Psychology is a broad, exciting field. Psychologists work in settings ranging from schools and clinics to basic research laboratories, pharmaceutical firms, and private international companies. Despite this diversity, all psychologists have at least two things in common: They all study behavior, and they all depend to some extent on its measurement. This book concerns a particular type of measurement, psychological tests, which measure characteristics pertaining to all aspects of behavior in human beings.
Psychological Testing is the result of a long-standing partnership between the authors. As active participants in the development and use of psychological tests, we became disheartened because far too many undergraduate college students view psychological testing courses as boring and unrelated to their goals or career interests. In contrast, we see psychological testing as an exciting field. It has a solid place in the history of psychology, yet it is constandy in flux because of challenges, new developments, and controversies.
A book on testing should encourage, not dampen, a student’s interest. Thus, we provide an overview of the many facets of psychological tests and measurement principles in a style that will appeal to the contemporary college student.
To understand the applications and issues in psychological testing, the student must learn some basic principles, which requires some knowledge of introductory statistics. Therefore, some reviewing and a careful reading of Part I will pave the way for an understanding of the applications of tests discussed in Part II. Part III examines the issues now shaping the future of testing. Such issues include test anxiety, test bias, and the interface between testing and the law. The future of applied psychology may depend on the ability of psychologists to face these challenging issues.
Throughout the book, we present a series of focused discussions and focused examples. These sections illustrate the material in the book through examples or provide a more detailed discussion of a particular issue. We also use box features called “Psychological Testing in Everyday Life” to demonstrate material such as statistical calculations.
When you have completed this book, you should be able to:
► Define the basic terms pertaining to psychological and educational tests
► Distinguish between an individual test and a group test
► Define the terms achievement, aptitude, and intelligence and identify a concept that can encompass all three terms
► Distinguish between ability tests and personality tests
► Define the term structured personality test
► Explain how structured personality tests differ from projective personality tests
► Explain what a normative or standardization sample is and why such a sample is important
► Identify the major developments in the history of psychological testing
► Explain the relevance of psychological tests in contemporary society
PART I PRINCIPLES
- Norms and Basic Statistics for Testing
- Correlation and Regression
- Writing and Evaluating Test Items
- Test Administration
PART II APPLICATIONS
- Interviewing Techniques
- Theories of Intelligence and the Binet Scales
- The Wechsler Intelligence Scales: WAIS-IV, WISC-IV, and WPPSI-III
- Other Individual Tests of Ability in Education and Special Education
- Standardized Tests in Education, Civil Service, and the Military
- Applications in Clinical and Counseling Settings
- Projective Personality Tests
- Computers and Basic Psychological Science in Testing
- Testing in Counseling Psychology
- Testing in Health Psychology and Health Care
- Testing in Industrial and Business Settings
PART III ISSUES
- Test Bias
- Testing and the Law
- Ethics and the Future of Psychological Testing