Scoring with the LAS
- Scorable units
Scoring with the LAS involves identifying a scorable unit of text and examining both the explicit structure of its arguments and the implict structure of its conceptual elements.
Prior to scoring, texts should be divided into scorable units (protocols). When interviews or essay items are structured, responses to individual standard probes or items can be treated as protocols. When interviews are open-ended, there is no predetermined basis for segmentation. In the latter case, a set of criteria are required to determine what constitutes a scorable segment. The following criteria should be employed in the first case to determine the scorability of a segment, and in the latter case to select segments for scoring:
A scorable unit, should, as much as is possible, represent a complete argument for a given proposition or related set of propositions, including all of the “why” probes and responses associated with that argument.
- When two or more arguments are intertwined in the same text, the text is left intact and scored only once; and
- Arguments must include responses to “why” probes or spontaneous justifications, because these, much more than the propositions themselves, reveal the structure of participants’ thinking. When these are not present, the argument is not scorable, and should be dropped from the analysis.
It is desireable to include 5 or more standard probes in every interview or assessment. This greatly simplifies the scoring process and provides structure for quantitative analyses. It also provides an adequate number of "items" for achieving the level of statistical reliability required for individual assessment.
Learning to score with the LAS is a long and challenging process that involves many hours of instruction and study. Approximately once a year, we begin a course of instruction for a few carefully selected candidates. At this time, we only teach qualified individuals who are working with DTS/DiscoTest. Our Certified Analysts are the only people who can legally call themselves Lectical Analysts or claim to be using the LAS to score performances.
From time to time, we also offer introductory courses that cover the core literature and basics of the scoring system. These courses do not qualify participants to score, but do provide the basic knowledge required to effectively conduct research with lectical assessments and DiscoTests.
Click here to view a slide show about scoring that includes some practice texts.