Chapter Introduction
Section 1: Characteristics of
Psychological Tests
Section 2: Intelligence Testing
Section 3: Measuring
Achievement, Abilities,
and Interests
Section 4: Personality Testing
Chapter Objectives · Section 1
Characteristics of
Psychological Tests
Examine the characteristics that make
a psychological test useful: reliability,
validity, and standardization.
Chapter Objectives · Section 2
Intelligence Testing
Explore the ways in which IQ tests
are used to measure intelligence
and explain the various theories of
what constitutes intelligence.
Chapter Objectives · Section 3
Measuring Achievement,
Abilities, and Interests
Describe the various test
psychologists have developed to
assess special abilities and
experiences.
Chapter Objectives · Section 4
Personality Testing
Explain how personality tests are used
to assess personality characteristics
and identify problems.
Main Idea
To be useful, tests have to be standardized
and exhibit reliability and validity.
Vocabulary
• reliability
• validity
• percentile system
• norms
Objectives
• Identify three ways of measuring reliability.
• Explain test standardization and how test
validity is assessed.
What does the fairness and
usefulness of a test depend on?
A. Reliability
B. Validity
C. Standardization
D. All of the above
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Characteristics of Psychological Tests
• A test can:
– Predict how well a person might do in a
career.
– Assess an individual’s desires, interests,
and attitudes.
– Reveal psychological problems.
Characteristics of Psychological Tests
(cont.)
• A standardized test can:
– Provide comparable data about many
individuals.
– Show how an individual compares to
others.
– Help psychologists help people
understand things about themselves
more clearly.
Characteristics of Psychological Tests
(cont.)
• The fairness and usefulness of a test depend
on reliability, validity, and standardization.
Which is NOT a way of determining a
test’s reliability?
A. Test-retest
B. Scorer
C. Split-half
D. Time-retime
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Test Reliability
• Reliability refers to the ability of a test to
give the same results under similar
conditions.
• Three ways of determining a test’s reliability:
– Test-retest reliability
– Interscorer (and scorer) reliability
– Split-half reliability
Judging Reliability
If every other student in a class receives
a different test on the same subject
matter, is this reliable?
A. Yes
B. No
C. It depends on
the results.
0%
A
A. A
B. B
C.0% C
B
0%
C
Test Validity
• Validity is the ability of a test to measure
what it is intended to measure.
• One of the chief methods for measuring
validity is to find out its predictive validity—
how well a test predicts performance.
Judging Validity
Test Validity (cont.)
• Nothing can be said about a test’s validity
unless the purpose of the test is absolutely
clear.
What is the chief method for measuring
validity?
A. Predictive validity
B. Relevance
C. Precision
D. Accuracy
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Standardization
• Standardization refers to two things:
– Standardized tests must be administered
and scored the same way every time.
– Standardization refers to establishing the
norm, or average score, made by a large
group of people.
Standardization (cont.)
• Percentile system
• Norms
• Norms are not really standards; they only
refer what has been found to be average
for a particular group.
Establishing Percentiles
Standardization (cont.)
• When you take a test and obtain your score,
you should consider these questions:
– Do you think that if you took the same test
again, you would receive a similar score?
– Does your performance on this test reflect
your usual performance in the subject?
– If you were to compare your score with
those of your classmates, would it reflect
your general standing within that group?
What are the two things standardization
refers to?
A. Consistency and
character
B. Consistency and
establishing norms
C. Character and fairness
D. None of the above
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Main Idea
Several IQ tests are used to measure
intelligence, although there are many views
about what constitutes intelligence.
Vocabulary
• Intelligence
• cultural bias
• two-factor theory
• triarchic theory
• emotional intelligence
• intelligence quotient (IQ)
• heritability
Objectives
• Explain the various views of intelligence.
• Identify two kinds of IQ tests.
Do you think IQ tests are good
indication of intelligence?
A. Yes
B. No
C. Not sure
0%
A
A. A
B. B
C.0%C
B
0%
C
Views of Intelligence
• Intelligence
• Two-factor theory of intelligence—a
person’s intelligence is composed of a
general ability level and specific mental
abilities.
Views of Intelligence (cont.)
• Thurstone’s theory of intelligence—
intelligence is composed of seven primary
mental abilities:
– Verbal
comprehension
– Numerical ability
– Spatial relations
– Perceptual
speed
– Word fluency
– Memory
– Inductive
reasoning
Thurstone’s Seven
Primary Mental Abilities
Views of Intelligence (cont.)
• Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences:
– Verbal ability
– Interpersonal skills
– Logical-mathematical
reasoning skills
– Intrapersonal skills
– Spatial ability
– Musical ability
– Body-kinesthetic ability
– Naturalist
intelligence
– Experience of
existence
Views of Intelligence (cont.)
• Gardner argues that the biological
organization of the brain affects one’s
strength in each of the eight areas.
• His critics claim that some of the
capacities are really just skills.
Gardner’s Multiple
Intelligences
Howard Gardner
Views of Intelligence (cont.)
• Sternberg’s Theory of Intelligence—the
triarchic theory—a person’s intelligence
involves analytical, creative, and practical
thinking skills.
• Emotional Intelligence
Views of Intelligence (cont.)
• Four major aspects of emotional intelligence:
– The ability to perceive and express
emotions accurately and appropriately.
– The ability to use emotions while thinking.
– The ability to understand emotions and use
the knowledge effectively.
– The ability to regulate one’s emotions to
promote personal growth.
According to Gardner’s Multiple
Intelligences, being skilled at
distinguishing differences among large
numbers of similar objects falls under
which label?
D. Naturalist
A
0%
D
C. Interpersonal
C
B. Spatial
A. A
B. B
C. C
0%
0%
0%
D. D
B
A. Linguistic
The Development of Intelligence Tests
• The Standford-Binet Intelligence Scale
groups test items by age level.
• The IQ, or intelligence quotient (IQ), is a
standardized measure of intelligence
based on a scale in which 100 is average.
Typical Items on the
Stanford-Binet Test
The Development of Intelligence Tests
(cont.)
• The Otis-Lennon Ability Test is often used
today—this test seeks to measure the
cognitive abilities that are related to a
student’s ability to learn and succeed in
school.
The Development of Intelligence Tests
(cont.)
• The Wechsler Tests—These tests yield
percentile scores in separate areas, such
as vocabulary and arithmetic, which
provide a more detailed picture of the
individual’s strengths and weaknesses.
Sample Items on the
Wechsler Tests
Which test seeks to measure the
cognitive abilities that are related to a
student’s ability to learn and succeed
in school?
A. Stanford-Binet
B. Wechsler
C. Otis-Lennon
D. None of the above
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
The Uses and Meaning of IQ Scores
• IQ tests seem to be most useful when
related to school achievement.
• They are accurate in predicting which
people will do well in schools, colleges,
and universities.
• However, critics wonder whether such
tests actually measure intelligence.
Distribution of IQ
Scores
What percentage of people score
between 70 and 130 on IQ tests?
A. 50
B. 75
C. 85
D. 95
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Controversy Over IQ Testing
• The main question—
– Do genetic differences or environmental
inequalities cause two people to receive
different scores on intelligence tests?
Controversy Over IQ Testing (cont.)
• Researchers test people with varying
degrees of genetic relationships to help
answer this question.
• They have found a high degree of
heritability
• As genetic relationship increases, the
similarity of IQ also increases.
Controversy Over IQ Testing (cont.)
• Factors such as the richness of the home
environment, the quality of food, and the
number of brothers and sister in the family
also affect IQ.
• So, research has proven that both heredity
and environment have an impact on
intelligence.
Controversy Over IQ Testing (cont.)
• A major criticism of intelligence tests is that
they have a cultural bias.
The Dove Counterbalance
Intelligence Test
Which do you think plays a greater
factor in a person’s IQ, genetics or
environmental factors?
A. Genetics
B. Environmental
factors
A. A
B. B
0%
A
0%
B
Main Idea
Psychologists have developed tests to
assess special abilities and experiences.
Vocabulary
• aptitude test
• achievement test
• interest inventory
Objectives
• Identify the most widely used aptitude
tests, achievement tests, and interest
inventories.
• Explain the application of aptitude tests,
achievement tests, and interest
inventories.
Which class do you best excel in?
A. Math
B. Science
C. English
D. History
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Aptitude Tests
• Aptitude tests estimate the probability that
the person will be successful in learning a
specific new skill.
• They are assessed in terms of their
predictive validity.
Aptitude Tests (cont.)
• Examples:
– Differential Aptitude Test (DATE)
– General Aptittude Test Battery (GATB)
– SAT
– ACT
The GATB
Which test is used to measure how
well a student will do in law school?
