Article

Testing and Assessment

Vesna Buško

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online November 2011 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0059
Testing and Assessment

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Psychology
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  • History and Systems in Psychology
  • Educational Psychology
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Testing and assessment of individual differences have been an essential part of professional work of scientists and practitioners in psychology and related disciplines. It is generally acknowledged that psychological tests, along with the existing conceptualizations of measurements of human potentials, are among the most-valuable contributions of behavioral sciences to the society. The majority of psychological phenomena, or theoretical constructs, are not observable directly. Because of their latent nature, they are typically measured indirectly, that is, by registering behavior on appropriate tasks or responses to test items. Psychological testing is regarded as the process of measuring human attributes by procedures designed to obtain a sample of behavior. The meaning of assessment is broader to some extent and includes gathering and integration of test-related data, and those from other sources, to make an evaluation, professional decision, or recommendation about a person. Within more than a century of testing and assessment practice, different conceptual frameworks have been proposed and have served as a foundation of psychological test development, including the methods for evaluation of their usefulness and quality. Despite the controversies surrounding both classical and modern formulations of test theory, they appear to be widely used today and complement each other in designing and evaluating psychological and educational tests. Testing practice is for many reasons an extremely sensitive issue. It is most often not only a professional but also a public issue. Because the decisions based on test results and their interpretations often entail important individual and societal consequences, psychological testing has been the target of profound public attention and a long-standing criticism. The first part of this article introduces General Overviews and Textbooks, representing major aspects of testing theory, methodological principles in test design and evaluation, and the areas of application. Selected Reference Works concern either theoretical foundations of psychological testing, or the assessment issues used related to particular fundamental or applied fields of psychology. Several excellent Journals that specialize in publishing articles on advances in psychometrics, along with theoretical and practical aspects of assessment, are also presented, as well as critical sources of information on measurement instruments and their utility. The article concludes with considerations of Ethical, Societal, and Cultural Issues that are linked to the process of psychological testing and assessment, including the responsibilities of all parties involved in the assessment-data-gathering procedures and the uses of test results.

Article.  10441 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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