From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Wordsum is a 10-item vocabulary test that has been included as an item on the General Social Survey (GSS) in most survey years since 1974.[1] Each of the test's items ranges in difficulty from very easy to very difficult. It is widely used in research in the social and behavioral sciences.[2] It is taken by about 1,000 people in each year in which it is included as part of the GSS.[3] Its administration involves showing respondents a card containing 10 words, and then asking them to find the synonym for each of them out of a set of five choices.[4] Although most researchers have implicitly assumed that each item on the test deserves equal weight, its validity can be improved by considering the variance for each word separately.[5]


  1. ^ Siegel, Jacob S. (2017-10-25). Demographic and Socioeconomic Basis of Ethnolinguistics. Springer. p. 227. ISBN 9783319617787.
  2. ^ Cor, M. Ken; Haertel, Edward; Krosnick, Jon A.; Malhotra, Neil (2012). "Improving ability measurement in surveys by following the principles of IRT: The Wordsum vocabulary test in the General Social Survey". Social Science Research. 41 (5): 1003–1016. doi:10.1016/j.ssresearch.2012.05.007. PMID 23017913.
  3. ^ Huang, Min-Hsiung; Hauser, Robert (1998). "Trends in Black-White test-score differentials: II. The WORDSUM vocabulary test.". The rising curve: Long-term gains in IQ and related measures. pp. 303–332. doi:10.1037/10270-011. ISBN 1-55798-503-0.
  4. ^ Menie, Michael A. Woodley of; Fernandes, Heitor B. F.; José Figueredo, Aurelio; Meisenberg, Gerhard (2015). "By their words ye shall know them: Evidence of genetic selection against general intelligence and concurrent environmental enrichment in vocabulary usage since the mid 19th century". Frontiers in Psychology. 6: 361. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00361. ISSN 1664-1078. PMC 4404736. PMID 25954211.
  5. ^ "The Psychometric Properties of the GSS Wordsum Vocabulary Test". gss.norc.org. 2007. Retrieved 2018-03-11.