Buros-Nebraska Series on Measurement and Testing


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From The Influence of Cognitive Psychology on Testing, edited by Royce R. Ronning, John A. Glover, Jane C. Conoley, and Joseph C. Witt (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1987)


Copyright © 1987 Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. Digital Edition Copyright © 2012 Buros Center for Testing.


For over 40 years Oscar K. Buros was Director of the Buros Institute of Mental Measurements and Editor of the Mental Measurements Yearbooks. He was a crusader, and he devoted his entire career to his crusade. He was a crusader for better tests and the more effective selection and use of tests, and he used the Mental Measurements Yearbooks as the principal instrument in this crusade. Buros passed away in 1978, and his widow, Luella Buros, worked tirelessly to find a new home for the Institute. As a result of her efforts the Institute was relocated at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.

The new Buros Institute has sponsored an annual symposium called the Buros-Nebraska Symposium on Measurement and Testing. The prominence of the name of Buros in the symposium title attests to our interest in using the symposium as still another vehicle for contributing to the Buros crusade. There is always the hope the events of the symposium will have some influence on the development of better tests or the more effective selection and use of tests. At our second symposium, for example, Dr. Gene Glass, the keynote speaker, emphasized the field of measurement had become too isolated from its roots in psychology and had suffered grievously from lack of theoretical relevance to other fields and from the contributions that other fields could make to its development. His plea was reminiscent of that made earlier by Anne Anastasi. The theme for the third Buros-Nebraska symposium might be said to have taken this lament in the most serious manner possible. As we planned the third symposium, there were several people in the planning committee who felt the field of cognitive psychology had done much in recent years that had important implications for how and what we should measure and for the improvement of measurement instruments. And thus was born the theme of our third symposium and the basis for this third symposium book: The Influence of Cognitive Psychology on Testing.

The development of the theme and plans for this third symposium and book is an interesting history of the stage-setting influence of the Buros "crusade" for better tests combined with the search in all of our symposia for the best ways to improve those tests. It is obviously our hope that the reader will find the results of this theme development to be both interesting and illuminating.