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Types of Psychological Tests


Psychological tests are classified into several types, including intelligence tests, aptitude tests, vocational tests, aptitude tests, and personality tests. Psychological testing is primarily used for psychological diagnosis, job screening, academic placements, identifying specific behaviour, research purposes, etc. Psychological tests can be classified based on their nature or function.

Intelligence tests are used to assess intelligence, or your ability to perceive your surroundings, interact with them, and learn from them. 

Intelligence tests include the following:

  • Adult Intelligence Scale (Wachsler) (WAIS)
  • Children's Wechsler Intelligence Scale (WISC)
  • Intelligence Scale of Stanford-Binet (SB)

Personality tests are used to assess personality traits and styles. Personality tests are frequently used in research and to aid in clinical diagnosis. Personality tests include the following:

Thematic Apperception Test (T.A.T.) Rorschach, also known as the 'inkblot test' Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)

Attitude tests, such as the Likert Scale or the Thurstone Scale, assess how a person feels about a specific event, location, person, or object.

Achievement tests assess how well you understand a specific subject (i.e., mathematics achievement tests). Aptitude tests assess your abilities in a particular area (i.e. clerical skills).

Achievement tests include the following:

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test (WIAT) 

Aptitude tests such as the Peabody Individual Achievement Test (PIAT) include:

  • Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB)
  • Bloomberg Aptitude Test (B.A.T.)

What is Psychological test?

Psychological tests are verbal or written assessments designed to assess a person's behaviour. Many different types of psychological tests are available to help people understand the various dynamics of human beings. It explains why one person excels at one thing while another excels at another. On the other hand, humans are complex beings that cannot be defined and classified into specific branches. The subjective nature of humans and individual differences have frequently been criticised in psychological testing.

Psychological tests allow for the formally and accurately measurement of various factors contributing to people's problems. Before administering a psychological test, the individual being tested is usually interviewed. Furthermore, more than one psychological test may be administered in some situations.

It should be noted that not everyone can administer a psychological test. Each test has its own set of requirements that must be met by a qualified professional before a person can purchase and administer the test to someone else.

