Date of this Version
Published in Social and Technical Issues in Testing: Implications for Test Construction and Usage, edited by Barbara S. Plake (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1984).
Tests are constructed and used to facilitate assessment and understanding of human beings in all their multifaceted complexity. Hence, testing by its very nature is both a scientific and a social endeavor.
The interplay between testing and society has resulted in both praise and criticism from concerned citizens, psychologists, educators, and numerous other professional and consumer groups. For over 40 years, Oscar K. Buros, as Director of The Institute of Mental Measurements and Editor of the Mental Measurements Yearbooks. contributed immensely to this interplay between testing practices and societal issues. On March 19, 1978, Oscar Buros died. Luella Buros , his wife and lifelong helpmate, completed the work on The Eighth Mental Measurements Yearbook with the support of the Institute's devoted staff. She also took steps to relocate the Institute to ensure the continuation of the Institute's scholarly work and services for test consumers. The new Buros Institute of Mental Measurements is now at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln and is under grant from The University of Nebraska Foundation.
An important objective of the new Buros Institute is to conduct an extended outreach effort that will help communicate more effectively with test users about contemporary issues in testing . Thus, it was the combination of recent social issues focusing on testing and our desire to fulfill more vigorously the mission of the Buros Institute that motivated the development of an annual scholarly symposium and this series on measurement and testing.
We intend each symposium and volume in this series to present state-of-the art knowledge that will contribute to the improvement of test construction and test usage. Such a schema will incorporate topics across a broad spectrum such as theoretical models of human behavior, test standardization procedures, social and legal factors in testing, administration of testing programs , and test-based decision making. Thus, the series will be focused thematically and yet be flexible enough to integrate current and future measurement and testing issues into its schema.
The success of our first Buros- Nebraska symposium and this volume is the result of the efforts of many individuals. We thank Luella Buros for having faith in us to carryon and extend a tradition that has become so important to the measurement field and to test users. Barbara Plake , as editor of the first volume in the series, made conceptual and editorial contributions that were of critical importance to its success. Finally, we want to thank Larry Erlbaum for his support, encouragement, and commitment to the project and to its timely completion.