Title page for ETD etd-05102002-124122

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Craig, Stephen Bartholomew
Author's Email Address sbcraig@vt.edu
URN etd-05102002-124122
Title Implicit Theories and Beta Change in Longitudinal Evaluations of Training Effectiveness: An Investigation Using Item Response Theory
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Harvey, Robert J. Committee Chair
Carlson, Kevin D. Committee Member
Donovan, John J. Committee Member
Foti, Roseanne J. Committee Member
Hauenstein, Neil M. A. Committee Member
  • item response theory
  • leadership development
  • beta change
  • gamma change
  • response shift
  • training evaluation
  • implicit theories
  • 360 degree assessment
  • measurement equivalence
  • differential item functioning
Date of Defense 2002-04-30
Availability unrestricted
Golembiewski, Billingsly, and Yeager (1976) conceptualized three distinct types of change that might result from development interventions, called alpha, beta, and gamma change. Recent research has found that beta and gamma change do occur as hypothesized, but the phenomena are somewhat infrequent and the precise conditions under which they occur have not been established. This study used confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory to identify gamma and beta change on a multidimensional, multisource managerial performance appraisal instrument and to examine relations among the change types, training program content, and raters' implicit theories of performance. Results suggested that coverage in training was a necessary but not sufficient condition for beta and gamma change to occur. Further, although gamma change was detected only in the trainee group, beta change was detected in self-ratings from trainees and in ratings collected from their superiors. Because trainees' superiors were involved in post-training follow-up, this finding was interpreted as a possible diffusion of treatments effect (Campbell & Stanley, 1963). Contrary to expectations, there were no interpretable relations between raters' implicit theories of performance and either of the change types. Perhaps relatedly, more implicit theory change was detected among individuals providing observer ratings than in the trainees themselves. The implications of these findings for future research on plural change were discussed.
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