Quick Read: Psychology Courses in Canada

History of Psychological testing

  • Proficiency testing begins in China around 2200 B.C.E. Every third year, the Emperor evaluates public officials.
  • Around 1800 BCE, the Babylonians developed astrology to communicate with the gods and predict the future. Later, the Greeks redefined astrology to predict and describe personality.
  • Pythagoras begins using physiognomy to assess personality around 500 B.C.E.
  • Hippocrates introduces numerology to the field of medicine in 400 B.C.E. for the treatment of physical and mental illness.
  • Plato proposes in 400 B.C.E. that people should find work that is a good fit for their abilities.
  • In 175 B.C.E., Claudius Galenus devises experiments to demonstrate that the brain, not the heart, is the seat of intellect.
  • With the start of the Middle Ages in 500 A.D., science takes a back seat to faith and superstition and history.
  • 1200 A.D. People become interested in individual differences as they question whether those who have "joined forces with Satan" have done so voluntarily or involuntarily. Witchcraft and sorcery trials were common.
  • Thomas Aquinas asserted in 1265 A.D. that the concept of the immortal human soul should be replaced by the concept of a human capacity to think and reason.
  • 1550 A.D.: The Renaissance saw a revival of philosophy and a renewed interest in science.
  • Juan Huarte publishes The Trial of Wits, the first book to propose a discipline of assessment, in 1698 A.D.
  • With the writings of French, German, and English philosophers, the cause of philosophy and sciences advances in 1770 A.D. Rene Descartes, one of these philosophers, raises the mind-body problem.
  • A.D. 1770 The writings of French, German, and English philosophers advance the cause of philosophy and science. Rene Descartes, one of these philosophers, raises the mind-body problem.
  • The Journal of Phrenology is founded in 1823 A.D. to study human abilities and talents further. Phrenology proposed that human qualities are localised in concentrations of brain fibre that press outward on the skull, which was proven false by experimentation.
  • Sir Francis Galton published a study of heredity and genius in 1869 A.D., laying the groundwork for a statistical technique that Karl Pearson would later call correlation.
  • The year was 1879. Wilhelm Wundt establishes the first experimental psychology laboratory in Leipzig, Germany. Wundt's structuralism is heavily reliant on an assessment tool known as introspection. Subjects attempt to describe their conscious experience.
  • Sigmund Freud publishes The Interpretation of Dreams in 1900 A.D., which will influence approaches to understanding personality for the next 50 years.
  • Alfred Binet and Theodore Simon publish a 30-item intelligence scale to help classify schoolchildren in Paris schools in 1905 A.D. The creation of the Binet-Simon Intelligence Scale is widely regarded as ushering in a new era of measurement.
  • In 1908 A.D., Frank Parsons established the Boston Vocational Bureau, which provides career guidance to young adults.
  • 1914 A.D. Thousands of American recruits are screened for intellectual and emotional functioning during World War I, resulting in a surge in psychological testing.
  • In 1919 A.D., Robert Woodworth introduced the Personal Data Sheet to aid in identifying Army recruits prone to shell shock.
  • Hermann Rorschach, a Swiss psychiatrist, published his famous monograph, Psychodiagnostics, in 1921 A.D., which would lead to the development of the Rorschach Inkblot Test.
  • The Scholastic Aptitude Test (S.A.T.) was created and administered for the first time in 1926 A.D.
  • Carl Spearman published a two-factor theory of intelligence in 1927 A.D., positing the existence of a general intellectual ability factor and specific components of that general ability.
  • Mental tests reached the status of big business in 1938 A.D. At least 4,000 psychological tests are available in print, according to the 1938 Mental Measurements Yearbook.
  • The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory was published in 1943 A.D.
  • The first version of the Wechsler Intelligence Tests for Children was published in 1949.
  • The first edition of the 16PF Questionnaire is released to the public in 1949 A.D.
  • The first version of the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Tests was published in 1955.
  • The year 1962 A.D. The Meyers Briggs Type Indicator is created by Katherine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Meyers (MBTI).
  • In 1962, A.D. Warren T. Norman writes his first article about the Big Five Personality Factors.
  • The year 1970 A.D. John L. Holland published the first version of the Self Directed Search (S.D.S.) for consumer use. The purpose of the inventory was to assist individuals in identifying careers that are compatible with their personalities.

Characteristics of Psychological Test

The following are the five main characteristics of a good psychological test:

  1. Objectivity: These tests must be free of subjective judgments about the ability, skill, knowledge, trait, or potentiality being measured and evaluated.
  2. Reliability refers to how consistent or reliable the results obtained are.
  3. Validity refers to how well a test measures what it is supposed to measure. For example, when developing an intelligence test to assess the level of intelligence, it should only assess the person's intelligence and not other factors. The validity of a test tells us whether it achieves the goal for which it was created. There are numerous methods for determining the validity of a test.
  4. Norms: The average performance of a representative sample on a given test is referred to as a norm. It depicts the average standard of a specific sample in a specific aspect. The standard scores developed by the person who develops the test are referred to as norms. Future test takers can compare their results to norms to determine the level of their sample.
  5. Practicability: The test must be practicable in terms of the time required to complete it, the length, the number of items or questions, the scoring, and so on. The test should not be too long or difficult to answer or score.

Quick Read: Masters in Psychology Australia

Types of Psychological tests

Personality Tests

Factor Questionnaire (16-11F), Basic Personality Inventory (BPI), Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Rorschach Test 

Achievement Tests 

Kaufman Test of EducWon Achievement (K-TEA), Wechsler Individual Assessment Test, Woodcock-Johnson Psychoeduca Battery (Achievement)

Attitude Tests

Likert Scale, Thurstone Scale, etc, 

Aptitude Tests 

Abstract Reasoning Test, Visual Reasoning Test, etc.

