Psychological tests are written, visual, or verbal evaluations administered to assess the cognitive and emotional functioning of children and adults.
Psychological tests are used to assess a variety of mental abilities and attributes, including achievement and ability, personality, and neurological functioning.
Achievement and ability tests
For children, academic achievement, ability, and intelligence tests may be used as a tool in school placement, in determining the presence of a learning disability or a developmental delay, in identifying giftedness, or in tracking intellectual development. Intelligence testing may be used with adults to determine vocational ability (e.g., in career counseling) or to assess adult intellectual ability in the classroom.
Personality tests are administered for a wide variety of reasons, from diagnosing psychopathology (e.g., personality disorder, depressive disorder) to screening job candidates. They may be used in an educational or vocational setting to determine personality strengths and weaknesses, or in the legal system to evaluate parolees.
Patients who have experienced a traumatic brain injury, brain damage, or organic neurological problems (for example, dementia) are administered neuropsychological tests to assess their level of functioning and identify areas of mental impairment. They may also be used to evaluate the progress of a patient who has undergone treatment or rehabilitation for a neurological injury or illness. In addition, certain neuropsychological measures may be used to screen children for developmental delays and/or learning disabilities.
Psychological testing requires a clinically trained examiner. All psychological tests should be administered, scored, and interpreted by a trained professional, preferably a psychologist or psychiatrist with expertise in the appropriate area.
Psychological tests are only one element of a...