Meaning and Nature

Topics: Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Psychometrics, Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Pages: 18 (5555 words) Published: March 15, 2013
Meaning and Nature of Psychological Test
  A psychological test is an instrument that indicates how much a participant has of the quality the test measures. A test can be defined as a standardized procedure for sampling behavior and describing it with categories or scores. Psychological testing was originally designed for two purposes: to measure intelligence and to detect personality disorders. Over time, psychological testing has expanded to measure diverse concepts.   Psychological tests are written, visual, or verbal evaluations administered to assess the cognitive and emotional functioning of children and adults. Psychological tests are formalized measures of mental functioning. Most are objective and quantifiable; however, certain projective tests may involve some level of subjective interpretation. Also known as inventories, measurements, questionnaires, and scales, psychological tests are administered in a variety of settings, including preschools, primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, hospitals, outpatient healthcare settings, and social agencies. They come in a variety of formats, including written, verbal, and computer administered.     Psychological tests must meet three criteria: (1) Reliability, (2) Standardization, and (3) Validity. Tests are used by a variety of professionals, including school psychologists, special-education teachers, clinical psychologists, guidance counselors, psychiatrists, speech therapists, guidance teachers, nurses and engineers.      Tests are used for a variety of purposes, which can be  labeled as (1) classification, (2) self-understanding, (3) program evaluation, and (4) scientific inquiry. Classification involves a decision that a person belongs in a certain category. Self-understanding involves using test information as a source of information about oneself. Program evaluation involves the use of tests to assess the effectiveness of a particular program or course of action. For all areas of research (scientific inquiry), the precise measurement of individual differences made possible by well-constructed tests is an essential prerequisite. Professional journals in the social and behavioral sciences include studies which use psychological tests to operationally define relevant variables and to translate hypotheses into numerical statements that can be assessed statistically.  Purpose

Psychological tests are used to assess a variety of mental abilities and attributes, including achievement and ability, personality, and neurological functioning. For children, academic achievement, ability, and intelligence tests may be used as tools in school placement, in determining the presence of a learning disability or a developmental delay , in identifying giftedness, or in tracking intellectual development. Intelligence testing may also be used with teens and young adults to determine vocational ability (e.g., in career counseling). Personality tests are administered for a wide variety of reasons, from diagnosing psychopathology (e.g., personality disorder, depressive disorder) to screening job candidates. They may be used in an educational setting to determine personality strengths and weaknesses.  Traditional Intelligence Tests

Two types of traditional intelligence tests talked about in this class were the Stanford-Binet and the Wechsler Intelligence Tests.           The Stanford Binet Intelligence Scale - Fifth Ed. is the modern form of the Binet-Simon Scale. The Binet-Simon Scale was formulated to identify students who would benefit from special education. The resulting score from early forms of the test was called a "mental age." With this scale, the mental age was now put into a ratio with the person's chronological age and the value was multiplied by 100--called the intelligence quotient or "IQ." IQ scores are now based on "Deviation IQs." Another group of intelligence tests was the Wechsler Scales of Intelligence. These tests include the Wechsler Intelligence...
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