Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
We currently publish four issues per year, which accounts for some 100 articles annually. We admit work from both the basic and applied research fields, and from all areas of Psychology, all manuscripts being anonymously reviewed prior to publication.

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Is Correcting for Acquiescence Increasing the External Validity of Personality Test Scores?

Ana Hernández-Dorado, Andreu Vigil-Colet, Urbano Lorenzo-Seva, and Pere J. Ferrando

Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Background: Balanced scales control for acquiescence (ACQ) because the tendency of the respondent to agree with the positive items is cancelled out by the tendency to agree with opposite-pole items. When full balance is achieved, ACQ is not expected to affect external validity. Otherwise, attenuated estimates are expected to appear if no control methods such as Lorenzo-Seva & Ferrando’s (2009) are used.  Method: Expected results were derived analytically. Subsequently, a simulation was carried out to assess (a) how ACQ impacted external validity and (b) how validity estimates behaved when ACQ was corrected. Two illustrative examples are provided. Results: A sizable number of items and/or high content loadings tended to decrease ACQ’s impact on validity estimates, making the empirical coefficient closer to its structural value. Furthermore, when scales were well balanced, the controlled and uncorrected scores were close to each other, and led to unbiased validity estimates. When the scales were unbalanced and no corrections were used, attenuated empirical validity coefficients inevitably appeared. Conclusions: Designing a well-balanced test or correcting for ACQ are the best ways to minimize attenuation in external validity estimation.

¿La Corrección por Aquiescencia Aumenta la Validez Externa de las Puntuaciones en Personalidad? Antecedentes:  construir escalas balanceadas permite controlar la aquiescencia (ACQ), haciendo que la tendencia del encuestado a estar de acuerdo con los ítems positivos se cancele con la tendencia a estar de acuerdo con los ítems del polo opuesto. En caso contrario, se esperarán estimaciones atenuadas de los coeficientes de validez externa en caso de no utilizar algún método de control (Lorenzo-Seva & Ferrando, 2009).  Método:  se llevó a cabo (a) un desarrollo analítico (b) una simulación para evaluar (a) el impacto de ACQ en la validez externa y (b) el comportamiento de las estimaciones de validez cuando se corrige por ACQ. Incluyendo finalmente dos ejemplos ilustrativos. Resultados: número alto de ítems y/o cargas altas en el factor de contenido tienden a disminuir el impacto de ACQ en las estimaciones de validez. Además, con escalas balanceadas por diseño, las diferencias entre las puntuaciones corregidas y no corregidas son menores, llevando a estimaciones de validez insesgadas. En escalas no balanceadas ni corregidas aparece una atenuación en el coeficiente de validez empírico. Conclusiones: diseñar pruebas balanceadas o corregir ACQ son las mejores maneras de minimizar la atenuación en la estimación de la validez externa.


Impact factor 2021:   JCR (WOS): 3.890 (Q1)   |   SJR (Scopus) : 1.308 (Q1)    |  CiteScore 2020: 5,3