Norms in Human Development by Leslie Smith and Jacques Voneche – The distinction between norms and facts is long-standing in providing a challenge for psychology. Norms exist as directives, commands, rules, customs and ideals, playing a constitutive role in human action and thought. Norms lay down ‘what has to be’ (the necessary, possible or impossible) and ‘what has to be done’ (the obligatory, the permitted or the forbidden) and so go beyond the ‘is’ of causality. During two millennia, norms made an essential contribution to accounts of the mind, yet the twentieth century witnessed an abrupt change in the science of psychology where norms were typically either excluded altogether or reduced to causes. The central argument in this book is twofold. Firstly, the approach in twentieth-century psychology is flawed. Secondly, norms operating interdependently with causes can be investigated empirically and theoretically in cognition, culture and morality. Human development is a norm-laden process.
The Learning Sciences in Educational Assessment: The Role of Cognitive Models by Jacqueline Leighton and Mark Gierl – There is mounting hope in the United States that federal legislation in the form of No Child Left Behind will improve educational outcomes. As titanic as the challenge appears to be, however, the solution could be at our fingertips. This volume identifies visual types of cognitive models in reading, science and mathematics for researchers, test developers, school administrators, policy makers and teachers. In the process of identifying these cognitive models, the book also explores methodological or translation issues to consider as decisions are made about how to generate psychologically informative and psychometrically viable large-scale assessments based on the learning sciences. Initiatives to overhaul educational systems in disrepair may begin with national policies, but the success of these policies will hinge on how well stakeholders begin to rethink what is possible with a keystone of the educational system: large-scale assessment.
Intelligent Testing by James Kaufman – The field of intelligence testing has been revolutionized by Alan S. Kaufman. He developed the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children–Revised (WISC-R) with David Wechsler, and his best-selling book, Intelligent Testing with the WISC-R, introduced the phrase ‘intelligent testing’. Kaufman, with his wife, Nadeen, then created his own series of tests: the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children (K-ABC), the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement (K-TEA), the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT), and many others. The K-ABC, the first major intelligence test to challenge the Wechsler, helped raise the bar for future tests. This is a celebration of his life’s work, with contributions by a ‘who’s who’ in IQ testing, including Bruce Bracken, Dawn Flanagan, Elaine Fletcher-Janzen, Randy Kamphaus, Nancy Mather, Steve McCallum, Jack Naglieri, Tom Oakland, Cecil Reynolds, and Robert Sternberg, is edited by his son James, and features essays expanding on his work and ideas from former colleagues.
Human Intelligence by Earl Hunt – This book is a comprehensive survey of our scientific knowledge about human intelligence, written by a researcher who has spent more than 30 years studying the field, receiving a Lifetime Contribution award from the International Society for Intelligence. Human Intelligence takes a non-ideological view of a topic in which, too often, writings are dominated by a single theory or social viewpoint. The book discusses the conceptual status of intelligence as a collection of cognitive skills that include, but also go beyond, those skills evaluated by conventional tests; intelligence tests and their analysis; contemporary theories of intelligence; biological and social causes of intelligence; the importance of intelligence in social, industrial, and educational spheres; the role of intelligence in determining success in life, both inside and outside educational settings; and the nature and causes of variations in intelligence across age, gender, and racial and ethnic groups.
Psychological Testing: An Introduction by George Domino and Marla Domino – This book is an introductory text to the field of psychological testing primarily suitable for undergraduate students in psychology, education, business, and related fields. This book will also be of interest to graduate students who have not had a prior exposure to psychological testing and to professionals such as lawyers who need to consult a useful source. Psychological Testing is clearly written, well-organized, comprehensive, and replete with illustrative materials. In addition to the basic topics, the text covers in detail topics that are often neglected by other texts such as cross-cultural testing, the issue of faking tests, the impact of computers and the use of tests to assess positive behaviors such as creativity.
Dennis Relojo is the founder of Psychreg and is also the Editor-in-Chief of Psychreg Journal of Psychology. Aside from PJP, he sits on the editorial boards of peer-reviewed journals, and is a Commissioning Editor for the International Society of Critical Health Psychology. A Graduate Member of the British Psychological Society, Dennis holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Hertfordshire. His research interest lies in the intersection of psychology and blogging. You can connect with him through Twitter @DennisRelojo and his website.