Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

The questions most frequently
asked of Behavior Data Systems (BDS) are listed below. If you would like
more information or have other questions, please contact us.

  1. Why use Behavior Data Systems tests?

  2. How do these testing
    systems work?

  3. Who can use these tests?

  4. How can you tell if the
    person taking the test was truthful?

  5. How can you test the
    reading impaired?

  6. How is confidentiality

  7. Are these tests reliable
    and valid?

  8. What are the advantages of
    a built-in database?

  9. Are these tests

  10. Risk Ranges explained.

  11. How about research support?

  12. Are BDS tests available online?


Why use Behavior Data Systems tests?
In addition to alcohol and drugs, Behavior Data Systems (BDS) tests gather other
valuable information. All BDS tests contain a Truthfulness
Scale to determine the amount of test taker denial, minimization and
faking. And, each test varies according to the client population being
evaluated. Consequently, BDS tests measure important
behaviors missed by other tests. BDS has different tests for
different client populations and different evaluation purposes.
BDS tests are designed for drug courts, adult and juvenile general
population courts, probation departments, corrections (prisons),
parole departments, sex offender evaluations, DUI/DWI offender
screening, violence (lethality) assessment, anger management programs,
shoplifter testing, substance abuse treatment, counseling programs and
other assessment settings. Visit BDS' test list
page for more specific information on tests that you are interested


How do these testing systems
Behavior Data
Systems (BDS) test users are registered and may purchase diskettes which
contain 25 or 50 test applications. Windows
applications require a one-time installation procedure after which the 25
or 50 test data diskettes are used. Training manuals are provided
free. Support services are available by e-mail, telephone and fax.
Clients can complete the tests on the computer's screen or using the
paper/pencil method with the answers manually entered into the computer
by the evaluator at their convenience. When all
test applications contained on a diskette are used, diskettes are
returned to BDS. Prior to returning a diskette, the "delete names"
option can be used to ensure confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA
(federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501). Test data and
demographics are retained for ongoing research. Data on returned
diskettes is downloaded into that test's expanding database for annual
analysis. And, annual summary reports can also be provided. Ongoing
database research ensures quality control. Annual test program
summaries provide for program self-evaluation.

Test users that want to test over the internet should visit
. You can purchase tests as you need them. This eliminates expensive testing
inventories. BDS has exclusively contracted with Online-Testing to provide BDS tests online at $9.95
(U.S. currency) per test. Volume discounts are available for clients that administer over 800 tests
a year. For more Online-Testing information e-mail

Who can use these tests?
A wide variety of staff uses evaluation, assessment and screening
instruments. Applications range from troubled youth programs through
pre-employment screening and chemical dependency treatment. Users
include, but are not limited to, school personnel, counselors, DUI/DWI
providers, probation officers, private practitioners, parole officers, juvenile and adult
courts, diversion programs, EAP's, HMO's and other professionals.
Training manuals and related materials are provided. Tests assess
client risk and need in each of the scales (measurements) that
comprise the tests. They produce risk-related working hypothesis and
are to be used by experienced staff. These tests do not diagnose.
BDS registers
its test users and only registered users
are allowed to administer its tests.


How can you tell if the
person taking the test was truthful?
It would be naive to
assume everybody answers all test questions honestly. That's why 
Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. (BDS) uses Truthfulness Scales and Truth-Corrected
scores. The Truthfulness Scale determines how honest the person was
while completing the test. The Truthfulness Scale detects denial and
faking. Error of measurement associated with untruthfulness is
identified and applied to each test's scale scores, resulting in
Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-correcting is standardized on the test
population. Raw scores may only reflect what the person being tested
wants you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the test taker
is trying to hide. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw
scores. The Truthfulness Scale is discussed on each test webpage.

How can you test the
reading impaired?
Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. (BDS)  tests are available
in English and Spanish. Reading levels typically vary around the 5th
or 6th grade. "Short-Form" versions of several tests have been
developed for reading impaired assessment. Many BDS
tests are now available in the Audio (Human Voice) Reading test
administration mode. This option is new and innovative. The client
sits before the computer with earphones on. Earphones ensure clarity
while eliminating distractions. The "arrow keys" allow the client to
switch back and forth between questions and answers. As each question
or answer is highlighted, it is read to the client. The client can go
back and forth as many times as needed. When the client selects an
answer, the program advances to the next question. Reading can be in
any language, such as English, Spanish or Native American. This
innovative approach to reading impaired evaluation resolves most
bilingual, cultural and reading impaired screening problems.

