THE RELATIONSHIPS OF ATTITUDES TOWARD, AND PERFORMANCE ON, MULTIPLE-CHOICE TESTS TO CONVERGENT PRODUCTION, DIVERGENT PRODUCTION, AND RISK-TAKING

DOROTHY THERESA HORBER, Fordham University

Abstract

Critics of multiple-choice tests have proposed that these tests penalize the performances of creative individuals who, as a result, hold negative attitudes toward such exams. These tests have also been said to favor noncreative individuals and those who enjoy taking risks; such persons would be expected to hold positive attitudes toward these tests.^ Empirical studies have neither fully supported nor refuted these claims. Guilford's distinction between convergent and divergent production was employed to examine them, since the characterization of creative and noncreative individuals seems to parallel divergent and convergent production, respectively. The present study investigated the relationships of attitudes toward, and performance on, multiple-choice tests with convergent production, divergent production, and risk-taking.^ Participants included 112 female and 105 male college students. The SAT-Verbal score was employed to measure multiple-choice test performance. Attitudes toward these tests were assessed by the Attitudes Toward Testing Scale. Divergent production measures included Guilford's Consequences and Ideational Fluency Tests; convergent production measures included the Remote Associates and Guilford's New Uses Tests. The JPI Risk-Taking Scale assessed risk-taking.^ Pearson correlations were computed between both the Attitudes Toward Testing Scale and the SAT-Verbal score and each measure of convergent production, divergent production, and risk-taking. Consequences-Remote was negatively related to the Attitude Scale, but only for women. Positive relationships were indicated between the SAT-Verbal and convergent production for both sexes, and between the SAT-Verbal and Consequences-Remote for women. No other correlations were significant. Closer relationships were found between the SAT-Verbal and convergent production than between the SAT-Verbal and divergent production.^ These findings provided only minimal support for the critics' claims. Opposition to multiple-choice testing appears to be more the result of preconceived beliefs than of objective data considerations.^

Subject Area

Experimental psychology

Recommended Citation

HORBER, DOROTHY THERESA, "THE RELATIONSHIPS OF ATTITUDES TOWARD, AND PERFORMANCE ON, MULTIPLE-CHOICE TESTS TO CONVERGENT PRODUCTION, DIVERGENT PRODUCTION, AND RISK-TAKING" (1982). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI8307006.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8307006

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