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What are Psychometric Studies?

April 2, 2023

5 min read

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Author : United We Care

Introduction

Psychometrics is a scientific study used to make quantitative assessments in psychology, education, and social sciences. [1] It tests behaviours and mental abilities. [2] Sir Francis Galton was the first to devise cognitive tests and invent psychometrics. [3]

What is the Psychometrics study?

Psychological tests and measurements are at the core of psychometrics and are well-researched measures of psychological variables. Psychological variables or constructs are invisible factors that represent behaviours and internal processes. [4] These include personality, intelligence, memory, etc. As they cannot be measured simply by observation, psychological tests are used.Psychologists first recognise a psychological problem that determines the purpose of the test. They define the problem and the variables, identify the test items and how the test will be scored. Each psychologist or researcher can study a different aspect of the same psychological variable. The test items include multiple-choice questions, pictures, test sequences, figure analogies, or combinations.The tests give an accurate numerical score or result for the participant. Psychological measurements provide test scores and help interpret, analyse and categorise the scores.

Some important parameters of an excellent psychological measurement are:

  • The test or tool is valid, which means it measures what it defines.
  • It is reliable because the test will give the same results when retested.
  • It is easy to score.
  • The results are practical and applicable to everyday life.

The usability of Psychometric studies to assess psychological constructs

The purpose of psychological measurements is to measure various psychological constructs. Psychological constructs are labels for internal processes that govern our behaviours. Some examples include:

  • Intelligence,
  • Reaction time,
  • Cognitive skills like memory or learning,
  • Personality.

It is not enough to observe an individual to evaluate these constructs; they need to be measured using psychological tools. Professionals use various psychometric tools like psychometric tests, questionnaires, interviews, and self-reports.IQ tests are a perfect example of psychometric tests. There are also tests available to understand and categorise your personality type, and some tests are available to measure mental skills such as verbal, reasoning, spatial, and mathematical abilities.Some of these tests also compare your score to average scores and rank your result. For example, an IQ test will place you in a scoring category and classify your IQ as intermediate, superior, below average, and more.

How do Psychometric studies predict future behaviour?

Aptitude and career tests measure your performance, abilities, talent and expectations to tell you which career will best suit you. It helps you to understand which job is a good fit for you.

Psychometric tests are also an essential tool in recruitment and employee assessment. Every job requires specific knowledge, skills, attitude, performance, and abilities, collectively called KSAOs. The organisation must assess a candidate’s personality and aptitude before hiring. It helps to determine the following:

  1. Whether the candidate possesses the skills and abilities for the job,
  2. Whether they will excel, and
  3. Whether they have the social skills to be a team player.

How do Psychometric studies help to diagnose mental disorders?

Psychometric studies are particularly relevant in clinical settings. Although there are specific criteria for diagnosing mental disorders, these tests assist in understanding, assessing and diagnosing mental disorders.For example, the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) is a well-known scale used to assess the severity of psychiatric illness and an individual’s overall functioning. [5] It sets an individual’s social, occupational, academic, and psychological functioning. It scores an individual from 0 to 100, with 70 to 100 being high-functioning.There are various tests to assess depression, anxiety, addiction, eating disorders, personality disorders, and other such mental disorders. Psychometric tests administered by qualified psychologists can also uncover trauma, unconscious thoughts, suppressed memories, or profound desires. For example, the Rorschach inkblot test is famous for understanding the subconscious using inkblots.Clinical psychologists use psychometric testing to determine the extent to which an individual is affected by a condition such as:

  1. Autism spectrum and social communication disorders,
  2. Stress,
  3. Grief,
  4. Procrastination,
  5. Suicidal thoughts,
  6. Pain, and
  7. Motivation.

How do Psychometric studies help to determine treatment success

Another important use for psychometric studies is to determine the success of clinical treatment. The Therapeutic Bond Scale assesses the patient’s relationship with the therapist according to the patient. It significantly correlates to the quality of therapy sessions and the likeliness of the patient terminating therapy.Initial psychometric testing to assess the disorder’s severity helps the clinician plan and decide the appropriate course of treatment. A well-suited treatment will lead to better treatment results. Pre-analysis of the patient’s presenting problems, attitude, personality, and the corresponding treatment plans will match them with the best treatment plan.

Conclusion

Psychometrics is the heart of psychological sciences and clinical settings. Psychometrics includes testing and using statistics to interpret results, and psychometricians continually research to make newer tests and maintain their relevance. Psychometrics does not only apply theoretical but relevant practical applications.To get authentic psychometric testing, you can visit United We Care. We can help you find information about various mental disorders and treatments. You can also contact our mental health experts, who will guide you and help you navigate your way to mental well-being.

References

  1. “What is Psychometrics? – Psychometric Society.” Psychometric Society. https://www.psychometricsociety.org/what-psychometrics (accessed: Mar. 02, 2023).
  2. K. G. Maddocks. “What is Psychometrics?” Southern New Hampshire University. Nov. 14, 2019. https://www.snhu.edu/about-us/newsroom/social-sciences/what-is-psychometrics (accessed: Mar. 02, 2023).
  3. “Origins of psychological testing – a summary of chapter 2 of ..” World Supporter. https://www.worldsupporter.org/en/chapter/67261-origins-psychological-testing-summary-chapter-2-psychological-testing-history (accessed: Mar. 02, 2023).
  4. “Research Methods in Psychology & Neuroscience – Simple Book ..” Dalhousie University. https://digitaleditions.library.dal.ca/researchmethodspsychneuro/ (accessed: Mar. 02, 2023).
  5. I. M. Aas, “Guidelines for rating Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF).” Annals of General Psychiatry, vol. 10, no. 1, p. 2, 2011, doi: 10.1186/1744-859x-10-2.

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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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