Introduction to Psychological Testing Paper
The American Psychological Association, or APA, (2011), suggests that psychological assessments are an integral part of clinical psychology. Psychological assessments, or psychological testing, are used by skilled professionals, commonly psychologists, to learn either general or specific facts about people, either to inform others of how they function now, or to predict their behavior and functioning in the future (Psych Page, 2011). Throughout the course of this paper, the major assumptions and fundamental questions associated with psychological testing will be examined. This paper will define the term test, describe the major categories of tests, and identify the major uses and users of these tests. Additionally, this paper will also compare and contrast the concepts of reliability and validity and discuss how they affect the field of psychological testing.
The Term Test Defined
According to Hogan (2007), the term test can be defined in a number of ways. Originally, the term test was used to describe a cup “used for smelting gold or silver ore, perhaps an apropos reference for some high-stakes testing today” (Hogan, 2007, p, 38). In present society, the term test is typically defined as being any assessments that are designed to measure peoples’ abilities, knowledge, behaviors, personalities, or skills. The term test can also be defined as “any means, often formally contrived, used to elicit responses to which human behavior in other contexts can be related” (psychological testing, 2011, para 2). Hogan (2007) suggests that regardless of these various definitions of the term test, there are six common elements in what defines the term in the behavioral sciences. These six elements include procedure or device, information, behavior and cognitive processes, sample, systematic and standardized, and quantification or measurement (Hogan, 2007). Therefore, Hogan (2007) defines the term test as being “a standardized...
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