AuthorBabcock, Judith Lynn, 1955-
AdvisorSechrest, Lee B.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractRetrospective pretests provide a potentially useful elaboration on research methodology if they can be shown to be dependable under specific sets of conditions. Previous studies have examined response-shift bias and response-style effects, but less attention has been given to memory distortion associated with the retrospective recall of diverse types of variables. Identifying psychometric characteristics of these measures may help to clarify the picture emerging from retrospective accounts. The present study applied a methodology developed to measure the systematic error (i.e., memory distortion) that may be associated with variables involving a range of recall tasks. The study examined which types of variables account for the least measurement error in retrospective pretests administered at three time points. The types of variables examined in this study include students' self-ratings of academic abilities, self-reported attitudes and opinions about college, mood states, and perceptions of general health. The results of this study indicate that there was no main effect of time on any of the pairs of difference scores, and a moderate level of memory distortion was detected in the three variable types examined. The methodology applied provides an effective approach to understanding the effect of memory distortion on retrospective pretest variables. The author recommends that future applications of this methodology be applied to heterogeneous populations, investigate a range of complex variables, and include an examination of individual subject differences.
Degree ProgramGraduate College