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Testing as used in psychology is a practice which is characterized by the use of some samples of observed behavior for purposes of evaluating the psychological aspects like the cognitive and the emotional performance of a given individual. The testing is on some individual perform some task which has been predefined beforehand hence been able to attach some scores on the test .The responses by different individuals are compiled to form some statistical tables that can allow the evaluator to be able to conduct the comparison of the behaviors of the individuals who were tested. (Michell, 1999)
There are various categories of test that are in existence .One of the best is the various test of intelligence which gives the intelligent quotient mostly known as the I Q .some two test used to measure this are the Weschler and Stanford-Binet test. These and other test are commonly used to group people into mentally retarded ,those who are learning disabled ,those who are just normal and the gifted lot .An intelligence quotient test measure the actual performance and not the innate potential of a person. Though it is mostly associated with academic success ,it can also be used to measure ones job performance ,the social-economical development among other uses. There has also been some studies which have related the I Q ,with a person’s health ,lifespan margin and the functional literacy of a person. The average I Q score for an average or normal person is said to be 100.The score range for those who are above average could have a deviation of between 15 and 16.There hast also been some documented fact about the I Q score for the left handed people to be on the higher limit of any class of category. The majority right handed people of course been on the lower limit and the middle level. There has also been some major development on what kind of data that I Q can be used to measure and these have range from language fluency, the three dimensional thinking and so on. (Mislevy, 2004)
Another very well known combination of tests are the Rorschach Ink Blot test together with the Minnesota Multiphase Personality Inventory abbreviated as MMPI .They are used to test the personality of different kinds of people .Rorschach test involves trying to make sense out of the way people respond to spontaneous verbal answers to some unknown ink blot pictures .On the other hand the MMPI test makes use of how a person makes sense out of one’s ability to give a response to a large true or false answer questionnaire. Rorschach is described as being more objective in the sense that ,it’s study makes use of some rigorous known scientific studies .Occupational tests tries to match ones interests of a person in some known careers .An example of such a test would be that if a person’s interest in life would for instance match the interest of most school teachers ,then that would mean that one would probably make a good teacher. Personality tests attempts a person’s basic personality styles which could be used to measure some clinical diagnosis .Neuropsychological test takes an effort to measure deficits in the cognitive functioning including the ability to think, reason, speak, pronounce and so on. (Thurstone, 1929)
A reliable measure is intended to give a consistent result across time ,situations and different individuals and a valid measure is one that measures for what its intended to measure .The consistency over some repeated measure of similar test can be done using thee pearson correlation coefficient. A reliable test must give the same result over time ,or to the very least have some minor deviation on the result generated .In other words the scores other result must be consistent and highly correlated(to establish test retest reliability).Failure to a test being reliable would mean the test is of little value .To check the reliability of an I Q tester a large group of people would be tested and then the same test be administered to check the reliability of the test. The reliability could also be tested by comparing the score on half of the group to score on the other half of the same group(split half reliability).
A test has validity if it measures what it claims to measure. Validity is usually demonstrated by comparing test scores by actual performance .This is called criterion validity. A test of legal aptitude ,for example ,might be validated by comparing scores on the test to grades in a law school .If high scores correlate with high scores or some other standard of success ,the test may be considered valid .One thing to note is that without reliability ,there can be no validity The striking problem with psychological tests is based on their ability to measure what they are meant to measure. A from which common problem with the validity emerges when one opts to use a test for the wrong purpose it was intended for. So there is a room for some flaws even when a qualified psychologist uses all of the best tests to come up with some conclusions .Following this its expected that ,even if psychology test tries to answer the question of ,whether to accept a person or not, mistakes are always expected.