Elucidating psychological phenomena (a person’s mental characteristics) requires mathematical and statistical models of measurement whose correctness must be empirically proven. Psychometrics is the discipline that achieves this. Assigning numerical values to people’s actions or characteristics is an impermissible practice in psychology if these values do not demonstrably depict empirically given relationships.
For further information see:
1. Kubinger, K.D. (2019). Psychologische Diagnostik – Theorie und Praxis psychologischen Diagnostizierens (3., vollständig überarb. Aufl.). Göttingen: Hogrefe. ISBN 978-3-8017-2779-6
2. Kubinger, K.D., Rasch, D. & Yanagida, T. (2011). Statistik in der Psychologie – vom Einführungskurs bis zur Dissertation. Göttingen: Hogrefe.
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Mag. Klaus D. Kubinger, born in 1949, is a retired professor of psychological assessment. He studied psychology (obtaining his doctorate in 1973) and statistics (completing his Master’s degree in 1989) in Vienna, where he also obtained his postdoctoral lecturing qualification in psychology (1985). From 1985 until 2012 he was head of training in psychological assessment at the Psychology Faculty of Vienna University, where he was director of the psychological assessment department, including the testing and counseling center. He has published numerous scientific papers and written or contributed to a number of books. His most important publication (in collaboration with S. Holocher-Ertl) is the Adaptives Intelligenz Diagnostikum – Version 3.1 (2014). His research currently focuses on the development of models in item response theory (IRT) and on globalized intelligence testing. From 2000 until 2006 he was a member of the Test Board. In 2007 he received the Alfred Binet Award of the German Psychological Society (DGPs) for his lifelong work in the field of computerized psychological assessment; this was followed in 2015 by an award in recognition of his services to the Methods and Evaluation section of the DGPs.
The interview relates to the Attitudes to Work test (AHA):
- Kubinger & Ebenhöh: Kubinger, K.D. & Ebenhöh, J. (2002). Arbeitshaltungen - Kurze Testbatterie: Anspruchsniveau, Frustrationstoleranz, Leistungsmotivation, Impulsivität/Reflexivität – Version 26.00. Test: Software and manual (authors of this manual: T. Karner & M. Sommer). Mödling: Vienna Test System/Schuhfried.
- Kubinger, K.D. & Ebenhöh, J. (1996). Arbeitshaltungen - Kurze Testbatterie: Anspruchsniveau, Frustrationstoleranz, Leistungsmotivation, Impulsivität/Reflexivität. Test: software and manual. Frankfurt: Swets.
What was the aim behind development of the test?
The aim was to implement a contemporary – i.e. computerized – refinement of what are known as objective personality tests sensu R.B. Cattell (later: “Experimentalpsychologische Verhaltensdiagnostik”, Kubinger, 2006*)). Among the many developments in this field stemming from the Viennese research group headed by Kubinger, Attitudes to Work is the first and the most frequently used test. “The experiment-based psychological assessment of behavior is a (psychological) technology involving tests that use observable behavior in experimentally varied performance situations to identify personal style characteristics, with the way in which the problems are worked being recorded by the computer” (Kubinger, 2006, p. 50).
*) Kubinger, K.D. (2006). Ein Update der Definition von Objektiven Persönlichkeitstests: Experimentalpsychologische Verhaltensdiagnostik. In T.M. Ortner, R. Proyer & K.D. Kubinger (Hrsg.). Theorie und Praxis Objektiver Persönlichkeitstests (S. 38-52). Bern: Huber.
What was the greatest challenge in developing your tests?
Despite many validation studies with positive results, the problem of questionable generalizability of the test results ultimately arises for all tests used in psychological behavior assessment: to what extent is the particular scenario that has been chosen (the content of the selected situation in which the respondent is being asked to demonstrate his behavior) representative?
For what target group was the test developed?
For all personality assessment situations in which an alternative to personality questionnaires – which are usually very easy to fake – is sought, in other words in particular in recruitment.
What are the special features of the test?
A new genre of personality assessment that largely guarantees resistance to coaching.
How to you see tests developing in the future? What aspects of this are you particularly interested in?