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Measuring Accomplishments: Pseudoipsativity, Quantity vs. Quality, and Dimensionality

Stricker, Lawrence J.; Rock, Donald A.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
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Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Achievement, Individual Characteristics, Measures (Individuals)


This study examined three questions about measures of accomplishments - notable attainments that have been publicly recognized: their pseudoipsativity, the correspondence between quantity and quality scores, and their dimensionality. Comparable samples of graduate students described their accomplishments on a questionnaire or judged the similarity of the same accomplishments. Accomplishments in the same field were positively correlated, while accomplishments in different fields varied in their correlations, some being positive and others being negative; these results are inconsistent with the predominantly negative correlations that would occur with ipsative measures. Measures of the quantity and quality (importance, rarity) of accomplishments correlated highly, after correction for attenuation, and appeared to assess the same thing. And analyses of the self-report data found that accomplishments were factorially complex, with many of the same factors identified in other kinds of measures appearing; the factors observed in the judgment data largely corresponded to the semantic features of the accomplishment items.

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