Psychological Testing also called psychological assessment is the foundation of how psychologists better understand a person and their behavior. It is a process of problem solving for many professionals to try and determine the core components of a person’s psychological or mental health problems, personality, IQ, or some other component. It is also a process that helps identifies not just weaknesses of a person, but also their strengths.Psychological testing measures an individual’s performance at a specific point in time right now. Psychologists talk about a person’s “present functioning” in terms of their test data. Therefore psychological tests can’t predict future or innate potential.Psychological testing is not a single test or even a single type of test. It encompasses a whole body of dozens of research-backed tests and procedures of assessing specific aspects of a person’s psychological makeup. Some tests are used to determine IQ, others are used for personality, and still others for something else. Since so many different tests are available, it’s important to note that not all of them share the same research evidence for their use some tests have a strong evidence base while others do not.
Psychological assessment is something that’s typically done in a formal manner only by a licensed psychologist (the actual testing may sometimes be administered by a psychology intern or trainee studying to become a psychologist). Depending upon what kind of testing is being done, it can last anywhere from 1 1/2 hours to a full day. Testing is usually done in a psychologist’s office and consists largely of paper-and-pencil tests (nowadays often administered on a computer for ease-of-use).
Psychological testing is divided into four primary types:
►Assessment of Intellectual Functioning (IQ)
In addition to these primary types of psychological assessment, other kinds of psychological tests are available for specific areas, such as aptitude or achievement in school, career or work counseling, management skills, and career planning.
Functions and uses of Psychological Testing:
►Detection of specific Behavior:
Psychological test is used to measure and to detect the abilities of a person.
A psychological test is used to measure the individual differences, that is different between abilities of different persons and the performance of the same person at different time.
►To diagnose by the Psychological Test:
The psychological tests are usually used in clinical psychology.In clinical psychology a test's function is to diagnose mental disorders.So tests are used in mental hospitals and coaching and guidance centers for the assessment and diagnose of mental disorders.Major tests are
MMPI, (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory)
RISB, (Roter Incomplete Sentences Blank)
Bender Gestalt Test,
and RPM, (Revon Progressive Matrices) etc.
A psychological test helps in classifying a number of people into different categories For example normal and abnormal, criminal and innocent, intellectual and mental retarded, able and disable etc.
►Promoting Self Understanding:
A psychological test provide standardized information about the abilities, capabilities, aptitudes, potential competencies interest, trait and states of a person which helps in understanding one's personality and planing future prospective.
An effectiveness of a particular program is assessed by the applications of some kind of test.This function is usually perform by an achievement test.
►Scientific Inquiry or Research:
Some experts use tests for research purpose which provide information about the mental level and personality of the subject.
A closely related application of psychological testing is to be found in the selection and classification of military personal.From simple beginnings in the World War-I, the scope and variety of psychological tests employed in military situations underwent a phenomenal increase during World War-II. Subsequently research on test development has been containing on a large scale in all brands of the normed services.
In industry and business tests are helpful in selection and classifying personal for placement in jobs that range from the simpler semiskilled to the highly skilled, from the selection of filling clerks and sales-person to top management for any of these position, however test results are only one source of information , though an important one.
Industrial and Organizational Psychology (also known as I-O psychology, industrial-organizational psychology, work psychology, organizational psychology, work and organizational psychology, industrial psychology, occupational psychology, personnel psychology or talent assessment) applies psychology to organizations and the workplace. In January 2010, the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) announced that, as a result of a membership vote, it would retain its name and not change it to the Society for Organizational Psychology (TSOP) to eliminate the word "Industrial". "Industrial-organizational psychologists contribute to an organization's success by improving the performance and well-being of its people. An I-O psychologist researches and identifies how behaviors and attitudes can be improved through hiring practices, training programs, and feedback systems."
Psychological tests especially those of general intelligence and of specific aptitudes have very extensive use in educational classification, selection and planing from the 1st grade (and sometimes earlier) through the university.Prior to World War-II schools and colleges were the largest user of psychological tests.
In clinical or mental hospitals psychological tests are used primarily for individual diagnoses of factors associated with personal problems of learning, behavior attitudes or specific interpersonal relations.