By: Lena Wilder
Instructor: Corey Vigdor
August 9, 2015
Psychological testing is administered to measure an individual’s sample behavior. With the assistance of testing, psychologists have been able to access more of the uncharted territory of the human mind and behavior. Psychological testing is able to provide a more vivid picture of understanding of human character and ability. There are many types of tests and each one is different from another, having its’ own purpose for which it is used, and this assignment addresses major testing categories and the primary uses for the testing. It will also provide a comparison and contrast for tests reliability and validity.
The word “Test” is described by Harper (2010), as a “small vessel used in assaying precious metals”. In the late 1950’s the world test was used to find out if something was true, or whether it was working. More simply put, a psychological test measures sample behavior and cognitive process, instead of a full individualized behavioral examination (Hogan, 2007). It is a standardized and a systematic procedure that basically reveals information about sample behavior. Sample behavior is described as individual’s ability to performed assigned tasks.
Major Categories of Testing There are a lot of categories of testing, however the major categories that are generally tested are the achievement, mental ability, attitude, interests, personality and finally neuropsychological tests that can usually can help assess brain function and test the central nervous system. In the event of an injury that results in brain damage, a neuropsychological assessment will help determine if the damage is affecting an individual’s ability to reason (Hogan, 2007). Achievement tests are designed to measure an individual’s knowledge and skills. This is a test to determine how much an individual has learned and not personal potential. Achievement testing is most likely administered as standardized tests to school aged children. Mental ability tests are designed to mainly measure cognitive functioning and focuses on an individual’s intelligence, creative thinking, memory and spatial visualization. Attitude and interest testing measures an individual’s attitude towards certain topics and groups (Hogan, 2007). Personality tests are used to do just that, measure an individual’s personality. Most of the time these tests are used to self-evaluate and for entertainment value. Although personality tests can be used by psychologists treating a patient with a personality disorder or order to attempt to figure out an individual’s personality type and what approach may be best.
Major Uses and Users of Tests Primary major uses in psychological testing are in the clinical, educational, personnel and research sphere (Hogan, 2007). Clinical testing is heavily used in clinical psychology. It is used to determine the correct of effective treatment in order to relieve psychological distress in patients. In the educational category, testing is used by many users; teachers, administrators, parents and tutors administer a variety of achievement tests to determine where on the educational scare a student is, and what needs to be done in order to achieve the most success (Hogan, 2007). In employment environment testing is used for two reasons. First a test is administered to possible candidates in order to select the most qualified person for employment, and the second reason testing is used to determine how an employee is progressing within the given field. An assessment or a test can provide information about where the employee is on skill development, and if additional training is required (Spector, 2010). Finally, in research fields, tests are majorly used for hypothesis testing, where a usable variable may be located and evaluated, or to find a reliable starting point. From that point, testing is used to