Psychological Testing

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING 5

PsychologicalTesting

Psychologicaltests refer to a standardized measure of an individual’s behavior.They are used to determine the core components of individual’spsychological and mental health problems, IQ, personality, and othercore components. The methods are not only used to identify people’sweaknesses, but also their strengths. Psychological testing is ameasure of a person’s performance at present. This means that itcannot be used to predict the future of an individual’sperformance. Usually, testing encompasses dozens of tests andprocedures depending on the purpose of a test. Psychological testingis done by certified psychologists in a timely way (Kaplan &ampSaccuzzo, 2013). Depending on the type of testing, a test can lastfor one hour or a whole day.

Accordingto Kaplan &amp Saccuzzo (2013), there are several types ofpsychological testing that are divided into four main categories:clinical interview, personality assessment, behavior assessment, andintellectual intelligence functioning (IQ). In addition to thesemajor ones, there are others such as achievement in school oraptitude, career planning, management skills, and career or workskills.

Clinicalinterview is the central component of psychological testing.Typically, it may last for only one or two hours in a clinician’soffice. This type of psychological testing can be done by variousmental health professions including psychiatrics, psychologists,psychiatric nurses, social workers, and others in the related field.The clinical interview allows the professional to gather family dataand important background information about a person. In the test,people should review or recall their life and personal history as aprocedure for testing. The professional asks people about their lifeat various stages. Presently, some forms of clinical testing arecomputerized, in which case a person answers a series of questions inthe clinician’s office rather than talking directly to a person.Professionals often conduct a clinical testing before conductingother forms of clinical testing.

Theother crucial category of psychological testing is measuring one’sintellectual quotient (IQ), which simply refers to the measure ofgeneral intelligence. Intelligence tests go handy withneuropsychological assessments, which are commonly done after aperson suffers from brain damage or organic brain problem. The latterassessments are extensive and can take up to two days or more toadminister. On the other hand, intelligence tests commonly useWechsler scales and Stanford-Binet. These tests do not only measureone’s intelligence, but the cognitive deficits and strengths that aperson holds. Wechsler adult intelligence is the most common type oftest used by professionals. It is appropriate for persons aged 16years and above hence the name adult. Children uses a specificallydesigned for them referred to as Wechsler intelligence for children.These tests can take approximately one hour or less to administer.Several subtests under the scales may be used to determine theintelligence of an individual.

Thethird common type of psychological testing is personal assessment,which is designed to help a profession in determining an individual’spersonality. This test is usually complex and takes into account aperson’s entire life. A person’s personality is influenced by acombination of environmental, social, and genetic factors thus, theneed to focus on them when administering the test. There are severalmethods of determining a person’s personality, which are eithersubjective or projective.

Finally,the behavior assessment test is a process of observing a person’sactual behavior to understand an individual’s behavior and thethoughts behind the same. The test determines the components thattrigger or reinforce certain behaviors. Professionals determinepeople’s behavior by observing them in their normal routines andtaking notes. They observe them at school, homes, and when attendingto other routine activities. This can help a profession to track downa person’s behaviors and the possible triggers, and work towardsimproving them. Self monitoring techniques such as mood journaltracking may also be used in behavior assessment.

Reliabilityand validity are crucial aspects that must be considered whenperforming psychological tests. Reliability refers to the degree inwhich the tools of assessment produce consistent results.Professionals consider a test to be reliable if it produces similarresults repeatedly. For results to be reliable, whatever is beingtested must be fairly stable. Otherwise, if something under a testkeeps on changing, the results are consequently unreliable. Factorssuch as environmental distractions, stress, fatigue, sickness, poorinstruction, and motivation may greatly hurt reliability. On theother hand, validity refers to whether a psychological test measureswhat it is professed to measure. Thus, while reliability isessential, it is insufficient without validity. For example, apsychological test meant for measuring happiness may be reliablebecause it produces consistent results however, it is invalid whenit measures depression instead. This means that for results to bevalid, the test must measure whatever it is meant to measure. It iscrucial to understand the two because some results may be reliablebut invalid. Both validity and reliability are necessary inpsychological testing, in which case lack of one or both affect thequality of the tests (Groth-Marnat, 2009).

References

Groth-Marnat,G. (2009). Handbookof psychological assessment.Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Kaplan,R. M., &amp Saccuzzo, D. P. (2013). Psychologicaltesting: Principles, applications, &amp issues.Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, Cengage Learning.