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Self-Report Inventory

Neal M. Kingston

Subject Psychology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405161251.2009.x


A self-report inventory is a type of assessment intended to measure a person's interests, attitudes, or personality. As the name implies, a self-report inventory is one where individuals are asked to respond to questions about themselves, rather than a measure which obtains information from direct observation (in either a natural or artificial setting) by one or more third parties. Self-report inventories use a variety of item formats. Many use a Likert format, where respondents, in response to a statement, select from choices like: 1) very much like me; 2) somewhat like me; 3) neither like nor unlike me; 4) somewhat unlike me; or 5) very much unlike me. Others require examinees to respond Yes or No to statements such as “I would rather go to watch a play than go to a party” Others require respondents to endorse one of two statements as being more like themselves. The advantages of self-report inventories are that they are fast, inexpensive, and collect information from the person with the most intimate knowledge of the subject. The primary disadvantage is that they are subject to bias, both because a person is responding to fairly subjective questions from a single point of view, and because those responses may be tinged by a desire to look good or to look bad. The assessment of personal characteristics has been of interest since at least the beginnings of astrology, approximately ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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