Research Topic

New Challenges in Globalized Societies: Cross-cultural Studies and Test Adaptation

About this Research Topic

Tests have become one of the basic tools to carry large-scale psychological and educational evaluations. In globalized societies, having common elements of evaluation allows the comparison and measurement of subjects from different cultures and backgrounds, with assurances that the instruments are free of bias, and consequently, that the assessments are objective. However, obtaining such instruments involves overcoming serious drawbacks that arise in their development. Among other aspects, these disadvantages are mainly due to the cultural origin of the populations to be measured with the same instrument.

In practice, this question involves considering all aspects, from the connotative and denotative meaning of each word to the very interpretation of the test scores. That is why it is not enough to translate literally the items of an already validated test in one population and apply them directly in a different language and culture. Instead, in addition to guaranteeing certain linguistic equivalences or construct, as well as developing new standards, it is necessary to obtain empirical evidence of validity again, in the broad sense of the term, in the new population.

This issue is of such relevance that it was already revealed in 1985, when the American Educational Research Association (AERA), together with the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) published the Standards for Educational Testing and Psychological. It provides a theoretical framework to assist in the process of test adaptation and, although today they have been modified and completed with the new guidelines developed by the International Test Commission (ITC), it served to warn the possible sources of error that may arise during the adaptation process. The ITC regularly publishes and updates the standards for the adaptation of tests, wherein the latest 2017 version we can find a checklist of the fundamental aspects that need to be done. However, although the importance and relevance of the problem are understood by all and made explicit more than 30 years ago, studies by Rios and Sireci in 2014 shows that most publications that propose adaptations do not follow ITC standards.

In this Research Topic, we would like to address the importance of test adaptations in cross-cultural studies. Therefore, the articles submitted must show contributions from a theoretical, or, applied and empirical, point of view in the field of cross-cultural research and the adaptation of tests.


Keywords: psychometrics, cross-cultural studies, test adaptation, validity, analytical strategies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Tests have become one of the basic tools to carry large-scale psychological and educational evaluations. In globalized societies, having common elements of evaluation allows the comparison and measurement of subjects from different cultures and backgrounds, with assurances that the instruments are free of bias, and consequently, that the assessments are objective. However, obtaining such instruments involves overcoming serious drawbacks that arise in their development. Among other aspects, these disadvantages are mainly due to the cultural origin of the populations to be measured with the same instrument.

In practice, this question involves considering all aspects, from the connotative and denotative meaning of each word to the very interpretation of the test scores. That is why it is not enough to translate literally the items of an already validated test in one population and apply them directly in a different language and culture. Instead, in addition to guaranteeing certain linguistic equivalences or construct, as well as developing new standards, it is necessary to obtain empirical evidence of validity again, in the broad sense of the term, in the new population.

This issue is of such relevance that it was already revealed in 1985, when the American Educational Research Association (AERA), together with the American Psychological Association (APA) and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME) published the Standards for Educational Testing and Psychological. It provides a theoretical framework to assist in the process of test adaptation and, although today they have been modified and completed with the new guidelines developed by the International Test Commission (ITC), it served to warn the possible sources of error that may arise during the adaptation process. The ITC regularly publishes and updates the standards for the adaptation of tests, wherein the latest 2017 version we can find a checklist of the fundamental aspects that need to be done. However, although the importance and relevance of the problem are understood by all and made explicit more than 30 years ago, studies by Rios and Sireci in 2014 shows that most publications that propose adaptations do not follow ITC standards.

In this Research Topic, we would like to address the importance of test adaptations in cross-cultural studies. Therefore, the articles submitted must show contributions from a theoretical, or, applied and empirical, point of view in the field of cross-cultural research and the adaptation of tests.


Keywords: psychometrics, cross-cultural studies, test adaptation, validity, analytical strategies


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Abstract
28 February 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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