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error-choice technique

an indirect attitude measure that consists of a series of objective-knowledge multiple-choice questions about an attitude object. These questions are constructed so that people are unlikely to know the true answers, but with response options that imply positive or negative evaluations of the attitude object. For example, an error-choice measure of attitudes toward capital punishment might include questions about the percentage of people falsely convicted for capital crimes and the percentage difference in the number of violent crimes in states with and without capital punishment. The procedure is based on the assumption that participants will use their attitudes as a basis for guessing; that is, they will tend to select answers that support their attitudes. Attitudes are assessed by computing the number of positive response options selected relative to the number of negative response options selected. Also called information-error technique.

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Psychology term of the day

February 27th 2024

empirically keyed test

empirically keyed test

an assessment in which answers are scored in such a way as to establish differences in responses among groups already known to differ. For example, on a test measuring problem solving, the correct alternative among the response choices would be the one preferred by members of a criterion group who were administered the test previously. See also empirical-criterion keying.