Types of Psychological tests


What is Psychological/ Psychometric Test?

According to Gregory (2015) Psychological test is a standardized procedure for sampling behavior and describing it with categories or scores.

Kaplan (2005) defined psychological test as a set of items that are designed to measure characteristics of human beings that pertain to behavior.

According to American Psychological Association (APA), Psychological Test is any standardized instrument, including scales and self-report inventories, used to measure behavior or mental attributes, such as attitudes, emotional functioning, intelligence and cognitive abilities (reasoning, comprehension, abstraction, etc.), aptitudes, values, interests, and personality characteristics. To read more click here

Types of Psychological Tests on formats

  1. Administration criteria – Individual test TAT & Group Test (SPM)
  2. Scoring tests– Objective test (NEO FFI) & Subjective Test (Projective tests – TAT, )
  3. Time Limit– Speed test (Achievement tests with time limit ) & Power test (Test with increasing difficulty – SPM )
  4. Nature & Content of Items- Verbal Test, Non Verbal test, Performance test, & Non Language test
  5. Standardization- Standard test (All psychometric tests)  & Teacher made tests.

Types of Psychological / Psychometric Tests on content 

Psychological tests used to measure specific constructs. Psychologists use these tests to help them to provide an accurate diagnosis for a client. Career counselors, educators, counselors and other mental health professionals also use them. There are many types of psychological tests based on different criterion.

  • Intelligence tests
  • Personality tests
  • Attitude tests
  • Achievement tests
  • Aptitude tests
  • Neuropsychological tests
  • Vocational tests
  • Direct observation tests
  • Specific clinical tests

1. Intelligence tests –

It is to measure intelligence, or your ability to understand your environment, interact with it and learn from it. Intelligence tests include:

Group tests-

  1. Standard Progressive Matrices (SPM),
  2. Cattell’s Culture-fair Test of Intelligence

Individual tests-

  1. Binet – Kamath test,
  2. Malin’s Intelligence Scale for Indian Children (MISIC)
  3. Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (SB)
  4. Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS)
  5. Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC)

2. Personality tests

It is to measure personality style and traits. Personality tests are commonly used in research or to assist with clinical diagnoses.

  1. Personality Factors (16PF) ,
  2. NEO-Five Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI),
  3. Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ-R)
  4. Woodworth Personal Data Sheet
  5. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
  6. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
  7. Rorschach  ‘inkblot test’

3. Attitude tests

It is to assess an individual’s feelings about an event, person, or object. Attitude scales are used in marketing to determine individual (and group) preferences for brands, or items. They generally use The  Likert Scale or the Thurstone Scale,

  1. Attitude scale towards  family planning –by Hakim Singh
  2. Attitude Interest Scale -by Terman & Miles
  3. Modernization Scale- by Rooma Pal

4. Achievement tests

It is used to measure how well you understand a particular topic (i.e., mathematics achievement tests).

  1. Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT)
  2. Peabody Individual Achievement Test ( PIAT)

5. Aptitude tests

To assess the potential of person. An aptitude is an innate inborn ability or capacity to learn to do a certain kind of work.

6. Vocational tests /career tests / occupational tests,

To measure your interests, values, strengths and weaknesses. To determine which careers or occupational settings you are most suitable for by Career psychologists and counselors To help clients make decisions about their future educational goals and career choices.

  1. Jackson Vocational Interest Survey (JVIS)
  2. Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

7. Direct Observation Tests 

To measures in which test takers are observed as they complete specific activities. It is common for this type of test to be administered to families in their homes, in a clinical setting such as a laboratory or in a classroom with children.

  1. Parent-Child Interaction Assessment-II (PCIA-II)
  2. MacArthur Story Stem Battery (MSSB)
  3. Dyadic Parent-child Interaction Coding System-II (DPICS II)

8 . Neuropsychological tests –

To detect impairments in your cognitive functioning that are thought to be a result of brain damage.

For example, if you were to have a stroke, you might have a neuropsychological test to see if there is any resulting cognitive damage (i.e., decreased ability to think due to damage in a brain pathway).

  1. The Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery.
  2. Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST)
  3. Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT)

9. Specific Clinical tests –

To measure specific clinical constructs, such as anxiety or PTSD.

  1. Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)
  2. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
  3. Hopelessness Scale for Children (HSC)

Uses of Psychological / Psychometric Tests

Test helps in measuring human behaviour.

It helps in evaluation purpose.   E.g. Achievement Test

It helps to monitor learning process. ( for –students, workers ,etc.)

It helps in educational guidance.

It helps in counselling programs.

To understand group behaviour tests are useful.

In diagnostic purpose tests are the reliable aids.(which therapy & et)

In Assessment centres .

In IO psychology Test helps in Personnel selection, recruitment and to screen interests of the employees.

In Defense-selection, situational tests.

References of Psychological / Psychometric Tests

  1. Anastasi, A. & Urbina, S. (2009). Psychological testing. N.D.: Pearson Education.
  2. Kaplan R.M.& Saccuzzo D.P.(2005) Psychological Testing, Principles ,Applications and Issues. Sixth Ed. Cengage Learning India, Pvt Ltd.
  3. Sherif, M. (1936). The Psychology of Social Norms. New York: Harper and Row. Asch, S. (1952). Social Psychology. (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall)
  4. Singh, A.K. (2006). Tests, Measurements and research methods in behavioural sciences. Patna: Bharati Bhavan.


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