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Relevance of Rater-Ratee Acquaintance in the Validity and Reliability of Ratings

Freeberg, Norman E.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Behavior Rating Scales, Interpersonal Relationship, Validity Studies


Unacquainted Ss worked in three-man groups under relevant (mathematical tasks) and irrelevant (socializing) acquaintance conditions. Ss rated one another on scales that defined several cognitive skills. They were also rated on these same scales by Observers who were dependent upon visual information, exclusively, and were unacquainted with the group members or the specific nature of the tasks being performed. As hypothesized, group members under the relevant acquaintance condition achieved consistently good validity for all three cognitive areas-- with the best validity for ratings of math ability. Validity under the irrelevant acquaintance condition was nil on all scales. Observers, surprisingly, achieved significant validity (although at lower levels than participating group members) for ratings under the relevant acquaintance condition. Levels of inter- and intrarater reliability were not associated with levels of validity under the various rating conditions.

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