Psychological testing examines information given to examiner, who assesses and evaluates information. It is also called psychological assessment since it assess psychology in human being such as mental, emotional, or cognitive (Jackson, 1996 p 12). Psychological assessment gives information inform of answers from the asked questions, answers on a paper or on a computer. Psychological testing is categorized in various ways involved in measuring personality, intelligent quotient, interest or clinical test of a person (Jackson, 1996 p 20).
Categories of psychological tests
Intelligence tests measures ones intelligence quotient IQ, which gives the fundamental ability to recognize what surround her or him. It helps one to understand its functions and apply the knowledge gained to enhance the quality of life. Thus it measure the potential not what you have learned, hence it is supposed to be self regulatory of customs. The challenge of intelligence tests is to plan a test it self which is culture free. Achievement and ability tests evaluate logical and cognitive ability of a person. Most of these test were expressed during propose time, in such a way that procedures and protocols are always observed and followed. Neuropsychological tests measures shortfall in cognitive functioning that is, ones ability to think, speak or reason. These test measures brain damage such as brain injury or stroke (Hogan, 2007 p 87).
Personality tests measures basic personality style and assess the thoughts, emotion, altitude and behavioral character of person. It is mostly used in forensic science, and help clinicians or psychological specialist to treat personal psychological problems. Specific clinical tests assess clinical condition arising from emotional injury such as stress, depression or anxiety (Jackson, 1996 p 37)
Use and users of psychological test
Psychological test is used to determine wide range of abilities and attribute such as achievement, personality or neurological. Achievement ability is mostly used for children academic achievement and intelligence. It determines the capability of learning to children, how fast they understand and concentrates in academics work. Intelligence test determines disability or developmental hindrance, gift in children and intelligence development. It is used in teens and young adults. Personality test is used for diagnosis of psychopathology disorders such as depression, stress, anxiety. It is used to human being with abnormal reasoning capacity, in jobs places and education institutions to determine ones strengths and weakness.
Psychological test helps to answer questions and since it is not supernatural errors can be done. Thus more qualified psychologist and counselors need to be involved in evaluating information and decision making. A qualified counselor may administer occupational test, achievement or aptitude test. Creation of psychological tests which are usually interrelated gives easier information than clinical test. Psychologist gives better information than clinical test because psychologist are used to solving problems now and then (Hogan, 2007 p 110).
Reliability and validity
Validity is the exactness or usefulness of a test. Content validity helps to develop and assess many type of psychological test especially in education. Example, mathematical test based on addition would not be content valid since its neglect subtraction, multiplication and division. Criterion validity provides sovereign facts either predictive or concurrent to show extent to which measurement of criterion is valid. It measures similarity of a test at some point later in life or foresee whether someone will be victorious as he is. Construct validity focus on the degree to which a measure performs in accordance with expectation (Carmines & zeller, 1979 p 30).
Reliability is the ability of a test to give stable results. Example, mathematical solving problems of progressive difficulty is more reliable because if one could not solve calculus yesterday, there is a great possibility that he or she cannot solve it in the future. Test retest reliability refers to how good result from a test relates to similar test done at a later date. Reliability is very important because validity depends on it example, thermometer could be valid to measure temperature but if the electronic thermometer being used is damaged will give erratic results which would not be reliable. Psychological test is not fully valid or reliable because human psychology is complex to understand it with complete assurance. These gives a benefit of doubt in that even if wide range of test is done vagueness can arise (Carmines & Zeller, 1979 p 45).
Results of psychological test can be helpful if corrects measures are undertaken and when disadvantages of psychological testing are well understood and used correctly.
Carmines, G. & Zeller, A. (1979). Reliability and validity assessment. 1st ed. California: Sage publication
Hogan, T. P. (2007). Psychological testing: A practical introduction. 2nd ed. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Jackson, C. (1996). Understanding psychological test. 1st ed. UK: British psychological Society.