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Psychological Testing

Uttara Manohar Apr 23, 2019
Psychological testing is a widely employed method for assessing several cerebral characteristics of human beings. Learn how this is applied when it comes to testing several areas of the human psyche.
Psychological testing is an imperative branch of psychology that deals with creating and using several tests, in order to determine various aspects of psychology, like brain function, behavioral patterns, attitudes, intelligence, and emotions.


Norm-referenced Tests

Norm-referenced tests compare an individual's test performance with the statistical representation of the population. Norms are available for standardized psychological testing, which allows a comparison of an individual's scores with those in the group norms. One of the common examples of norm-referenced tests is the graduate record examination (GRE).

IQ Tests

IQ testing is used to measure intelligence. Alfred Binet introduced the idea of IQ tests in 1904. The 'Intelligence quotient' is defined as Mental Age divided by Chronological Age. IQ tests are a kind of norm-referenced test employed for assessing various abilities of the candidates.
Generally, they include a series of tasks presented to the candidate, the responses for which are graded according to prescribed guidelines. Most of them comprise tests measuring factual knowledge, memory skills, abstract reasoning, visual-spatial abilities, and most importantly, the common sense of the candidates.

Neuropsychological Tests

Neurological tests are a part of neuropsychological assessment. These are distinctively designed tests, which are used to assess the psychological function, known to be linked to a particular brain pathway. The test needs to be conducted in a quiet atmosphere devoid of distractions. 
The Luria-Nebraska and Halstead-Reitan test batteries are the most popular and commonly used neuropsychological tests. They help to detect and localize brain impairment, and also help in development of rehabilitation programs for mentally impaired individuals.

Vocational Testing

There exist a range of psychological tests that help to define a person's aptitude for a specific vocation; these are called the vocational tests. They are very helpful for people who are trying to figure out their interest, or are confused about specific career options.
A majority of these make use of the Holland codes, which divides the vocational interests into 6 categories:

➤Realistic (Hands-on and outdoor occupations)
➤Investigative (Scientific / Forensic / Research)
➤Artistic (creative professions)
➤Social (counseling, social work or teaching)
➤Enterprising (Business / Management or Sales)
➤Conventional (clerical)

Personality Tests

Personality tests can be of various types and they aim to assess or describe several facets of a person's character, including their behavioral patterns, thoughts, and feelings. The earliest references to personality tests are seen in the Greek Philosopher Hippocrates' works.
Today, there exist several types of personality traits that focus either on specific aspects of the personality or the personality as a whole. There are objective, projective, forensic personality tests or even ones that define a person's specific habits and attitudes, regarding subjects like money, education, or life in general.
Quite often in life, we tend to have misconceptions about ourselves, or sometimes rely too much on other people's opinions to fathom our own abilities. These testing methods are effective tools for us to discover our own abilities and limitations as well.