Psychological assessment or Psychological test is a process of evaluating individual’s behaviour, personality, cognitive functioning and other different capabilities through different psychological tools and techniques. It provides a better understanding and insight into an individual’s mental functioning and personality integrations. There are two purposes of psychological assessments; one is to reach a diagnosis of the mental condition and second is to get a better picture of strength and weaknesses of the individual, individual’s mental functioning and dynamics of his/her personality, so that psychologists can address those concerned issues in following therapeutic sessions. Only a licensed psychologist is authorized to issue a report based on these assessments.
Psychological assessment is never focused on a single score or number. Every person has a range of competencies that can be evaluated through various methods; like, clinical interviews, clinical observations, conducting various psychological batteries and tools, etc. One point is very important before going for psychological evaluation, and that is to rule out the possibilities of a medical, disease or organic cause for the individual’s symptoms.
Types of psychological assessments or tests-
Psychological tests are a method to gauge various parameters of an individual’s mental functioning. There are various types of psychological tests and tools which helps in determining various aspects of a person’s behavior, cognition, personality, and other capabilities. Like medical tests such as X-rays and various types of blood tests help us to get a better picture of the condition of your body, similarly, psychological evaluations help us to get a better view of a person’s psychological functioning and if at all there is something wrong with it. Different assessment tools are available to measure different aspects of an individual, like:
Tests and batteries to measure one’s intellectual capabilities
Scales and batteries to measure memory functioning
Aptitude tests for children and adults
Questionnaire and Inventories to evaluate one’s personality
Rating scales to measure an individual’s current functioning
Projective technique tests
How these are helpful?
Psychological assessments can help in many ways, like:
It helps in reaching a diagnosis. We can check and challenge previous diagnosis, specify treatment related patient factors and get a different perspective cast over a complex patient.
Assessments can help to clarify that to what extent interventions are required.
We can get a comprehensive picture related to individual’s personality integrations, coping mechanisms, mental functioning or current symptom manifestations, which can further help us in planning the treatment strategies.
We can guide the individuals in choosing their career pathways.
Those individuals who don’t have any distinct psychopathology but still having some amount of stress or any other minor issues can be benefitted through these assessments. They can get a better insight to their strength and weaknesses of personality and can address the same with the help of a professional.
Assessments also help in early identification and further interventions of psychological problems.
Neuro-psychological assessments help in identifications of cognitive deteriorations in case of organic disorders.