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» Economics » Psychological test procedures » Topics begins with P » Psychological test

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After Lienert and Ratz (1998) a test is ""… a scientific routine procedure for the investigation one or several empirically definable personality characteristics with the goal of quantitative a statement over the relative degrees of individual characteristic development as possible".


In accordance with this definition a psychological test procedure must fulfill the following criteria:

  1. scientifically founds
  2. by routine, thus under standard conditions
  3. Possibility of the relative positioning of an individual concerning group or criterion
  4. empirically definably: no hidden characteristics and phenomena, like e.g. the unconscious in the psychoanalysis, but observable and measurable characteristics (Konstrukte), thus experience and behavior-analytically, and not only purely conceptually definable characteristics
  5. The characteristic which can be examined is linear and metric.

Kinds of psychological tests

Kategorial can be differentiated performance inspections, personality tests (i.e.S.), motivation and interest tests, anamnestische questionnaires and further special test procedures. The moreover one one differentiates between standard and criterion-oriented test procedures.

  • Performance inspection (e.g. IQ-tests) and concentration test (d2-Test), serve the measurement of one or several subranges of the Konstruktes intelligence (e.g. problem release ability) or one of the kinds of the concentration.
  • Personality test (e.g. 16PF) measure selected personality characteristics (traits) of humans.
  • Special test procedures (e.g. like the SCL-90 in the clinical psychology) are on special groups of rehearsing and or investigation purposes cut procedures.

Concerning the inquiry method at least three kinds are to be differentiated: The rehearsing and answers either written to paper (then PAPERs mentioned and pencil tests), enters its answers into a computer or divides it minutes prominent test leader verbally with (e.g. Sentences supplement).

With the test between questionnaire, projektiven procedure (e.g. Rorschachtest) differentiate. While in the questionnaire the rehearsing and describes its own habitual holding back and experiencing (self description so mentioned), it in the projektiven procedure asked for an arranging interpretation of the test chart. The compilation of the test procedures depends thereby on the respective investigation question.

Test construction

Tests can be designed according to according to the classical test theory or the probabilistic Testthorie.

There are several possibilities of manufacturing a test "designs". Once a decided theory about human behavior can be present (e.g. psychoanalytische theory or intelligence theory). Outgoing of it questions (Items) will then be generated, those by means of more or less statistic procedures will be examined for their quality (measuring accuracy, objectivity and validity). One forms hypothetical classes or groups, which one occupies with names or determines these classes by means of statistic procedures (e.g. factor analysis) (e.g. "Openness"). One can gradate these then according to intensity or frequency continuously or discretely (e.g. very much, something, little). The resulting measured values stand then for the development of the characteristic.

A further procedure calls itself externale construction. This only on the second view plausible procedures functions in such a way: one regards two distinguishable social groups (e.g. Alcohol-dependent vs. not dependent ones). Contentwise broadly varied (heterogeneous) Items is submitted to these groups. These are answered. Finally those Items are selected, which separate both groups statistically secured. Outgoing of it the test is then placed together. Now can be made (with a certain error probability) a correct classification in or other group (at other persons). Every now and then by this procedure Items are generated, which with what I to know would like, contentwise little in common have. The test becomes "obscure". An example would be the Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory (MMPI, Hathaway & McKinley, 1951), a personality test.

The inductive construction is actually committed to no theory. Here one arranges "blindly" Items, which fit contentwise to each other. This Items should be connected if possible (to correlate). By further connection examinations it can be decided then whether in such a way developed scale is valide.


  • Lienert, G., Raatz, And structure of test and test analysis. Beltz psychological publishing house union.
  • Wreath/ring, H. introduction to the classical test theory. Block publishing house.

See also

Interview, inquiry, Pretest, personality and differential psychology, psychology, diagnostics

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» Performance inspection
» Personality test
» Projektiver test
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