A. SAT
B. GATB
C. LSAT
D. MCAT
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Achievement Tests
• Achievement tests are designed to
measure how much a person has already
learned in a particular area.
• They are validated in terms of their content
validity, or how well they measure a
student’s mastery of a set of knowledge.
Achievement Tests (cont.)
• The distinction between aptitude and
achievement tests rests more on purpose
and validation than on content.
Achievement Tests (cont.)
• Computers are often used to administer
adaptive testing.
• The computer changes the question
difficulty as it adapts the test to your
performance.
• If you answer several problems correctly,
the computer challenges you with harder
problems and vice versa.
Achievement Tests (cont.)
• Adaptive instruction—by increasing the
questions posed on topics you are
missing, the computer reinforces more
careful studying in areas least understood.
What kind of testing is used if harder
questions are given to you when
answer a couple questions correctly?
A. Adaptive
B. Computerized
C. Innate
D. Content validity
0%
A
A.
B.
C.
0%
D.
B
A
B
C
0%
D
C
0%
D
Interest Inventories
• Interest inventory—measures a person’s
preferences and attitudes in a wide variety
of activities to identify areas of likely
success.
• The purpose of these measures is to help
people find the career that is right for
them.
The KPR
What is the purpose of the Kuder
Preference Record?
A. To help people find the
career that is right for them
B. To measure intelligence
0%
0%
D
0%
C
A
0%
A
B
C
D
B
A.
C. To measure physical strength
B.
D. To help people find the
C.
college that is right for them
D.
Main Idea
Personality tests are used to assess an
individual’s characteristics and to identify
problems.
Vocabulary
• personality test
• objective test
• projective test
Objectives
• Identify the most widely used personality
tests.
• Describe the use of personality tests.
How many personality types did
Hippocrates think there were?
A. 4
B. 8
C. 12
D. 16
0%
A
A.
B.
0%
C.
D.
B
A
B
0%
C
D
C
0%
D
Objective Personality Tests
• Personality test
• Objective test
• The items on the MMPI reveal habits,
fears, delusions, sexual attitudes, and
symptoms of psychological disorders.
Objective Personality Tests (cont.)
• It was originally developed to help
diagnose psychological disorders.
• Scoring is based on patterns of responses.
• Most psychologists feel that the scores
should be supplemented and confirmed
with interviews and observations.
• Some critics question the test’s validity.
Objective Personality Tests (cont.)
• The MMPI can also differentiate
demeanors such as introversionextraversion and assertiveness.
• The CPI is similar to the MMPI, but does
not have any of the questions that reveal
psychiatric illnesses.
• It measures traits such as responsibility,
self-control, and tolerance.
MMPI Scales
Objective Personality Tests (cont.)
• The Meyers-Briggs Test (MBTI) is used to
predict things like adjustment to stress,
leadership, and job success.
• This test focuses on how a person takes in
information, makes decisions, and
approaches day-to-day tasks.
Objective Personality Tests (cont.)
• The MBTI characterizes personality on
four different scales:
– Extraversion vs. introversion
– Intuition vs. sensing
– Feeling vs. thinking
– Judging vs. perceiving
Objective Personality Tests (cont.)
• The creators of the MBTI believe that each
person’s personality is a combination of
these characteristics.
Which test focuses on how a person
takes in information, makes decisions,
and approaches day-to-day tasks?
A. MMPI
B. CPI
0%
D
A
0%
A
B
0%
C
D
C
D. None of the above
A.
B.
0%
C.
D.
B
C. MBTI
Projective Personality Tests
• Projective test
• The test taker projects his or her feelings,
perspectives, and attitudes onto the test
items.
Projective Personality Tests (cont.)
• The theory underlying the Rorschach
inkblot test is that anything that someone
does or says will reveal an aspect of that
person’s personality.
• Many researchers have criticized the test,
charging that the scoring systems are
neither reliable nor valid.
Projective Personality Tests (cont.)
• The Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
consists of a series of 20 cards containing
pictures of vague but suggestive situations.
• The individual is asked to tell a story about
the picture.
Projective Personality Tests (cont.)
• This test is used to:
– urge clients to speak freely about their
problems.
– assess the motivation and personality
characteristics of the individual.
– assess personality problems of
individuals.
Projective Personality Tests (cont.)
• Like the Rorschach, there are many
different scoring systems.
