University of Phoenix, Hawaii Campus
Introduction to Psychological Testing
* The main focus of psychology is to study and understand the human mind and how it works. Psychologists and researchers in this field of study will look at a variety of aspects that relate and are affected by brain and its processes. Some of these categories include behavior, though processes, neurological processes, the nervous system, structures, and their functions, personality, etc. There are a wide variety of subjects and branches of this field to study and research. This is because researchers want to know what, why, and how. They ask questions develop theories and studies on the topic of their question. One way researchers use to study an aspect they have a question on is to use tests. To understand test and the role they play in psychology one needs to know what a test. One must understand the complexities of how and when certain tests are best used and by whom. One must also know and understand the importance of reliability and validity to tests and psychology in general * Tests defined
Everyone has at some point or another taken some kind of test. Most commonly people have experienced this in school with various skill assessment tests. Tests are so much more than simply for academic purposes. They can be used for jobs and learning about oneself. An example of a common definition is “[…] A test is a systematic procedure for observing behavior and describing it with the aid of numerical scales or fixed categories” (Hogan, 2007, p. 39). However, the according to Hogan, a test is a device or some kind of systematic procedure, which yields information about a sample of behavior and cognitive processes. These samples can be quantified and measured and studied to answer the questions people have pertaining to humans and the mind (Hogan, 2007, p. 39-41). * Test categories
* Mental abilities
Tests may seem simple but there is much that goes into developing a test. Different tests are used and work better depending on what an individual is measuring and the situation or even group size. There are many categories of tests researchers use, one is the mental abilities test. Mental ability tests various cognitive functions like memory, spatial visualization, and creative thinking. This category originally focused on intelligence. Some of the tests within this category include individually administered, group administered, and other abilities. “There are many other types of mental ability tests—nearly an infinite variety— including tests of memory, quantitative reasoning, creative thinking, vocabulary, and spatial ability” (Hogan, 2007, p. 5).
Achievement tests attempt to assess an individual’s knowledge or skill levels in various domains. The tests within this category include batteries, single subject, certification, licensing, and government sponsored programs. These are the most used types of tests, which many people have taken at some point in their lives like in schools. Schools also use these tests to find any learning disabilities, which can affect a students learning and performance abilities. Even businesses and organizations can use this to assess the skills of their employees or perspective employees. The government uses them to distribute licenses and certifications (Hogan, 2007, p. 6). Personality
Personality tests are used to reveal information about an individual’s personality. The tests in this category include objective tests, projective techniques, and other approaches. These tests compare the answers of those examined with the responses of clinical groups. Some look at personality traits, whereas others look at the pathological or disabling conditions. These tests can be used by psychologists interested in the various aspects of the human personality (Hogan, 2007, p. 7). Interests and attitudes