6. How is confidentiality
BDS tests are used
internationally in several countries, such as, Canada, the United Kingdom
and the United States. And, there has never been a confidentiality problem. The
confidentiality of the test taker is insured and compliance with HIPAA
(federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501) with the "delete client names"
option. Before returning a used
diskette to BDS,  the "delete client names" option can
be used. Once test takers' names are deleted, they are removed from
the diskette. Demographics and test data are retained for subsequent
database analysis and annual program summary. The "delete names"
option is explained in each test's "Orientation & Training Manual" and
"Computer Operating Guide."

Are these tests reliable and
Correlations between a test and
criteria are called validity coefficients and concurrent validity.
These types of validity have been demonstrated with each test and a
variety of criteria. The tests measure what they purport to measure.
For example, the DRI-II accurately classifies DUI/DWI offenders in
representative risk range classification categories. The DRI-II has been
validated with other objective measures, selected MMPI scales,
experienced staff judgment, polygraph exams, DUI/DWI screening
instruments and other DUI/DWI tests. College students and non-DUI
clients are represented in this research. Yet, the DRI-II has also been
standardized on over one million DUI/DWI offenders. As concluded by
NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) in DOT HS 807 475,
"The DRI-II appears to be by far the most carefully constructed DWI test
. . . Reliability is well established and validity is based on the
DRI-II's relationship to other established measures." Continuing, "In
settings where it has been adopted as the primary screening instrument
for processing convicted drunk drivers, substance abuse counselors
have reported that it improves the quality of their decisions while
making their task less time-intensive." Reliability studies
demonstrate impressive reliability coefficients.

Each test's webpage has a link to that test's
reliability, validity and accuracy research.  In some cases a
specific test-related study is presented, whereas in other cases a
test's "Inventory of Scientific Findings" research is presented. 
If additional research is desired, interested parties should contact
Behavior Data Systems.

New tests are introduced via field tests. And, upon
standardization, each test's database continues to expand with each
test that is administered. New tests have smaller databases than
established tests. Database research provides a cost efficient
approach to sustaining ongoing research on a test-specific basis.
Sometimes, a scale may be standardized with one test, incorporated in
another test for subsequent standardization on a different population.
For example, the Stress Coping Abilities Scale has been incorporated
in several of our assessment instruments, and its statistical
properties (reliability, validity, etc.) continue to be very

BDS continues to
support independent research. Students are encouraged to utilize these
tests in their masters studies and doctoral dissertations. Prior to
participating, BDS requires a letter of intent specifying the name,
address and telephone number of the doctoral supervisor and/or
committee chairman. A research discount can be available for approved
research conducted by qualified independent scientists. BDS tests'
demonstrated reliability, validity and accuracy provide a sound
empirical basis for decision making.

8. What are the advantages of a
built-in database?
software is designed with the capability to save the data, from each
test that is administered, in a confidential (no names) manner. This
procedure allows continued expansion of the test database with each
test that is scored. Databases permit research opportunities that
were not possible before. For example, BDS' DRI-II database constitutes
one of the most extensive databases ever gathered in the DUI field.
Databases permit ongoing research as well as annual statewide program
summary -- with no additional imposition on staff time and at no
additional cost. Until now, many agencies have lacked the technical
capability and budget necessary for database analysis and summary.
Ongoing database research ensures meaningful quality control. Annual
summary reports provide program self-evaluation.

Built-in databases are an important feature of
BDS' tests.  Consequently, databases are discussed frequently in
the following webpages.

9. Are these tests
By most psychometric standards, these tests are
not expensive. BDS' test unit fee is $9.95 (U.S.A.)
per test. BDS' proven research continues to deliver the highest
assessment quality, at remarkably affordable prices. Test unit fees
are not only nominal, but everything else is included free. Included
at no additional cost are test booklets in English and Spanish,
computerized human voice reading of tests, staff
orientation and training manuals, ongoing research, annual summary
reports and support services. Volume discounts are also available.
We're so sure you'll like these tests that we offer a 30-day money
back guarantee.

