psychological test


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial.

psychological test,

any of a variety of testing procedures for measuring psychological traits and behavior, or for studying some specialized aspect of ability. Several forms of testing have arisen from the need to understand personality and its relationship to psychological disorders.

Projective tests attempt to measure personality based on the theory that individuals tend to project their own unconscious attitudes into ambiguous situations. Best known of the projective tests is that of the Swiss psychiatrist Hermann Rorschach (1884–1922), who used a group of standardized inkblots and asked the client to relate what the pictures brought to mind. The thematic apperception test (TAT), developed by the American psychologist Henry A. MurrayMurray, Henry A.,
1893–1988, American psychologist, b. New York City. Murray was trained in a variety of disciplines, including psychology, chemistry, and biology. He taught at Harvard (1927–62), and helped found the Boston Psychoanalytic Society.
..... Click the link for more information.
, uses a standard series of provocative yet ambiguous pictures about which the client must tell a story. Each story is carefully analyzed to uncover underlying needs, attitudes, and patterns of reaction.

Other personality tests use questionaires that limit the test-taker's responses to "true," "false," or "cannot say." These tests have a much higher level of standardization than projective tests, and hence are often called objective tests. One of the most widely used objective tests is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), created in 1942 (and updated in the early 1990s) with the goal of defining a "normal" personality and detecting specific deviances. The test produces profiles that can predict class inclusion for such psychological disorders as schizophrenia, sociopathy, depression, and hysteria. The MMPI has been useful in distinguishing individuals with mental illness from the normal population, but has been less helpful in diagnosing specific disorders.

Behavioral assessments are also used by many psychologists, in which the psychologist observes the individual's actions, usually in a natural setting. Behavior is coded quantitatively—for example, the observer may record the number of times the individual initiates social interactions with others. Such behavior checklists can be used by parents and teachers in evaluating children.

Several diagnostic techonologies are used today to measure brain activity. The electroencephalogram (EEG) records the brain's electrical activity, and its responses to stimuli, through placement of electrodes on the skull. Other brain exams, including the computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan, the positron emission tomography (PET) scan, and the magnetic resonance image (MRI), have shown increasing accuracy in providing detailed pictures of the brain. Such advances may prove indispensable in the understanding of the neurological roots of psychological disorders.

Tests specifically designed to measure abilities include achievement and intelligence tests. Achievement tests measure attainments in a variety of fields, e.g., academic subjects, aptitude for civil service positions. Tests of abilities include intelligence quotient (IQ) tests (see intelligenceintelligence,
in psychology, the general mental ability involved in calculating, reasoning, perceiving relationships and analogies, learning quickly, storing and retrieving information, using language fluently, classifying, generalizing, and adjusting to new situations.
..... Click the link for more information.
), spatial-perceptual tests, and motor skills tests. Schools use educational aptitude and achievement tests to compare ability with actual accomplishment, while employers use tests to learn the potential special talents, vocational interests, motor skills, and other such capacities of a prospective employee. Sensory functions, such as visual acuity and hearing, are also measured, and tests have also been devised for special aptitudes, such as memory and creativity.

Bibliography

See L. J. Cronbach, Essentials of Psychological Testing (4th ed. 1984); M. Sokal, Psychological Testing and American Society, 1890–1930 (1987); A. Anastasi, Psychological Testing (6th ed. 1988).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
References in periodicals archive ?
Today, objective psychological tests measure many aspects of psychologically based disability.
The EEOC's guidance regarding the administration of psychological tests is consistent with the widely held position of major test publishers.
A second ADA provision, which relates to psychological tests, deals with the issue of test administration or reasonable accommodation in the testing process.
A section on the 'Code of Professional Ethics Pertaining to Psychological Tests' says that 'test scores should likewise be released only to persons qualified to interpret them.' Somewhere it also says that 'a raw score on any psychological test is, in itself, quite meaningless.'
On the basis of written test, around 10 candidates against each vacancy who had the highest marks in written test were called for psychological test by NTS.
Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit ruled that applicants for the Chicago Police Department, who were denied positions because they failed a psychological test, were not constitutionally entitled to an opportunity to contest the judgment that they would not make good officers.
'Bigla nagkaroon ng psychological test para sa revisor.
The term refers to planning a psychological test so that it reflects relevant conditions of the subject's everyday life.
But Deinla stressed that even Gadon had already admitted that Sereno's psychological test was not an impeachable ground.
NTS after scrutiny of applications conducted written tests throughout the country and short listed 1531 candidates for psychological test against posts of BS-16-BS-19.
All were also given an initial psychological test. The women showed little mood difference from each other in this test.
12, 2016, had five stages, namely, (a) Civil Service Examination for Foreign Service Officer (CSE-FSO); (b) preliminary interview; (c) written test; (d) psychological test; and (e) oral test.

Full browser ?