Ignoring psychometric problems in the study of group differences in cognitive test performance

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Abstract

In a recent study, te Nijenhuis et al. (2017) used a version of Jensen's method of correlated vectors to study the nature of ethnic group differences on Raven's Progressive Matrices test. In this comment, the author points out that this method has been shown to be psychometrically inappropriate in studying group differences in performance on dichotomous (correctly or incorrectly scored) items. Specifically, the method uses item statistics like the item-total correlation that necessarily differ across groups differing in ability and employs a linear model to test inherent non-linear relations. Wicherts (2017) showed that this method can provide correlations far exceeding r=0.44 in cases where the group differences cannot possibly be on g because the items measure different traits across the groups. The psychometric problems with their method cast serious doubts on te Nijenhuis et al.'s conclusions concerning the role of g in the studied group difference in cognitive test performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)868-869
JournalJournal of Biosocial Science
Volume50
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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title = "Ignoring psychometric problems in the study of group differences in cognitive test performance",
abstract = "In a recent study, te Nijenhuis et al. (2017) used a version of Jensen's method of correlated vectors to study the nature of ethnic group differences on Raven's Progressive Matrices test. In this comment, the author points out that this method has been shown to be psychometrically inappropriate in studying group differences in performance on dichotomous (correctly or incorrectly scored) items. Specifically, the method uses item statistics like the item-total correlation that necessarily differ across groups differing in ability and employs a linear model to test inherent non-linear relations. Wicherts (2017) showed that this method can provide correlations far exceeding r=0.44 in cases where the group differences cannot possibly be on g because the items measure different traits across the groups. The psychometric problems with their method cast serious doubts on te Nijenhuis et al.'s conclusions concerning the role of g in the studied group difference in cognitive test performance.",
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Ignoring psychometric problems in the study of group differences in cognitive test performance. / Wicherts, Jelte M.

In: Journal of Biosocial Science, Vol. 50, No. 6, 2018, p. 868-869.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/Letter to the editorScientificpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Ignoring psychometric problems in the study of group differences in cognitive test performance

AU - Wicherts, Jelte M

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - In a recent study, te Nijenhuis et al. (2017) used a version of Jensen's method of correlated vectors to study the nature of ethnic group differences on Raven's Progressive Matrices test. In this comment, the author points out that this method has been shown to be psychometrically inappropriate in studying group differences in performance on dichotomous (correctly or incorrectly scored) items. Specifically, the method uses item statistics like the item-total correlation that necessarily differ across groups differing in ability and employs a linear model to test inherent non-linear relations. Wicherts (2017) showed that this method can provide correlations far exceeding r=0.44 in cases where the group differences cannot possibly be on g because the items measure different traits across the groups. The psychometric problems with their method cast serious doubts on te Nijenhuis et al.'s conclusions concerning the role of g in the studied group difference in cognitive test performance.

AB - In a recent study, te Nijenhuis et al. (2017) used a version of Jensen's method of correlated vectors to study the nature of ethnic group differences on Raven's Progressive Matrices test. In this comment, the author points out that this method has been shown to be psychometrically inappropriate in studying group differences in performance on dichotomous (correctly or incorrectly scored) items. Specifically, the method uses item statistics like the item-total correlation that necessarily differ across groups differing in ability and employs a linear model to test inherent non-linear relations. Wicherts (2017) showed that this method can provide correlations far exceeding r=0.44 in cases where the group differences cannot possibly be on g because the items measure different traits across the groups. The psychometric problems with their method cast serious doubts on te Nijenhuis et al.'s conclusions concerning the role of g in the studied group difference in cognitive test performance.

U2 - 10.1017/S0021932018000172

DO - 10.1017/S0021932018000172

M3 - Comment/Letter to the editor

VL - 50

SP - 868

EP - 869

JO - Journal of Biosocial Science

JF - Journal of Biosocial Science

SN - 0021-9320

IS - 6

ER -