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Emotional and Social Competence 

Inventory, Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Ei Test (MSCEIT), etc. 

Intelligence Tests

Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Universal Nonverbal Intelligence

Neuropsychological Tests 

Ammons Quick Test, Beck Depression Inventory Anxiety Inventory, and Hopelessness Scale

Projective Tests

Rorschach Inkblot Test, Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), Draw-A-Person Test,House-Tree-person Test.

Observation (Direct) Tests

Direct Observation

Personality Test

Phrenology (the measurement of bumps on the skulls) was previously used to assess someone's personality. A personality test assesses people's behaviours, emotions, behavioural and environmental traits, attitudes, and even clinical disturbances. Each personality test is designed to measure or compare two variables. The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, for example, is used to screen for adolescent emotional problems or psychopathologies (MMPI-A). Depending on the sample type, different versions of the MMPI are available.

Aptitude Tests

Humans, as previously stated, have unique abilities and specialities. A person with a creative mind may not have a calculative brain. Aptitude tests are used to assess such diverse abilities and interests. It is used to predict a person's future scope or determine whether they possess a specific skill set. However, speaking of human complexities once more, humans are incomprehensible and erratic in their ways, leaving some room for ambiguity. Students and employees are subjected to a variety of aptitude tests. Many aptitude tests are also capability tests.

Emotional Intelligence Tests

Have you ever felt compelled to yell at someone or cry for no apparent reason? We must control and monitor our emotions of rage and sadness. We must recognize and regulate our emotions without being influenced by others. An Emotional Intelligence test taps into various emotions by presenting the test-taker with various situations. An emotional intelligence test necessitates a person's honesty to accurately assess a person's EQ [Emotional Quotient] and recommend ways to improve it. It is frequently observed that people with higher EQ are much more content and successful than others. Even though emotional intelligence can overlap with other factors such as personality or genetic makeup, a person's emotional intelligence tends to fluctuate or change.

Neuropsychological Tests

These tests are intended to assess a person's cognitive abilities. How would you determine whether you have a good or bad memory? Neuropsychological tests are the most important psychological tests used to evaluate diseases such as Alzheimer's, brain injury, and emotional disorders such as depression or anxiety. Doctors must know the underlying cause of a problem to treat it. Memory, language, executive functioning, dementia, visuospatial function, and other factors are assessed using neurological tests.

Objectives Tests

Essay tests are one of the oldest types of psychological tests designed to assess a candidate's ability to organize and communicate his or her thoughts clearly and logically. Lord Macaulay is credited with introducing this concept to the Indian Administrative Services, also known as the IAS. On the other hand, the objective test has one correct answer. It does not require or ask for long, extensive answers/explanations from the candidates. These tests are generally used to assess the candidate's mental ability or mental power and reasoning, and conceptual clarity.

Uses of Psychological testing

Psychological tests are primarily used to assess an individual's mental abilities and attributes, such as personality, achievement, ability, and neurological functioning.

The following are the primary and most important applications of psychological testing:

  • Screening Job Candidates
  • Individual Differences
  • Detection of Specific Behavior
  • Psychological Diagnosis Tools in Academic Placements
  • Psychometrics/Career Assessment
  • Tests Research to Promote
  • Self-awareness and Understanding
  • Organizational Growth

Quick Read: Scope of Psychology

Limitations of Psychological testing

  • The tests are carried out so that they are unreliable in some cases.
  • Candidates may lie depending on the test, resulting in a completely different outcome.
  • The person taking the tests, not the tests themselves, will determine the applicant. In some cases, even the most skilled evaluation experts can make a mistake and hire someone who did not deserve the position in the first place.
  • When society evolves into something better and more productive, a particular test may become outdated, necessitating the replacement of a more advanced test. This can be counterproductive and may prevent the person administering the test from obtaining a better result for the candidate.

Hence, we came to this blog with an overall covering of different physiological tests and summarised the uses and some limitations of the physiological tests. We hope this blog has helped you learn more about the different psychological tests! 


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