A psychological laboratory is a laboratory designed to measure various psychological assessments or tests.
Psychological laboratory aims at administration of psychological tests, which are designed to be “an objective and standardized measure of a sample of behaviour”.
It focuses on administration of various psychological tests. A well-constructed test is believed to reflect a psychological construct such as achievement in a school subject, cognitive ability, aptitude, emotional functioning, personality, etc.
The purpose of the Psychological lab is to assess the individuals on different domains including various psychological assessment.
A psychological test is one of the sources of data used within the process of assessment; usually more than one test is used and may use such as;
IQ tests purport to be measures of intelligence, while achievement tests are measures of the use and level of development of use of the ability. IQ (or cognitive) tests and achievement tests are common norm-referenced tests. In these types of tests, a series of tasks is presented to the person being evaluated, and the person’s responses are graded according to carefully prescribed guidelines. IQ tests which contain a series of tasks typically divide the tasks into verbal (relying on the use of language) and performance, or non-verbal (relying on eye–hand types of tasks, or use of symbols or objects). Examples of verbal IQ test tasks are vocabulary and information (answering general knowledge questions). Non-verbal examples are timed completion of puzzles (object assembly) and identifying images which fit a pattern (matrix reasoning).
IQ tests and Academic achievement tests are designed to be administered to either an individual (by a trained evaluator) or to a group of people (paper and pencil tests). The individually administered tests tend to be more comprehensive, more reliable, more valid and generally to have better psychometric characteristics than group-administered tests. However, individually administered tests are more expensive to administer because of the need for a trained administrator (psychologist, school psychologist, or psychometrician).
Attitude test assess an individual’s feelings about an event, person, or object. Attitude scales are used in marketing to determine individual (and group) preferences for brands, or items. Typically attitude tests use either a Thurstone scale, or Likert Scale to measure specific items.
These tests consist of specifically designed tasks used to measure a psychological function known to be linked to a particular brain structure or pathway. Neuropsychological tests can be used in a clinical context to assess impairment after an injury or illness known to affect neurocognitive functioning. When used in research, these tests can be used to contrast neuropsychological abilities across experimental groups.
Due to the fact that infants and preschool aged children have limited capacities of communication, psychologists are trained to use traditional tests to assess them. Therefore, many tests have been designed just for children ages birth to around six years of age. These tests usually vary with age respectively from assessments of reflexes and developmental milestones, to sensory and motor skills, language skills, and simple cognitive skills.
Common tests for this age group are split into categories: Infant Ability, Preschool Intelligence, and School Readiness. Common infant ability tests include: Gesell Developmental Schedules (GDS) which measures the developmental progress of infants, Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale (NBAS) which tests newborn behavior, reflexes, and responses, Ordinal Scales of Psychological Development (OSPD) which assesses infant intellectual abilities, and Bayley-III which tests mental ability and motor skills.
Common preschool intelligence tests include: McCarthy Scales of Children’s Abilities (MSCA) which is similar to an infant IQ test, Differential Ability Scales (DAS) which can be used to test for learning disability, Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence-III (WPPSI-III) and Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales for Early Childhood which could be seen as infant versions of IQ tests, and Fagan Test of Infant Intelligence (FTII) which tests recognition memory. Finally, some common school readiness tests are: Developmental Indicators for the Assessment of Learning-III (DIAL-III) which assesses motor, cognitive, and language skills, Denver II which tests motor, social, and language skills, and Home Observation for Measurement of Environment (HOME) which is a measure of the extent to which a child’s home environment facilitates school readiness.
Infant and preschool assessments, since they do not predict later childhood nor adult abilities, are mainly useful for testing if a child is experiencing developmental delay or disabilities. They are also useful for testing individual intelligence and ability, and, as aforementioned, there are some specifically designed to test school readiness and determine which children may struggle more in school.
Psychological measures of personality are often described as either objective tests or projective tests. The more descriptive “rating scale or self-report measures” and “free response measures” are suggested, rather than the terms “objective tests” and “projective tests,” respectively.
