Investigation of the optimal response scale for personality measurement : computer–based testing / Elizabeth Maria Classen
Classen, Elizabeth Maria
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return and payback period. All these above techniques will be analysed in three different scenarios, namely: 1. Mine X will stay with its current operations without any new projects. 2. The development project will begin immediately. 3. A six–month delay in development of the project. The study found that the net present value was positive, the internal rate of return was more than the discount rate and the payback period was shorter than the project’s life–time regarding to all three above–mentioned scenarios. The highest net present value is calculated in case the project starts immediately. Both the internal rate of return and the payback period indicated that a six month delay in the project is the most viable. After considering all the facts, the study concluded due to the highest net present value the best feasible recommendation would be to start the project immediately. The value of this study is that it is the first study to investigate the relationship between the viability to delay or to start the investment project immediately in the South African mining industry. This study is also unique, since it takes into account how mining industries world–wide can achieve long–term success through development projects without losing key players, due to impulsive short–term downsizing decisions. To be able to use personality tests in the most reliable and valid manner there are many considerations to be taken into account. Variables such as the population used, the culture of the test–takers, the mode of administration, whether pencil–and–paper or computer–based testing procedures, familiarity with computers when using computer–based tests and the response format to be used when administering the personality questionnaire are but some of the considerations. Within South Africa it is that much more important to consider the mode of administration, whether pencil–and–paper tests or computer–based tests, as there are many individual groups who have been historically disadvantaged when it comes to the use of computers as a testing method. It is just as important to consider the response scale to be utilised when administering personality testing as this may influence the results obtained and can influence the reliability and validity of these results. The objective of this study was to determine which response scale, dichotomous or polytomous, was the best to use when conducting computer–based personality testing. The questionnaire that was utilised was the South African Personality Inventory (SAPI) questionnaire; however, only items from the Soft–Heartedness cluster were employed as the objective was not to test the questionnaire but to test the most reliable and valid response scale to be used in conjunction with the questionnaire. A convenience sampling approach was utilised and the questionnaire was administered to students who were available and able to take the test (N = 724). Descriptive statistics, factor analysis and Cronbach Alpha coefficients were used to analyse the data obtained.
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