intelligence tests has not yet been tested. Furthermore, the assumption implies that the association between test-taking motivation and intelligence test performance is linear – an assumption untested, to date. Consequently, we administered a battery of five intelligence subtests to a sample of 219 undergraduate volunteers within the first 30 min of a low-stakes research setting. We also administered a reading comprehension test near the end of the testing session (55 min). Self-reported test-taking motivation was measured on three occasions: at the beginning (as a trait), immediately after the battery of five intelligence tests (state 1), and immediately after the reading comprehension test (state 2). Six percent of the sample was considered potentially insufficiently motivated to complete the intelligence testing, and 13{\%} insufficiently motivated to complete the later administered reading comprehension test. Furthermore, test-taking motivation correlated positively with general intelligence test performance (r ≈ 0.20). However, the effect was non-linear such that the positive association resided entirely between the low to moderate levels of test-taking motivation. While simultaneously acknowledging the exploratory nature of this investigation, it was concluded that a moderate level of test-taking effort may be all that is necessary to produce intelligence test scores that are valid. However, in low-stakes research settings, cognitive ability testing that exceeds 25 to 30 min may be inadvisable, as test-taking motivational levels decrease to a degree that may be concerning for a non-negligible portion of the sample.",
keywords = "Intelligence, Motivation, Testing, Validity",
author = "Gignac, {Gilles E.} and Asher Bartulovich and Emilee Salleo",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.intell.2019.04.007",
language = "English",
volume = "75",
pages = "73--84",
journal = "Intelligence",
issn = "0160-2896",
publisher = "Academic Press",

}

Maximum effort may not be required for valid intelligence test score interpretations. / Gignac, Gilles E.; Bartulovich, Asher; Salleo, Emilee.

In: Intelligence, Vol. 75, 01.07.2019, p. 73-84.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Maximum effort may not be required for valid intelligence test score interpretations

AU - Gignac, Gilles E.

AU - Bartulovich, Asher

AU - Salleo, Emilee

PY - 2019/7/1

Y1 - 2019/7/1

N2 - Intelligence tests are assumed to require maximal effort on the part of the examinee. However, the degree to which undergraduate first-year psychology volunteers, a commonly used source of participants in low-stakes research, may be motivated to complete a battery of intelligence tests has not yet been tested. Furthermore, the assumption implies that the association between test-taking motivation and intelligence test performance is linear – an assumption untested, to date. Consequently, we administered a battery of five intelligence subtests to a sample of 219 undergraduate volunteers within the first 30 min of a low-stakes research setting. We also administered a reading comprehension test near the end of the testing session (55 min). Self-reported test-taking motivation was measured on three occasions: at the beginning (as a trait), immediately after the battery of five intelligence tests (state 1), and immediately after the reading comprehension test (state 2). Six percent of the sample was considered potentially insufficiently motivated to complete the intelligence testing, and 13% insufficiently motivated to complete the later administered reading comprehension test. Furthermore, test-taking motivation correlated positively with general intelligence test performance (r ≈ 0.20). However, the effect was non-linear such that the positive association resided entirely between the low to moderate levels of test-taking motivation. While simultaneously acknowledging the exploratory nature of this investigation, it was concluded that a moderate level of test-taking effort may be all that is necessary to produce intelligence test scores that are valid. However, in low-stakes research settings, cognitive ability testing that exceeds 25 to 30 min may be inadvisable, as test-taking motivational levels decrease to a degree that may be concerning for a non-negligible portion of the sample.

AB - Intelligence tests are assumed to require maximal effort on the part of the examinee. However, the degree to which undergraduate first-year psychology volunteers, a commonly used source of participants in low-stakes research, may be motivated to complete a battery of intelligence tests has not yet been tested. Furthermore, the assumption implies that the association between test-taking motivation and intelligence test performance is linear – an assumption untested, to date. Consequently, we administered a battery of five intelligence subtests to a sample of 219 undergraduate volunteers within the first 30 min of a low-stakes research setting. We also administered a reading comprehension test near the end of the testing session (55 min). Self-reported test-taking motivation was measured on three occasions: at the beginning (as a trait), immediately after the battery of five intelligence tests (state 1), and immediately after the reading comprehension test (state 2). Six percent of the sample was considered potentially insufficiently motivated to complete the intelligence testing, and 13% insufficiently motivated to complete the later administered reading comprehension test. Furthermore, test-taking motivation correlated positively with general intelligence test performance (r ≈ 0.20). However, the effect was non-linear such that the positive association resided entirely between the low to moderate levels of test-taking motivation. While simultaneously acknowledging the exploratory nature of this investigation, it was concluded that a moderate level of test-taking effort may be all that is necessary to produce intelligence test scores that are valid. However, in low-stakes research settings, cognitive ability testing that exceeds 25 to 30 min may be inadvisable, as test-taking motivational levels decrease to a degree that may be concerning for a non-negligible portion of the sample.

KW - Intelligence

KW - Motivation

KW - Testing

KW - Validity

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065147577&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.intell.2019.04.007

DO - 10.1016/j.intell.2019.04.007

M3 - Article

VL - 75

SP - 73

EP - 84

JO - Intelligence

JF - Intelligence

SN - 0160-2896

ER -