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The Truth About the Psychometric Properties of Mental Health Tests

August 29, 2021

9 min read

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Author : United We Care
The Truth About the Psychometric Properties of Mental Health Tests

What are the psychometric properties of mental health tests? What are the psychometric properties of a borderline personality disorder test? Read on to know.

Psychometric testing is a way of evaluating or measuring a person’s capabilities and behavior. Psychometric properties of a mental health test refer to the measurement of the reliability of the data that has been collected after the mental health test. The mental health tests are subjected to statistical analysis to ensure the best results.

Psychometric Properties of Mental Health Tests and Assessments


Psychometrics can also be defined as the measurement of the mind. A psychometric test is conducted to measure a person’s mental capacity and behavior. In the beginning, psychometric tests were conducted only in the line of academics and psychology. But now they are used by employers to assess employees to choose the best from a group.

  • Psychometric properties provide details about the appropriateness of a test, its meaningfulness and validity.
  • A test’s psychometric properties provide details to the users whether the test is useful enough to perform its function. For example, if a test is being conducted to diagnose schizophrenia, the psychometric properties should provide evidence that it will be functional in testing the mental disorder.
  • The psychometric properties of a mental health test are expressed quantitatively. A numerical quantity or index is provided to convey the result.


What are Psychometric Properties of a Test?


The psychometric properties of a test help identify its adequacy, validity, and relevance. For example, if you are conducting a test to identify some mental disorder, the tests’ psychometric properties should provide enough evidence that the instrument proves what it claims.

A good psychometric test must have two main properties – reliability and validity. Reliability is the test’s ability to measure stably and consistently. If your test is reliable, you will get the same results if you retest even after six months. One problem with the reliability of a test is that if you test the same person twice, they might remember the questions. This could lead to a false assessment.

The second psychometric property of a test is validity, which determines the accuracy of a test. The results of the test should match with the cause of conducting the test.

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What Does it Mean if a Psychometric Test Has Good Properties?


If a psychometric test has good properties, it means it has reliability and validity. The test can be useful and meaningful in measuring mental health. To determine if a questionnaire has good psychometric properties, it is important to evaluate whether it has reliability and validity.

A psychometric test is used to measure a person’s cognitive functioning, spatial recognition and character traits. A good psychometric test means it should have the following characteristics:

  • Objectivity: The test should not include subjective judgement.
  • Reliability: The result of the tests should be consistent.
  • Validity: The test should fulfil its objective.
  • Norms: Norms are the average performance of a given psychometric test.
  • Practicability: The test should be practicable. It should be neither lengthy nor difficult to answer.


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Examples of Psychometric Properties


Psychometric properties include the definite features of a test. Psychometric properties of a test also include a test’s difficulty, whether it can differentiate between people and whether the correct answer can be given by guessing. The two main examples of psychometric properties are reliability and validity.

Reliability Examples

The examples of reliability are:

  • Test-retest reliability: Two tests done in two different months should have the same results.
  • Parallel forms of reliability: Here, two similar but not the same tests are taken to increase reliability.
  • Other types of reliability: Internal reliability makes sure all items in a test measure the same construct, and inter-rater reliability determine whether multiple judges have higher accuracy.


Validity Examples

The examples of validity are:

  • Internal validity: It is the researcher’s confidence in their findings.
  • External validity: If psychometric properties have external validity, they align with the previous results.
  • Face validity: It considers the judgement of the person who is conducting the test.


Psychometric Properties of a Good Mental Health Psychological Test


A good mental health psychological test should have certain psychometric properties. Psychometric properties can be used in questionnaires, scales, and special tests to measure mental health. The psychometric properties of a good mental health psychological test include:

  • Internal consistency: Interrelation among items of the test.
  • Reliability: The true measurement of mental health because of differences in patients.
  • Measurement error: Systematic error in results that is not added to the construct to be measured.
  • Face validity: The test properly measures the construct to be measured.
  • Structural validity: Scores of a test measure multidimensionality of the construct to be measured.
  • Cross-cultural validity: The performance of the test is a reflection of the original version of the test.
  • Criterion validity: Sores of a test are a reflection of the gold standard.
  • Responsiveness: The test should detect changes over time.


Psychometric Properties of a Borderline Personality Disorder Test


Validity is a psychometric property of a borderline personality disorder test. Validity refers to how accurately a borderline personality disorder test can test the construct of interest. The scores of a borderline personality disorder test should be related to the behavior that is common with a borderline personality disorder. A person who has a high score in a borderline personality disorder test should face difficulties in emotion regulation.

The validity of a test can be internal and external. If a test has internal validity, it means that the test was similar to pre-existing topics. If a test has external validity, it means that the researcher has confidence in their testing.

How to Establish the Psychometric Properties of a Test


The establishment of the psychometric properties of a test depends on five key points:

  1. Understanding what a psychometric test is all about.
  2. Researching on the various types of psychometric properties of a test.
  3. Comparing the research work with practice tests.
  4. Understanding the mental health disorders that you would measure through the tests.
  5. Mental preparation.


Psychometric Mental Health Properties


The psychometric properties of a mental health test are instrumental in deciding whether the test will be successful in determining the mental health of a patient. The main psychometric properties of a mental health test are reliability and validity. They measure how accurate and how reliable a mental health test is.

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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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