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July 2022

Calibration of measures for psychotherapy outcome studies

Author(s): Mcknight, P., Mcknight, K.

Journal/Book: Amer Psychol. 1996; 51: 750 First St NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Amer Psychological Assoc. 1065-1071.

Abstract: Many findings in psychology, including those in psycho therapy, lack interpretability because measures are not in any meaningful metric. Measures need to be calibrated so as to endow them with inherent meaning. In particular it is important to calibrate measures against behaviors and real events in people's lives. Approaches to calibrating measures include calibration against direct personal experience, against cross-experiential equivalents, and against cross-modal equivalents, to reflect empirically established behavioral implications as well as just noticeable differences in behavior or between people. Psychological measures may never be as closely calibrated as those for physical properties, but wider reporting of unstandardized regression equations would be of great help. Psychological measures also need to be calibrated against each other so as to permit easy transformations of values or substitutions of measures. Finally, greater standardization of measures is recommended so as to produce better bases for calibration.

Note: Article L Sechrest, Univ Arizona, Dept Psychol, 114 Psychol Bldg, Tucson, AZ 85721 USA


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