Critique of the Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test: The More You Know, the Lower Your Score

Kevin Possin


The Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test is one of the oldest, most frequently used, multiple-choice critical-thinking tests on the market in business, government, and legal settings for purposes of hiring and promotion. I demonstrate, however, that the test has serious construct-validity issues, stemming primarily from its ambiguous, unclear, misleading, and sometimes mysterious instructions, which have remained unaltered for decades. Erroneously scored items further diminish the test’s validity. As a result, having enhanced knowledge of formal and informal logic could well result in test subjects receiving lower scores on the test. That’s not how things should work for a CT assessment test.


Arguments, construct validity, content validity, Critical-thinking skills, Critical-thinking assessment, Deductive and inductive reasoning, Syllogistic reasoning, Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal Test

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ISSN: 0824-2577