KEY FEATURES: A student-friendly writing style makes the content more approachable for readers to retain. Personal stories from fellows of the Association of Psychological Science (APS) convey to readers that even the most distinguished experts make mistakes that can be avoided through examination. Critical thinking questions give students the opportunity to reflect on preceding essays. Stories from all areas of psychology appeal to learners beyond subfields of psychology.

Failure to Conduct a Pilot Study

Failure to Conduct a Pilot Study

Frank C. Worrell

My Biggest Mistake

I am very interested in how adolescents’ thoughts about themselves—that is, variables such as self-concept, ethnic identity, and time attitudes—affect their educational and psychological functioning. These variables are sometimes referred to as psychosocial constructs, as they reflect an individual’s psyche, but also have an impact on their functioning in different social contexts, such as school. Psychosocial constructs are typically measured using questionnaires. Early in my career, much of my research involved examining the scores on questionnaires assessing latent constructs (e.g., self-efficacy, self-concept) to determine if these scores were psychometrically sound or valid, that is, consistently measuring what they were supposed to be measuring. If an instrument’s scores are ...

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