Objective tests have a restricted response format, such as allowing for true or false answers or rating using an ordinal scale. Prominent examples of objective personality tests include the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory(MMPI), Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-IV, Child Behavior Checklist, Symptom Checklist 90 and the Beck Depression Inventory. Objective personality tests can be designed for use in business for potential employees, such as the NEO-PI, the 16PF, and the OPQ (Occupational Personality Questionnaire), all of which are based on the Big Five taxonomy. The Big Five, or Five Factor Model of normal personality.
Another personality test based upon the Five Factor Model is the Five Factor Personality Inventory – Children (FFPI-C.).
Projective tests allow for a freer type of response. An example of this would be the Rorschach test, in which a person states what each of ten ink blots might be.
Projective tests may be useful in creating inferences to follow up with other methods. The most widely used scoring system for the Rorschach is the Exner system of scoring. Another common projective test is the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT),which is often scored with Westen’s Social Cognition and Object Relations Scales and Phebe Cramer’s Defense Mechanisms Manual. Both “rating scale” and “free response” measures are used in contemporary clinical practice, with a trend toward the former.
Other projective tests include the House-Tree-Person test, the Animal Metaphor Test.
The number of tests specifically meant for the field of sexology is quite limited. The field of sexology provides different psychological evaluation devices in order to examine the various aspects of the discomfort, problem or dysfunction, regardless of whether they are individual or relational ones.
Although most psychological tests are “rating scale” or “free response” measures, psychological assessment may also involve the observation of people as they complete activities. This type of assessment is usually conducted with families in a laboratory, home or with children in a classroom. The purpose may be clinical, such as to establish a pre-intervention baseline of a child’s hyperactive or aggressive classroom behaviors or to observe the nature of a parent-child interaction in order to understand a relational disorder. Direct observation procedures are also used in research, for example to study the relationship between intrapsychic variables and specific target behaviors, or to explore sequences of behavioral interaction.
The Parent-Child Interaction Assessment-II (PCIA) is an example of a direct observation procedure that is used with school-age children and parents. The parents and children are video recorded playing at a make-believe zoo. The Parent-Child Early Relational Assessmentis used to study parents and young children and involves a feeding and a puzzle task. The MacArthur Story Stem Battery (MSSB) is used to elicit narratives from children. The Dyadic Parent-Child Interaction Coding System-II tracks the extent to which children follow the commands of parents and viceversa and is well suited to the study of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorders and their parents.
Psychological tests to assess a person’s interests and preferences. These tests are used primarily for career counseling. Interest tests include items about daily activities from among which applicants select their preferences. The rationale is that if a person exhibits the same pattern of interests and preferences as people who are successful in a given occupation, then the chances are high that the person taking the test will find satisfaction in that occupation. A widely used interest test is the Strong Interest Inventory, which is used in career assessment, career counselling, and educational guidance.
Psychological tests measure specific abilities, such as clerical, perceptual, numerical, or spatial aptitude. Sometimes these tests must be specially designed for a particular job, but there are also tests available that measure general clerical and mechanical aptitudes, or even general learning ability. An example of an occupational aptitude test is the Minnesota Clerical Test, which measures the perceptual speed and accuracy required to perform various clerical duties. Other widely used aptitude tests include Careerscope, the Differential Aptitude Tests (DAT), which assess verbal reasoning, numerical ability, abstract Reasoning, clerical speed and accuracy, mechanical reasoning, space relations, spelling and language usage. Another widely used test of aptitudes is the Wonderlic Test. These aptitudes are believed to be related to specific occupations and are used for career guidance as well as selection and recruitment.
Many psychological tests are generally not available to the public, but rather, have restrictions both from publishers of the tests and from psychology licensing boards that prevent the disclosure of the tests themselves and information about the interpretation of the results.Test publishers consider both copyright and matters of professional ethics to be involved in protecting the secrecy of their tests, and they sell tests only to people who have proved their educational and professional qualifications to the test maker’s satisfaction. Purchasers are legally bound from giving test answers or the tests themselves out to the public unless permitted under the test maker’s standard conditions for administration of the tests.
The International Test Commission (ITC), an international association of national psychological societies and test publishers, publishes the International Guidelines for Test Use, which prescribes to “protect the integrity” of the tests by not publicly describing test techniques and by not “coaching individuals” so that they “might unfairly influence their test performance.”
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