Why is Psychological Testing So Important?
Psychological testing is an important part of the work that psychologists do.
Unfortunately, many people confuse psychological testing with intelligence tests. While most psychology graduate schools include a course on intelligence and achievement testing, it is important to realize that this is only a small part of what is involved in psychological assessment. Psychological assessment is a process by which a psychologist responds to the question “Why is this person acting the way he/she does?”
The various goals of psychological assessment are to increase our understanding about factors that might be influencing a person’s behavior, clarify behavioral criteria that must be met before an intervention should begin, provide reasonable expectations about intervention outcomes based on identified factors, and identify reasonable eligibility for services. We cannot begin to consider any of these goals without first having information about the person that we want to understand better (e.g., age, gender, diagnosis).
There are many types of assessment instruments or tests available for psychologists to use with their clients. The most frequently used psychological tests are organized into five general categories: achievement testing, intelligence and intellectual assessment, personality testing, projective techniques, and neuropsychological assessment. There are also tests that can be used to understand more about an individual’s life experiences (e.g., trauma) and the impact of these experiences on their current functioning. These areas of testing overlap in some cases; for example, intelligence is often assessed using projective techniques.
Psychological testing by Blacksburg Psychological Testing is a complex process that requires a number of different types of skills and knowledge on the part of both the psychologist and the test administrator. Psychological assessment cannot be conducted by any one professional, as there are many different areas of specialization within psychology (e.g., clinical neuropsychology). In order for psychological testing to be conducted by a qualified individual, the following requirements must be met:
1. The psychologist from the Blacksburg Psychological Testing center should have a doctoral degree from an accredited university or college
2. In addition to the psychological training that all psychologists have received, the test administrator must have specific training in administration and scoring of tests as well as understanding what makes a particular test appropriate for a given situation and individual
3. The psychologist from the Blacksburg Psychological Testing center must be familiar with the purpose for which a particular type of test has been designed and how it is best used
4. The psychologist should know about the various types of tests available and what each test measures; this includes understanding the limitations as well as the strengths of various assessment instruments
5. In order for Blacksburg Psychological Testing center to provide quality care, all testing instruments must be reliable and valid
6. The psychologist from the Blacksburg Psychological Testing center should have knowledge about what other professionals in regard to assessment in order refer individuals appropriately
7. The psychologist must have effective communication skills that allow him/her to clearly convey information both orally and in writing
8. The psychologist must have knowledge about ethical, legal, and social issues that are involved in psychological assessment
9. The psychologist from the Blacksburg Psychological Testing center must have knowledge about professional standards for test development and use
10. The psychologist should be able to interpret results of psychometric tests using statistical procedures correctly
In conclusion, psychological testing is an important part of the diagnostic process. Psychological testing provides information about many aspects of a person’s personality, abilities, and experiences that cannot otherwise be adequately assessed (e.g., intelligence, personality). The psychologist (or trained test administrator) assists clients in making decisions related to their health care by interpreting assessment results using established guidelines for psychological testing.