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Population Generalizability, Cultural Sensitivity, and Ethical Dilemmas

Laosa, Luis M.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
William T. Grant Foundation, Cultural Traits, Culture Fair Tests, Ethics, Population Generalizability, Population Validity, Research Problems, Statistical Analysis, Test Validity, Testing Problems


The concept of population generalizability is articulated and brought to bear on efforts aimed at applying research findings to professional practice. Ethical issues involved in such efforts are identified and discussed. Population sensitive approaches to the solution of generalizability problems are examined and illustrated with examples drawn from the literature. Potential risks of population sensitive approaches are also brought forward. Issues of risk are shown to be related to ethical dilemmas that pertain more broadly to societal questions of separation and equality. A framework for dealing with these matters in the context of an ongoing interplay between research and application is outlined. (47pp.)

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