Psychological Testing – Advantages and Disadvantages
Psychological tests are used for assessment and evaluation of the test taker by a competent examiner. That is why it is also called psychological assessment. But of course, the tests can only be accurate and reliable if you answer it carefully, honestly and seriously.
A competent psychologist is generally the interpreter of these psychological tests. But it should be noted that psychological tests are advantageous only in certain situations. Free psychological tests circulated through the internet are usually bests for entertainment purposes.
So what are some useful types of psychological tests? Tests that measure your knowledge about a certain specific topic, or capacity for certain skills are called achievement and aptitude tests. Intelligence tests would say about your general ability to know the world around you. It also assesses how you use the intelligence to adapt to the world, and in what manner you apply this general ability. Therefore, we can say that the focus of intelligence tests is potential. Neuropsychological tests measure loss in functions of cognitive ability. Occupational tests are used to match your interests with the interests involving a certain career or occupation. Personality tests try to determine the style of your personality usually for clinical or forensic purposes. Specific clinical tests refer to tests that measure certain specific levels within a person in terms of his or her state of mind, like depression or anxiety.
One great advantage for using or taking psychological tests is that it is quite difficult to lie. For example, the Rorschach test does not offer any clue for the test taker about what would be a healthy response or an unhealthy response to the questions asked by the test. In this way, biases for making a favorable or an unfavorable impression can be avoided. Another advantage is the scientific consistency present through the test that cannot be found in clinical interviews. For instance, when it comes to legal situations, these tests can be more helpful than interviews. And last but not the least; information can be more easily taken from tests instead of interviews. Both psychologists and clients can compromise the reliability of clinical interviews.
However, sometimes tests do not really measure what they are supposed to measure. Therefore always remember the following guidelines:
• Always identify the purpose of testing.
• Identify the names and rationales of the tests.
• Always get the results of the tests.
Remember these guidelines, and always refer to a psychologist you trust.