- Pretesting effects in retrospective pretest posttest designs.
- Journal of Applied Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 74 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Two studies evaluated communication skills training by using a pretest-posttest design, including retrospective pretest ratings, to control for response shift bias. A response shift is a change in a subject's internal standard for determining his or her level of functioning on a given dimension. In Exp 1, Ss were 37 hospital employees. Data indicated that the self-report pretest exerted a clear effect on subsequent self-report posttest and retrospective pretest ratings. Training was ineffective and a response shift did not occur. Experimental Ss could not remember and control Ss could remember their pretreatment ratings to a reasonable extent. In Exp 2, Ss were 58 3rd-year dental students. Results show that the training was effective. A behavioral pretest administered prior to the self-report pretest prevented a response shift from occurring. This finding gives empirical support to the contention that Ss' lack of sufficient information about their level of functioning at pretest may be a causal determinant of the response shift. Data also indicate that the retrospective pretest is robust for procedural differences in administering this instrument.
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