May 4, 2015
Psychological testing is used in a variety of areas to obtain the understanding and knowledge of humans. This paper will discuss the four major categories of tests, the use of the tests as well as who uses the tests and why. This paper will also define the term test and evaluate the reliability and validity of tests.
A test is defined as a procedure that was established to evaluate the quality of performance or reliability of something. However, the definition of test in psychology is defined as a variety of tests that measure cognitive and behavioral activity in living things.
MAJOR CATEGORIES of TESTS
Mental ability tests were created and used to test the cognitive functions such as memory, spatial visualization, and creative thinking. This area of testing has historically been centered on intelligence. The use for these mental ability tests are to gain the understanding and to help diagnose or treat individuals who suffer from one type or many types of mental difficulties such as anxiety, depression or other mental issues. These issues can vary from very mild to severe behavioral or cognitive issues. Clinical psychologists use this type of testing for individuals (Hogan, 2007).
Achievement tests were created as a way to determine an individual’s knowledge or a specific area of skills. Achievement tests are often used by schools to determine the level of learning as well as gaining a behavioral rating from an individual. These tests are also used as a tool to understand a child’s development. Achievement tests are used by school psychologists’, counselors, and even developmental psychologists (Hogan, 2007).
Personality tests were designed as a way of gathering information about a human’s personality. Psychologists in clinics and school settings may use this test as a way of gaining information about an individual’s personal characteristics. This type of test tells about the person and provides bits of information about the type of person such as friendliness, and what an individual may like (Hogan, 2007).
Neuropsychological tests were designed to gain information about how the brain functions. Neurologists are specialists who study the brain and how it works. Neurologists use the neuropsychological tests as a way to understand the brain and its functions in humans. These types of tests are used in various areas such as clinics, education, personnel, and even research (Hogan, 2007).
ASSUMPTIONS, RELIABILITY, and VALIDITY
As humans there are the assumptions that traits and characteristics can be seen. Individuals believe characteristics such as memory, self-esteem, verbal ability and friendliness are the same. In some ways this statement could be correct for instance all humans need oxygen, if humans do not have adequate oxygen they could die. This is an accurate assumption. There are four crucial assumptions 1) people differ in important traits, 2) we can quantify traits, 3) traits are reasonable stable, 4) measure of traits relate to actual behavior. The reliability