Special fields of psychology — страница 8

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Tests Currently, a wide range of testing procedures is used in the U.S. and elsewhere. Each type of procedure is designed to carry out specific functions. Achievement Tests . These tests are designed to assess current performance in an academic area. Because achievement is viewed as an indicator of previous learning, it is often used to predict future academic success. An achievement test administered in a public school setting would typically include separate measures of vocabulary, language skills and reading comprehension, arithmetic computation and problem solving, science, and social studies. Individual achievement is determined by comparison of results with average scores derived from large representative national or local samples. Scores may be expressed in terms of

“grade-level equivalents”; for example, an advanced third-grade pupil may be reading on a level equivalent to that of the average fourth-grade student. Aptitude Tests. These tests predict future performance in an area in which the individual is not currently trained. Schools, businesses, and government agencies often use aptitude tests when assigning individuals to specific positions. Vocational guidance counseling may involve aptitude testing to help clarify individual career goals. If a person’s score is similar to scores of others already working in a given occupation, likelihood of success in that field is predicted. Some aptitude tests cover a broad range of skills pertinent to many different occupations. The General Aptitude Test Battery, for example, not only

measures general reasoning ability but also includes form perception, clerical perception, motor coordination, and finger and manual dexterity. Other tests may focus on a single area, such as art, engineering, or modern languages. Intelligence Tests. In contrast to tests of specific proficiencies or aptitudes, intelligence tests measure the global capacity of an individual to cope with the environment. Test scores are generally known as intelligence quotients, or IQs, although the various tests are constructed quite differently. The Stanford-Binet is heavily weighted with items involving verbal abilities; the Wechsler scales consist of two separate verbal and performance subscales, each with its own IQ. There are also specialized infant intelligence tests, tests that do not

require the use of language, and tests that are designed for group administration. The early intelligence scales yielded a mental-age score, expressing the child’s ability to do as well as average children who were older, younger, or equivalent in chronological age. The deviation IQ used today expresses the individual’s position in comparison to a representative group of people of the same age. The average IQ is set at 100; about half of those who take the test achieve scores between 90 and 110. IQ scores may vary according to testing conditions, and, thus, it is advisable to understand results of the tests as falling within a certain range, such as average or superior. Interest Inventories. Self-report questionnaires on which the subject indicates personal preferences among

activities are called interest inventories. Because interests may predict satisfaction with some area of employment or education, these inventories are used primarily in guidance counseling. They are not intended to predict success, but only to offer a framework for narrowing career possibilities. For example, one frequently used interest inventory, the Kudor Preference Record, includes ten clusters of occupational interests: outdoors, mechanical, computational, scientific, persuasive, artistic, literary, musical, social service, and clerical. For each item, the subject indicates which of three activities is best or least liked. The total score indicates the occupational clusters that include preferred activities. Objective Personality Tests. These tests measure social and

emotional adjustment and are used to identify the need for psychological counseling. Items that briefly describe feelings, attitudes, and behaviors are grouped into subscales, each representing a separate personality or style, such as social extroversion or depression. Taken together, the subscales provide a profile of the personality as a whole. One of the most popular psychological tests is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), constructed to aid in diagnosing psychiatric patients. Research has shown that the MMPI may also be used to describe differences among normal personality types. Projective Techniques. Some personality tests are based on the phenomenon of projection, a mental process described by Sigmund Freud as the tendency to attribute to others