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Psychometrics in Psychiatry: Basic Concepts

Hüseyin Güleç.

Abstract
Understanding human mental process as a natural event is the mainstay for positive science. Measurement or scaling these processes is the basic component of positive science. If we call the science of psychometrics as “mind measuring”, then the scales should be remarked as the tools of “mind meter”. Besides, if science is considered as a play in which your assertions are only within the limit of your measurements, and then the book of rules ought to be written precisely and updated regularly. In the history of science, there are many incidents in which different tools which had been marked to measure several variables or things were later found to be unable to implement the measurement it had been assigned. Thus the book of rules should set the boundaries of measurements, where to start and to finish, by preventing any confounding factors. Validity and especially construct validity of the scales set the basic conceptual framework. But, positive science should present the proof of reliability before providing the validity. Reliability –how you measure- is considered to put an upper limit on validity because any problem in reliability makes it harder to detect a valid “signal”. Another important step in measurement is to apply same directives to all participants to assure standardization. Thereby, we could ensure that the entire world keep same standard in the evaluation and application of the scale. Other process is to obtain normative value according to related variables in order to prevent confounding possible cultural factors. All of these steps has been comprised under the title of standardization. With this article, we would like to make sense to the reader concerning what is meant by psychometric properties of scales and focus on the process of standardization and its components.

Key words: psychometric, measure, scale, standardization, reliability, validity



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