Introduction to Psychological Testing

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Introduction to Psychological Testing
PSY/475
May 28, 2012
Dan Riner

Introduction to Psychological Testing
Tests are used to evaluate, identify, and give meaning to human thought and behavior. A test is a process that is used to observe behavior and describe that behavior using numerical scales or fixed categories. The five major categories of psychological tests include mental ability, achievement, personality, interests and attitudes, and neuropsychological. Tests are primarily used in clinical, educational, personnel, and research settings. Reliability and validity are foundations that give strength to any test.

Definition of Test

The Standards for Educational and Psychological Tests defines the term test as “an evaluative device or procedure in which a sample of an examinee’s behavior in a specified domain is obtained and subsequently evaluated and scored using a standardized process” (Hogan, 2007, p. 38). A test is a process or system that is used to observe behavior and describe the behavior using numerical scales or fixed categories. According to Hogan (2007), a test is type of procedure or device that yields information about behavior and cognitive processes, and measures a sample of behavior rather than a wide examination of an individual’s behaviors. These tests are also systematic and quantified.

Major Categories of Tests

The five major categories of psychological tests include mental ability, achievement, personality, interests and attitudes, and neuropsychological (MAPIN). Mental ability includes cognitive functions such as, memory, vision, and critical thinking. The mental ability test measure cognitive functions such as, intelligence, memory, spatial visualization, quantitative reasoning, and creative thinking. Achievement tests are tests that are designed to help determine how much knowledge and skill an individual has in specific areas and in specific levels, and include assessments in reading, math, science, and social...
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