BDS also has an exclusive contract with to provide
our tests on an online testing platform at $9.95 per test. Online Testing
also provides volume discounts for providers that use over 500 tests a

Additional cost or test unit fee information can be
provided by e-mail to
fax at (602) 266-8227, telephone at
(602) 234-3506, or letter to:

Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.

P.O. Box 44256

Phoenix, Arizona 85064-4256

NOTE: Barring a national catastrophe, once our test
unit fee is established - it does not change. Consequently, price changes do not
apply to established or current clients.

Risk Ranges explained: 
BDS tests determine client risk by a series of
equations, which classify clients according to four risk ranges. These
risk ranges and the percentages of clients expected to fall in each
risk range are as follows: low (zero-39th percentile or
39%), medium (40-69th percentile or 30%), problem (70-89th
percentile or 20%) and severe problem (90-100th percentile
or 11%). A problem is identified when a client's
scale score is at or above the 70th percentile.

These percentages were initially derived from available literature.
Subsequently they have been endorsed by our peers and test users
across the United States.




Risk Range



Low Risk 0 - 39% 39%
Medium Risk 40 - 69% 30%

Problem Risk

70 - 89%


Severe Problem

90 - 100%


Validity analyses support the use of these risk
ranges. Problem risk (70th percentile and above) identifies at
least 98 percent of clients who have problems. In these analyses, clients
who have had treatment are assumed to have problems. These clients are
compared to clients who have not had treatment (no problem). Within these
two groups, clients who scored at or above the 70th percentile
are compared to clients who scored at or below the 39th
percentile (low risk). In every analyses studied, at least 98 percent of
the clients who had treatment scored at or above the 70th
percentile. These findings support the 70th percentile as the
threshold for identifying problems.

Classifying clients according to pre-defined risk
ranges provides an efficient and workable solution to the complex problem
of determining client risk. In this way risk range classification accuracy
can be determined. The percentages of clients falling into each risk range
should closely approximate these predicted (cognitively established) risk
range percentages. All BDS tests are demonstrated to be
accurate within two or three percent of predicted risk range percentages.

How about research support?

Behavior Data Systems (BDS) actively supports research involving its
tests.  We support research by providing BDS test materials and the
use of the BDS tests at little or no cost to approved researchers.  Students
are required to provide the name and address of their major professor,
chair or faculty advisor that will be BDS' contact person. 
Interested parties should contact BDS by telephone
(602) 234-3506, fax
(602) 266-8227 or e-mail

12. Are BDS tests available online?
To insure Behavior Data Systems (BDS) tests are readily available, BDS signed and exclusive internet testing
contract with Professional Online Testing Solutions, Inc. (
) to offer BDS tests over Online-Testings internet platform. We are in the process
of bringing all 40+ BDS tests online. Questions pertaining to Online-Testing's provision of BDS tests over the
internet should be directed


Behavior Data Systems (BDS)

can access each of its tests built-in databases
for statistical analysis and summarization of all tests administered. 
Annual Summary Reports are prepared for states, provinces, departments,
agencies and even some individual providers -- at no cost to them. 
These reports are provided as a professional courtesy to large volume test
users.  Summary reports include demographics, court-history when
relevant and test statistics (reliability and validity). 
Has anyone offered to summarize your testing program?  Annually? At
no additional cost to you?  Minimum testing volume for annual reports
is 800 tests.  There is no maximum limit.  BDS' annual reports
range in size from 800 tests to over 50,000 tests annually.   An
example Annual Summary Report can be viewed by clicking on this
Annual Summary Report

Test-related questions vary
widely.  Consequently, BDS' e-mail address provides a way to pursue topics of interest, resolve
ambiguities, get answers to questions or assist others.  And,
additional information can be provided upon request;  BDS' e-mail address

Contact Us

Additional information can be provided upon request by writing:

Behavior Data Systems, Ltd.

P.O. Box 44256
Phoenix, Arizona 85064-4256.

Our telephone number is (602) 234-3506

Our fax number is (602) 266-8227

and our e-mail address is

Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. Copyright © 2007. All Rights Reserved

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