EXAMINER-EXAMINEE INTERACTION IN COGNITIVE ASSESSMENT
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The present study investigated the influence of the examiner-examinee relationship on cognitive assessment, using an approach which examined this interaction as a composite of reciprocal exchanges and mutual influences.;Subjects included 40 third and fourth grade girls in a suburban New Jersey community. The four female examiners were school psychology graduate students. The children and examiners were evaluated on the Amherst Behavior Rating Scale and classified into two groups: more socially oriented and less socially oriented. Each girl was seen by two examiners in individual testing sessions. Four WISC subtests were administered.;The results indicated that the interpersonal style of the examiner did not significantly influence a child's performance on cognitive tasks. It was suggested that these results, in conflict with studies finding significant examiner effect, were attributable to the multidimensional quality of the evaluation instrument, the brevity of the sessions, and the lack of exaggerated, role-playing differences between the testers.;The interpersonal style of the girls was found to have significant influence on some cognitive tasks. More socially oriented girls performed better than their less social peers on tasks requiring verbal responses and social judgment. Significant differences were not found between the two groups on a task of nonverbal, perceptual reasoning. However, a trend was seen within one subpopulation of subjects in which the performance of the less socially oriented girls excelled the performance of their more socially oriented peers.;The interaction of the examiners' and examinees' styles of relating was found to significantly influence task performance for some combinations of testers and children. Improved performance was seen on one verbal task when the interpersonal styles of the examinee and examiner were dissimilar. Supporting the hypothesis that similar interpersonal styles of the tester and child would enhance performance was found on one performance task.;It was suggested that future research should focus on the differential influence the examiner-examinee interaction has upon a broader range of cognitive tasks. Test administrators need to become more keenly aware of their personal influence as it interacts with the subjects' interpersonal style within the individual assessment process.
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