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Psychological Testing

Concepts and Functions


What is testing?
Why do we have so many tests?
What are the pros and cons to
testing?
How can we use testing to
improve . . .?
What types of tests do we take?
Psychological Testing
A psychological test is a
standardized measure of a
sample of a persons behavior
that is used to measure the
individual differences that exist
among people.
Types of Psychological
Testing
There are two types of
Psychological tests.
Mental Ability tests
Personality tests
Why use tests?
Psychological
tests are used in
research,
however, most
serve a
practical
purpose.
Mental Ability Tests
Includes three subcategories.
Intelligence tests
Aptitude tests
Achievement tests
Intelligence tests
Measure
general mental
abilities. They
are intended to
measure
intellectual
potential.
Examples
Emily is four years old. Her big
sister Amy is three times as old as
Emily. How old will Amy be when
she is twice as old as Emily?
WOLF is to FLOW as 8526 is to:
2856 - 6258 - 5862 - 5682 - 6852


Examples
Hanger is to closet as tree is to:
Branch - Bushes - Forest -
Ground - Nest
What would be the next number in
this series? 15 ... 12 ... 13 ... 10 ...
11 ... 8 ... ?


Aptitude tests
Assess talent
for specific
kinds of
learning.
(clerical speed,
mechanical
reasoning, etc.)
Examples
Are You a Self-Starter?
Climbing the ladder would bring a load
of responsibility and pressure that I
wouldn't want to carry.
If my boss or supervisor told me I were
being promoted, the fact that they had
so much confidence in my abilities
would:



Achievement tests
Gauge a
persons
mastery and
knowledge of
various subjects
Examples
Who was the 43
rd
President of
the United States?
What is 5x6 divided by 2?
How many branches of
Government exist in the U.S.?

Value of Personality Questionnaires
Value to the individual (face validity)

Self-insight

Points of discussion

Norms provide comparison info



Value of Personality Questionnaires
Value to research (construct validity)
Study relationships of personality w/ other variables
Study changes over time

Value for Counseling
- marital therapy
- university counseling centers

Value for personnel management
Screening
Prediction of success
Placement & counseling
Disadvantage of Personality Tests
Social Desirability
Faking Good
Faking Bad
Random Responding

Personality Tests
Measure
aspects of
personality,
including
motives,
interests,
values, and
attitudes.

Examples
Do you become
upset when. . ?
Do you feel
like you lose
control when. .?
Are you happy
when . . ?
California Psychological Inventory
CPI - one of the most popular personality inventory

Measures: various facets of normal personality;
helps to make predictions about behaviours

Goughs theory (3 assumptions):
Important characteristics in all societies and cultures
Understandable and useful for both sides
Valid predictors of future behavior in similar social contexts
16 Personality Factor (16PF)
Raymond Cattell developed the Cattel Sixteen Personality
Factor Test (1949)
Revised 4 times (1956, 1962, 1968, 1993)
Survey all words in the the English language that described
personal characteristics (approx. 4000)
Categorized the words into 45 groups and approx. 15 factors
Designed to measure more personality traits and conflicts
than psychopathology
185 items across 16 scales
3 Point Likert Scale

Psychometrics of 16PF
Reliability: test-retest (.80 x2wk; .70 x3wk)
Internal consistency reliability .74
Only sporadic studies found reliability below .70
Most validity studies have validity coefficients
above .70


Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Myers-Briggs: based on Jungian theory of
personality

Classifies individuals along 4 theoretically
independent dimensions.
MBTI (cont.)

1. Introversion / Extroversion(E-I) : How is your general
attitude toward the world?

2. Sensing / Intuition (S-N) : How do you acquire
information?

3. Thinking / Feeling (T-F) : How is information
processed?
4. Judging / Perceiving (J-P): How do you make decisions?

MBTI Scales
Thinking-Feeling Scale

T: Judgment is
impersonally based on
logical consequences

F: Judgment is primarily
based on personal or
social values


Perception-Judging Scale

P: Preference for using a
perceptive process for
dealing with the outer world

J: Preference for using a
judgment process for dealing
with the outer world

MBTI (cont.)

Uses:
Career counseling
Team building
Family counseling

Criticisms:
Profiles generally positive
Barnum effect
Validation evidence is sticky
Factor analysis shows Big Five solution
MMPI
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality
Inventory
MMPI-II most widely used psychological
test
10 clinical scales and several Auxiliary
MMPI
Table 4-6
Projective Personality Tests
The Projective Techniques
Projective tests allow the examinee to respond to
vague stimuli with their own impressions
Assumption is that the examinee will project his
unconscious needs, motives, and conflicts onto the
neutral stimulus
Word association tests, inkblot tests, sentence
completion tests, storytelling in response to
pictures, etc.
The Projective Techniques
(cont.)
Three features:
- Disguised: no face validity
- Global: the whole personality
- Reveals unconscious aspects of personality

- Types:
- Inkblot: Rorschach
- Picture interpretation: TAT
- Sentence completion: Rotter Incomplete SB
- Picture construction: DAP

The Projective Techniques
(cont.)
Three features:
- Disguised: no face validity
- Global: the whole personality
- Reveals unconscious aspects of personality

- Types:
- Inkblot: Rorschach
- Picture interpretation: TAT
- Sentence completion: Rotter Incomplete SB
- Picture construction: DAP

Administering the Rorschach
The test is usually administered with as little instruction and
information as possible

The tester asks 'What might this be? and gives no clues or
restrictions on what is expected as a response
Anxious subjects often do ask questions, and vague answers
are offered
Some advocate sitting beside the subject to avoid giving clues
by facial expression
If only one response is given, some hint to find more may be
offered: "Some people see more than one thing.

