Real world critical thinking skills are not evaluated as part of the criteria, and it could be argued that success at a relatively low college level does not mean the student is capable of independent and critical analytical thought.
Q4. What evidence is presented regarding the construct-related validity of the NCTT? Evaluate the meaning and adequacy of this evidence.
A test having high construct-related validity means that it adequately tests for or measures the construct or criteria originally set forth by the examiner. Nelson presented the test-takers with a passage on a controversial topic which contained “unstated assumptions, various pieces of data/evidence, and several inferences,” and then subjected the test-taker to a series of 32 multiple-choice items. The responses would then be scored from 2 (best or most critical response), 1 (acceptable response), or 0 (incorrect or a response indicating a lack of critical thinking skills). To minimize bias in favor or against a political argument, two rather than one correct answers were included, one less correct answer, and one incorrect answer.
While this test seems like a good test of critical READING, Nelsons supposed intention was to test critical thinking skills in a more holistic sense, and this passage is solely dependent upon being able to read and interpret a passage.
However, it does test the ability to evaluate arguments to some degree, which is how the test creator defined critical thinking.
Q5. Describe one use of the NCTT that you believe is justified, given the information provided in the manual.
This might be a good test for students entering college to see if they are able to evaluate and weigh arguments in print. Students who cannot do so may need basic skills training in reading to succeed in social studies and humanities classes, and even in the natural sciences.
Q6. Describe one use of the NCTT that you believe is not justified, given the information provided in the manual. In order for the NCTT to be used in this way (or for this purpose), what information would you like to see in the manual?
Using the NCTT as an evaluation of young adults intelligence would be unfair, given the degree to which it relies upon trained academic skills such as weighing pros and cons and understanding the presentation of logical evidence in an essay format. Correlations with scores and existing intelligence tests would be necessary to allow it.