Just Like Buses

Psychology tests – you wait for ages, then three come along at once. In the wake of the VAK and Myers-Briggs tests at last Monday’s In-Service, I volunteered to take part in some research at the weekend – the snappily entitled, “UK Standardisation of Rivermead Behavioural Memory Test III and UK Validation Study of Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System.” I was drained just from reading the title. When the tests finished 3.5 hours later, I felt as though I’d been hit over the head with a mallet.
To cut a long title down to a short story, these are the simple facts:

  • Studies of impairment necessarily require norm referencing
  • The norms of the aforementioned tests were drawn from research in the USA
  • UK norms are currently being sought by means of current tests

As the tests are sent away (Canterbury Christchurch University) to be marked, there will no results as such for me. So, did I learn anything? Language- and memory-based tests seemed to go well enough. Visual, observational and especially spatial tests proved more difficult – especially the Tower of Hanoi game – try it with 5 disks – it’s fun – honestly! But these experiences turned out pretty much as expected. What I hadn’t anticipated was the third of the following outcomes:

  • A yes/no answer – you choose – it’s over
  • Working against the clock – you run out of ideas or time
  • No apparent solution – no time limit – the only exit – despair – I genuinely felt the frustration of the pupil looking at a clock which just won’t speed up