Psychometric Properties of the
Rorschach
The Rorschach is a popular test, however, it has been
plagued by low reliability and validity.

Obviously, it is difficult to measure any of the usual
psychometric properties in the usual way

Validity and reliability are usually low because of the
open-ended multiplicity of possibility that is allowed and
by the lack of universally-accepted standardized
instructions, administration protocol, and scoring
procedure

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
Construct a story about what you see on the
following picture

Describe:
- what led up to the scene
- what is happening
- what the characters in the story might think or
feel
- how the story will end
Examples of Projectives
Rotter Incomplete Sentences Blank (RISB)

Complete the following sentences to express your
real feelings:
- I like ..
- My greatest fear ..
- This PSY 3090.D instructor is ..

Draw-a-Person Test

- Originally to assess childrens intelligence
- Now: a screening procedure for emotional
disturbance
- Cannot constitute a diagnosis

- The administration:
Draw a person
Draw a person of the opposite sex
Draw yourself
Draw-a-Person Test
Administrator Asks:

- Can you please draw a person?
- Draw whatever you like in any way you like?

Administrator Then Asks:

- Draw a person of the opposite sex?
Draw-a-Person Test (cont.)
Subjective vs. quantitative scoring system
Clinician looks for:
Sequence of body parts
Verbalizations during the drawing process
Size & placement of figures on the page
Amount of action depicted
Systematization in doing the task
Number of erasures
Shading
Gender of picture
Over attention to certain body parts

Draw-a-Person Test (cont..)
Among the plausible but empirically untrue relations that
have been claimed:

- Large size = Emotional expansiveness or acting out
- Small size = emotional constriction; withdrawal, or
timidity
- Overworked lines = tension, aggression
- Distorted or omitted features = Conflicts related to that
feature
- Large or elaborate eyes = Paranoia

Sources of Inaccuracy in Personality
Testing

Personality assessment largely depends on self-
report

Response sets may affect personality results

Social Desirability
Some test takers choose socially acceptable answers or
present themselves in a favourable light

People often do not attend as much to the trait being
measured as to the social acceptability of the
statement

This represents unwanted variance
Social Desirability (cont.)

Example items:

Friends would call me spontaneous.

People I know can count on me to finish what I
start.

I would rather work in a group than by myself.

I often get stressed-out in many situations.
Faking
Faking -- some test takers may respond in a particular
way to cause a desired outcome

may fake good (e.g., in employment settings) to create
a favourable impression

may fake bad (e.g., in clinical or forensic settings) as a
cry for help or to appear mentally disturbed

may use some subtle questions that are difficult to fake
because they arent clearly face valid

Faking Bad
People try to look worse than they really are
Common problem in clinical settings

Reasons:
Cry for help
Want to plea insanity in court
Want to avoid draft into military
Want to show psychological damage

Most people who fake bad overdo it

Random Responding
Random responding may occur when test takers are
unwilling or unable to respond accurately.

likely to occur when test taker lacks the skills (e.g.,
reading), does not want to be evaluated, or lacks attention
to the task

try to detect by embedding a scale that tends to yield
clear results from vast majority such that a different
result suggests the test taker wasnt cooperating
Random Responding
Random responding may occur when test takers are
unwilling or unable to respond accurately.

likely to occur when test taker lacks the skills (e.g.,
reading), does not want to be evaluated, or lacks attention
to the task

try to detect by embedding a scale that tends to yield
clear results from vast majority such that a different
result suggests the test taker wasnt cooperating
Random Responding
Detection:

Duplicate items:
I love my mother.
I hate my mother.

Infrequency scales:
Ive never had hair on my head.
I have not seen a car in 10 years.

Mooney Problem Check list
Popular in Malaysia
Not a test
11 categories list of problems
Identify problems faced by clients

Mooney Problem Checklist
(1950)
problems include morals & religion,
finances & living conditions, adjustment to
school work, social relations
no score is computed
Sample Items
Read the list slowly and as you come to a
problem which is troubling you, draw a line
under it:
Often have headaches
Too crowded at home
Unpopular
Drinking
Getting low grades
Test Design
In order for a test to be accurate, it
must meet the three standards
below.
Standardization
Validity
Reliability
Standardization
Standardization refers to the
uniform procedures used in
administrating and scoring a test.
Test norms: information used to
rank scores in relation to other
scores on the test.
Can you think of examples
Validity
Refers to the
ability of a test
to measure
what it was
designed to
measure.

Examples
What psychologist
promoted
introspection?
Who developed the
four mechanisms for
dreaming?
What school of
psychology does
Skinner belong to?
Reliability
Reliability
refers to the
measurement
consistency of a
test (or other
techniques).
Example
You take a personality
test and are scored as
assertive. Three
weeks later you take
the same test and are
scored as passive. A
drastic change is
probably a result of an
unreliable test.
Testing Reliability
Test-retest
Comparing subjects scores on
two administrations of a test.
Correlation Coefficient
A numerical index of the degree
of relationship (-1, +1)
WRAP UP
VPI /SDS- Interest test (career)
Work value inventory- (WVI)Value
test/satisfaction(career)
Minnesota Importance questionnaire (work
value)

Think!
Why do we have so many tests?
How can we use testing to improve
. . .?
How does psychological testing
apply to school, careers, sports,
etc?
GROUP WORK
List Pshychology Test
List all the career inventories