This accessible book outlines the key ingredients of psychological assessment and provides case studies to illustrate their application, making this an ideal textbook for courses on psychometrics or psychological assessment. The book covers the nature of assessment, basic components, how tests are made, underlying statistics, reliability and validity, assessment of intelligence, abilities and personality, non-psychometric approaches, as well as ethical and professional issues and modern developments. A final chapter explains how readers can construct their own tests. Wide-ranging case studies demonstrate the variety of contexts in which assessment is conducted. The author’s clarity of writing and use of practical examples throughout helps students apply these methods in practice with confidence as part of their studies on an array of courses.

Introduction: Foundations of Psychological Assessment

Introduction: Foundations of psychological assessment

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

  • Understand the basic principles underlying psychological assessment, how they contrast with common perceptions, and distinguish between its different forms.
  • Identify the key figures in the historical development of assessment methods.
  • Give an account of the core characteristics and issues relating to different approaches.
  • Understand their use in the different areas of applied psychology.

What is This Chapter about?

Applied psychologists ply their trade in the real world. So we have to begin by introducing many of the core definitions, characteristics and foundations underlying modern approaches to assessment and psychometrics. It helps also to have an understanding of the historical tradition preceding modern practice, so we will review its development from ...

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