June 9, 2014
Dr. Fred Previc
Psychological testing is the answer to many questions humans have about a manifold of issues. Testing will give a better view onto a problem, helps to solve issues, and reliably displays an array of information needed in everyday life. To dip a bit deeper into psychological testing the following text will attempt to graze upon some fundamental aspects of psychological testing, such as the major assumptions and fundamental questions, the definition of the term test, the categories of tests, and reliability and validity of tests. Major Assumptions and Fundamental Questions
In order to use tests there have to be assumptions to be made. These assumptions will clarify if tests are an important and useful tool in the measurement of human aspects. There are four major assumptions that need to be reckoned with. The assumptions are that people 1) have different traits and characteristics, which are 2) measurable, and 3) stable over time, and 4) that these traits and characteristics are part of people’s behavior (Hogan, 2007).
The fundamental questions concerning tests include reliability and validity of the tests, which will be covered later in this text. Other questions are concerned about the interpretation of tests and the use of norms to yield correct interpretations (Hogan, 2007). Norms are the results of these tests, which had been administered to a large group of people (Hogan, 2007). Questions of how a test has been developed and which practical issues are at hand for a certain test will determine how reliable and valid a test may be (Hogan, 2007). Definition of the Term Test
For the definition of the term test according to Hogan (2007) there are six elements that combined will give an understanding of the term test. It has been concluded that a test is a process or a device to measure a particular aspect. Next, it is concluded that the processes or devices will produce some kind of information. This information is comprised of information about behavior or cognitive processes. Furthermore, the information of behavior or cognitive processes can only be a sample of behaviors a human can display. The next element of what constitute a test is that the test has to be standardized in terms of administration, norms, and the test itself. Last, a test has to be quantifiable, put in terms of numbers (Hogan, 2007). Categories of Tests
These tests can be divided into categories of tests. Even though tests may cover topics from more than one category, the grouping of tests will show the magnitude of tests (Hogan, 2007). The categories include mental ability tests, achievement tests, personality tests, tests to identify interests and attitudes, and neuropsychological tests. Mental Ability Tests
This category of tests deals mostly with the testing of intelligence, such as memory, spatial abilities, or creative thinking (Hogan, 2007). The tests within this group or category can be further divided into sub-groups. The three sub-groups are 1) individually administered intelligence tests, such as the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) or the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale, 2) group administered intelligence tests, such as the Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) or the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), 3) other ability tests (Hogan, 2007). Achievement Tests
The group of achievement tests have been developed to test knowledge and skill in specific areas (Hogan, 2007). The sub-groupings here are 1) battery tests used in elementary and secondary schools, such as the Stanford Achievement Test, 2) single subject tests, such as the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE), 3) certification and licensing tests for nursing, teaching and other professions, 4) government sponsored achievement testing programs, such as the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) or the Trends in International...
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