Psychological Assessment Notes for January 16, 2008
The Token Test stimuli are always set up in the same way so that the subject confronts the same
Broad expertise in general psychology is needed for assessment, as well as specialized expertise
in the specific area of the question.
Tests vs. Assessment:
to be a test-giver, you must understand the theoretical construct underlying the test.
You must fully understand the normative sample to which you will compare the client’s
Must be aware of the test’s reliability and validity and temper interpretations in light of these
Must understand interpretive guidelines- results and interpretations sometimes depend on
age, culture, gender, or premorbid (“before disease”) condition. Sensory and motor
impairments may also affect the results.
Tests differ in:
Content/subject matter: can test personality, cognition, mood/emotion, memory, etc.
[An aside: State= present condition (e.g., “How anxious are you at this moment?”); trait=
baseline level of a condition (e.g., “How anxious are you on a typical, ordinary day for
Format: multiple choice, true/false, matching; Likert Scales, pencil and paper v. oral
responses v. manipulative responses v. computerized presentation and response.
Administration procedures: tests can be given individually, in groups, or self-administered.
A computer or the administrator may give the test as well.
Scoring Systems: numerical (e.g., number correct), qualitative measures (e.g., a code or a
profile), quantitative measures (e.g., reaction time), and cut off scores (pass/fail).
Nominal scale: just labels (e.g., numbers on a football jersey)
Ordinal scale: ranking; tells you nothing about the magnitude of the difference
between any two scores (e.g., student rank in graduating class)
Interval scale: implies a known magnitude of difference between two numbers- the
intervals between numbers are equal; there is no absolute zero point (e.g.,
Ratio scale: there is a true zero point; one is able to know the exact
difference between any two scores (e.g., height, weight).