Approaches to
Reducing Test Anxiety
Do you feel that an objective or a
projective test would yield the most
information about a person?
A. Objective
B. Projective
C. Not sure
0%
A
A. A
B. B
0%
C. C
B
0%
C
Judging Reliability
On the left, the test scores obtained by
seven individuals are ordered on a scale.
On the right, the corresponding scores on
a second version of the same test, given at
a later time, are ordered. In the upper
diagram, the two sets of scores correspond
very closely—meaning the test is highly
reliable.
Judging Validity
The upper diagram represents the result of
comparing the Stanford-Binet Intelligence
Scale scores with school grades. The lower
diagram represents the comparison of
scores on the head size test of intelligence
with school grades. (The head size test is
simply measuring the size of a student’s
head.)
Establishing Percentiles
The range of possible raw scores on a test is shown in relation to an idealized curve
that indicates the proportion of people who achieved each score. The vertical lines
indicate percentiles, or proportions of the curve below certain points. Thus, the line
indicated as the 1st percentile is the line below which only 1 percent of the curve lies.
Thurstone’s Seven Primary Mental Abilities
Thurstone’s theory of intelligence did not include the idea of a general intelligence.
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
Gardner proposed that each person has numerous and unrelated intelligences. He
points out that a person can be outstanding in some intelligences and not in others.
Sample Items on
the Wechsler Tests
These test items are
similar to those included in
the various Wechsler
intelligence scales.
Distribution of IQ Scores
This normal curve displays intelligence as measured by the Stanford-Binet and
Wechsler tests. The mean IQ score is 100; the standard deviation is 15.
The Dove Counterbalance Intelligence Test
In the 1960s, psychologist Adrian Dove developed the Counterbalance Intelligence
Test to stress that cultural background can influence performance on an intelligence
test.
The GATB
Samples of items from the GATB testing verbal
skills, mathematical skills, and manual skills are
shown here.
The KPR
Shown are items from the Kuder Preference Record (KPR). The individual taking the
test chooses from among three possible activities the one he or she would most like to
do and the one he or she would least like to do.
MMPI Scales
The MMPI is a truefalse self-questionnaire
that is designed to
assess major patterns
of personality and
emotional disorders.
Clinical scales identify
the specific areas
whose content includes
references to a specific
disorder. Validity scales
assess whether the test
taker was lying or faking
answers.
Approaches to Reducing Test Anxiety
Many people worry about taking any kind of test. When someone comes to a
psychologist complaining of test anxiety, the psychologist may approach the problem
in a variety of ways, depending on his or her theoretical orientation.
Typical Items on the Stanford-Binet Test
Howard Gardner
1943–
“I’m sure there are
lots of different
intelligences. I’m sure
an educational
approach that pays
attention to this is
going to be more
effective than one that
denies it.”
Chapter Concepts
Transparencies
Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
Triarchic Theory of Intelligence
Aptitude and Achievement Tests
Select a transparency to view.
reliability: the ability of a test to give the
same results under similar conditions
validity: the ability of a test to measure
what it is intended to measure
percentile system: ranking of test
scores that indicates the ratio of scores
lower and higher than a given score
norms: standard of comparison for test
results developed by giving the test to
large, well-defined groups of people
intelligence: the ability to acquire new
ideas and new behavior, and to adapt to
new situations
two-factor theory: proposes that a
person’s intelligence is composed of a
general ability level and specific mental
abilities
triarchic theory: proposes that a
person’s intelligence involves analytical,
creative, and practical thinking skills
emotional intelligence: interpersonal
and intrapersonal abilities needed to
understand and use knowledge of
emotions effectively
intelligence quotient (IQ): standardized
measure of intelligence based on a scale
in which 100 is average
heritability: the degree to which a
characteristic is related to inherited
genetic factors
cultural bias: an aspect of an
intelligence test in which the wording
used in questions may be more familiar
to people of one social group than to
another group
aptitude test: estimates the probability
that a person will be successful in
learning a specific new skill
achievement test: measures how much
a person has learned in a given subject
or area
interest inventory: measures a person’s
preferences and attitudes in a wide
variety of activities to identify areas of
likely success
personality test: assesses an
individual’s characteristics and identifies
problems
objective test: a limited- or forcedchoice test in which a person must select
one of several answers
projective test: an unstructured test in
which a person is asked to respond
freely, giving his or her own interpretation
of various ambiguous stimuli
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