Psychological tests are standardized and objective measures of a typical behavioral sample. ‘Sample behavior’ implies one’s performance on certain tasks which had been assigned to him/her beforehand.
What are the principles of a well-conducted psychology test?
Objectivity: A scoring method so that biases and other subjective judgments can be minimized.
Test norms: Comparing one’s performance and scores with the other respondents based on a point of reference or other points of comparison.
Validity: The test that is being administered should be able to consistently measure what it is supposed to.
Standardization: All tests must be performed under the same controlled environments so that there is consistency and standardization among the tests and the results achieved.
Reliability: Getting the very same results after repeated testing.
What are the various types of psychological tests?
Achievement/IQ tests: While an achievement test is a measure of one’s developed knowledge or skill, IQ tests, on the other hand, provide measures of intelligence and other cognitive faculties. A standardized test is the most common example of an achievement test that provides insight into the respondent’s knowledge and skills in a particular field of expertise or a particular grade level. In these kinds of tests, the respondent is given a series of tasks, at the end of which, the respondent will be graded according to prescribed guidelines.
Attitude tests: These tests try and assess the respondent’s reaction towards a certain event, object or another person. In the marketing field, attitude ranks or scales are used to find out group or individual preferences for items or brands. Generally, either a Likert or a Thurstone scale is used in these types of tests.
Neuropsychological tests: These consist of a series of carefully designed tasks which are known to trigger one’s psychological function which is believed to be linked to a typical nerve pathway or a specific brain structure. These tests can primarily be used in a clinical/medical context in order to determine any impairment of one’s neurocognitive functioning that might have been a result of an injury or an illness.
Personality Tests: These are either projective (answers are more subjective and unrestricted to any scale or measure) or objective tests (mainly consisting of true/false responses; responses which are restricted to a scale).
Observation (Direct) Tests: Primarily used for research work, direct observation tests allow for observing the behavior of the respondent as he/she completes certain tasks and activities. Examples would be a test to determine parent-child relationship or assessing the basic symptoms of ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) in a child with the help of a test conducted inside controlled class environment.
Aptitude/Interest tests: As the name suggests, aptitude tests help gauge the respondent’s aptitudes such as spatial, numerical, clerical or mechanical aptitudes. Interest tests are designed to find out the participant’s areas of interest, the results of which are used for purposes such as career counseling. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a psychologist.