Psychological Testing

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Abstract The word test can be quite ambiguous. Some individuals may claim that daily struggles are a test of abilities. However, for scientific purposes, a set concept for the term "test" must be defined. Furthermore, each individual subject has its own types of specialized test and testing methods. Here, the definition of tests will be explored with the special emphasis on psychological testing methods and who uses them for what reasons.
Defining test Merriam-Webster (2013) defines test as "a critical examination, observation, or evaluation." It further includes a series or question that are intended to measure skills, attitudes, knowledge, and intelligence of either an individual or groups (Merriam-Webster, Inc. 2013). There are many different methods of giving a test. Some tests are "pencil-and-paper" requiring an individual to answer questions which can be presented in multiple choice, true/false, or essay format. However, the name can be misleading as many such tests are not given via computer. Performance tests require the individual to perform a task in order to measure his or her abilities. The test may be looking for speed, accuracy, or other qualities necessary for a task or product use (Hogan, 2007). Tests may also be broken down into speeded tests or power tests. Speed tests will require participants to answer as many as possible questions or perform as many as possible tasks in an allotted time. On the other hand, power tests may have extremely long acceptable time periods in order to measure ones abilities other than speed (Hogan, 2007). Typical performance versus maximum performance attempts to measure how the individual usually performs, or how well they can possibly perform. Tests can also be broken down based on how they are scored. Norm-referenced interpretations are based on the scores of the peers who have also taken the test. Criterion referenced interpretations are based on how well the individual knows the material given in the



References: Hogan, T. P. (2007). Psychological testing: A practical introduction (2nd ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.  Merriam-Webster, Inc.. (2013). Test. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/test

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