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  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Default What makes a good online test?

    Unlike the official MBTI test, most of the online tests haven't undergone rigorous statistical analysis. Yet people discuss various online tests, saying things like, "that's a good test", "that test is crap", etc.

    What I want to know is if there isn't much in the way of statistical analysis measuring a tests validity and reliability, on what basis are people judging which tests are the better ones?

    Here are some factors that I think may play a role:

    Length. Not too long or too short.

    I think people tend to prefer tests where the results describe them well.

    Tests that don't create false dichotomies.

    Interesting or thought provoking questions.

    Adequate answer choices. By this I mean, people might get frustrated if there are too many questions where none of the choices apply or they can never narrow it down to just one.

    Not too predictable. Some test questions are overly transparent. You know exactly what each question is testing for. I prefer it when the questions ask more indirectly.
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  2. #2
    not to be trusted miss fortune's Avatar
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    only if you could find a way to prevent people from lying on the test... or to have an honest view of themselves- otherwise it's really easy to skew a test
    “Oh, we're always alright. You remember that. We happen to other people.” -Terry Pratchett

  3. #3
    Senior Member LeftKick's Avatar
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    I prefer the ones that have the 5 choices from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Sometimes neither answer applies to me on the 2 choice questions. That's the thing that frustrates me the most on some tests.

  4. #4
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeftKick View Post
    I prefer the ones that have the 5 choices from strongly agree to strongly disagree. Sometimes neither answer applies to me on the 2 choice questions. That's the thing that frustrates me the most on some tests.
    I like that too. I like it when there is an option to indicate "no preference."


    Some other thoughts:

    *I tend to prefer tests of about 20-100 questions in length. Anything shorter, and I get the impression that not enough information is really being collected to get an accurate assessment. More than 100 questions, and it just gets too long. You get to a point of diminishing returns when adding another question isn't going to effect results too much.

    *Wording of the questions makes a difference. Questions should be clear and not ambiguous. Also avoid "always" and "never" statements.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Jaguar's Avatar
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    If the built-in assumptions are erroneous, it doesn't matter if the test has 1, 10, or 100 questions.
    One of the worst offenders is this test:

    http://www.teamtechnology.co.uk/mmdi/questionnaire/

    None of the following pairs of statements are mutually exclusive.

    I really enjoy dreaming up imaginative ideas
    I really enjoy getting things done as and when they arise
    I very much like thinking about what is in the unknown
    I very much like doing practical things that have a tangible result
    I really enjoy a theory when it is true and correct
    I really enjoy relationships when there is a lot of rapport
    Actually, that last pair of statements amused me for more reasons than one.
    To include the words "true" and "correct" in the same sentence with the word "theory" could be construed as a bit oxymoronic.
    Theories are speculative in nature to begin with.

    I would prefer a test using a Likert scale method which allows the ranking of statements on a scale from 1-5. If that method were used, one could easily see the "dichotomies" begin to dissipate. That is why forced-choice testing methods, in general, have been so heavily criticized over the decades. The "results" of forced-choice testing are frequently nothing more than a product of the method itself, rather than an accurate representation of the person who took the test.

    Conclusions like these are not surprising:

    The National Academy of Sciences committee reviewed data from over 20 MBTI research studies and concluded that only the Intraversion-Extroversion scale has adequate construct validity. That is high correlations with comparable scales of other tests and low correlations with tests designed to assess different concepts. In contrast, the S-N and T-F scales show relatively weak validity. No mention was made in this review about the J-P scale.

    Overall, the review committee concluded that the MBTI has not demonstrated adequate validity although its popularity and use has been steadily increasing. The National Academy of Sciences review committee concluded that: at this time, there is not sufficient, well-designed research to justify the use of the MBTI in career counseling programs, the very thing that it is most often used for.

  6. #6
    Tier 1 Member LunaLuminosity's Avatar
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    A few things to avoid for a good online test:

    -avoid making people choose one of two things that are not mutually exclusive
    -avoid things that are cliche
    -avoid questions that make one preference look better than the other

    and.... I think that will solve a lot of problems right there
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