What is psychological testing and assessment

Psychology is the study of human thought processes and behaviors. A mental health professional (psychologist or psychotherapist) uses a variety of methods, techniques and approaches to assess and diagnose psychological disorders, mental illnesses and emotional distress. One of the most popular diagnostic tools that a mental health professional uses to treat his/her clients is psychological assessments. Psychological assessments are tests that provide mental health professionals with an idea of how an individual, family, couple and/or group of people think, rationalize and reason. These tests also help professionals learn their clients’ characteristics and traits. Furthermore, psychological assessments can help predict future behaviors. Mental health professionals like psychologists, psychiatrists, clinical social workers and psychotherapists use these psychology tests to determine if an individual is likely to repeat certain behaviors. These tests also help reveal psychological disorders, mental illnesses and psychiatric symptoms. If you are wondering what kind of psychological assessments are available-you have come to the right place. This article will help you understand the different psychological assessments so that you can use them when you enter the field of psychology.
Listed below are the different psychological assessments available:
• Personality Tests

What is a personality test? Well, a personality test is a self-reported inventory (account) that examines your patterns, personal characteristics, traits and behaviors. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory II (MMPI-2) is the most common personality test used today. It typically takes approximately 60 minutes to complete and consists of between 550 and 600 true or false questions. The MMPI-2 explorers a variety of issues such as: relationship dysfunction, medical and health concerns, drug, alcohol, gambling and sex addictions, low self-esteem, clinical depression, adjustment disorders, personality disorders, manic depression (i.e. bipolar disorder), hallucinations, anxiety and delusions. A shorter version of this personality test (MMPI-2-RF) is available. This version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory II only contains approximately 330 questions. Another common personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). This assessment helps determine personality types (traits) based on your thought processes and behaviors.

• College & Occupational Inventories

What are college and occupational inventories? Well college and occupational inventories are interest inventories. These assessments are typically administered to high school students to help them determine what field to study in college. They are also given to graduating college students and those in the workforce who are looking for a new career path. The Strong Interest Inventory (SII) is one of the most popular college and occupational interest inventories used today. This inventory identifies an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes and preferences. The results are calculated and the test alerts the individual which college fields and/or occupational areas (i.e. investigative, social, artistic, conventional, enterprising and realistic) he or she would most likely excel in.

• Intelligence Tests

What is an intelligence test? An intelligence test is used to assess an individual’s intellectual functioning (intelligence). Although there are many different theories on intelligence, most mental health professionals agree that intelligence includes the ability to adapt to new surroundings and learn from past mistakes. One of the most popular intelligence tests is the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales. This assessment is typically administered to individuals between the ages of 2 and 85. It is used to assess an individual’s memory, reasoning skills, knowledge and visual-spatial processing. The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-III (WISC-III) and the Cognitive Assessment System (CAS) are also used to measure intelligence.
Benson, E. (2003). Intelligent intelligence testing. American Psychological Association, 34(2). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/monitor/feb03/intelligent.aspx
The Myers & Briggs Foundation. (2014). MBTI basics. Retrieved from http://www.myersbriggs.org/my- mbti-personality-type/mbti-basics/

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