PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING

WHAT IS PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING?

Psychological testing is a term used to describe statistically validated measures of cognitive ability, emotional functioning, academic skills, and personality. Typically, psychological testing is the purview of professionals known as “psychologists,” meaning individuals who have acquired doctoral degrees (PhDs) in clinical, counseling, or school psychology, and then passed state licensing exams that grant them the title of “psychologist,” and allow them to practice in the state issuing their license. In most psychology graduate schools, future psychologists undergo extensive training to learn about psychological test development, administration, scoring, interpretation, and report writing. In most cases, if a person is seeking psychological testing, they should only be tested by a licensed psychologist.

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING CATEGORIES

Cognitive Tests

These tests are often experienced by the examinee as short intellectual “puzzles.” Some cognitive subtests involve testing non-verbal skills like visuo-spatial reasoning, and some are meant to evaluate verbal reasoning (e.g., vocabulary and verbal abstraction abilities). These tools may also assess how ell an examinee can maintain attention and inhibit their impulses when told to do so. Further, different sensory modalities like auditory, visual, and motor skills are commonly tested. Ultimately, the cognitive testing process can help diagnose the presence of clinical conditions such as dyslexia and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Achievement Tests

Achievement or “academic” tests investigate an individual’s skillsets in reading, math, and written language. It is necessary to evaluate the academic skillsets in those being tested to determine the presence of learning disabilities like dyslexia, dyscalculia, and dysgraphia, and to ascertain if the presence of other conditions like ADHD, anxiety, or depression are having a negative impact on a student’s academic performance, whether this be an elementary school student, high school student, college student, or graduate school student.

Mood, Anxiety, and Thought Disorder Tests

When undergoing a full psychological test battery, it should always include a clinical evaluation of a person’s emotional functioning. These evaluations involve an examinee being given statistically reliable and validated measures of mood, anxiety, and thought process. It is vitally important to assess an individual’s functioning across these domains to ascertain how potentially diagnosable conditions may be impacting one’s life functioning. Typical syndromes diagnosed with these tests include major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and bipolar disorder.

Objective and Projective Personality Tests

In addition to the domains described above, psychologists also assess the longstanding attitudes and patterns of behavior that may be causing life dysfunction. In some cases, patients are diagnosable with personality disorders, which means they have habitual ways of seeing and engaging with the world that cause interpersonal disruption, self-defeating behavior, and a lack of life direction. Most dysfunctional personality patterns are derived from childhood trauma and/or a genetic predisposition to certain conditions. To test personality, examinees are frequently given “objective” personality tests that involve self-report scales or “projective” personality tests that involve a patient offering their subjective interpretation of an ambiguous stimulus (a famous example being the Rorschach or “Inkblot Test”).

PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING PROCESS

The psychological testing process starts with a virtual clinical interview that can take up to an hour (for children, an interview is first conducted with parents and one with the child when they are undergoing testing). This testing process usually takes from 4 to 7 hours and can vary depending on the number of tests given and personal factors relevant to a given client (e.g., depressed examinees often process information slower and need more frequent breaks). On a student’s test day, the psychological tests will be administered by a professional known as a psychometrist, an individual trained in the administration and scoring of cognitive, academic, emotional, and personality assessments. After testing is complete, a psychologist will analyze and interpret the test data and the client (or their parents if a child was tested) will be provided virtual feedback followed by the composition of a test report that can be given to various professionals (e.g., psychiatrists, therapists, school learning specialists, college disability offices, and high stakes test companies to acquire accommodations).

TYPES OF PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTS ADMINISTERED

  • Beck Youth Inventories
  • Children’s Color Trails Test
  • Comprehensive Trail-Making Test
  • Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales
  • Devereux Scales of Mental Disorders
  • Integrated Visual-Auditory Continuous Performance Test, 2nd Edition (IVA-2)
  • Millon Adolescent Clinical Inventory, 2nd Edition (MACI-2)
  • Millon Multiaxial Clinical Inventory, 4th Edition (MCMI-IV)
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Disorder, 2nd and 3rd Edition (MMPI-2 & MMPI-3)
  • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Disorder, Adolescent Version (MMPI-A)
  • Nelson-Denny Reading Test
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale -, 4th Edition (WAIS-IV)
  • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, 5th Edition (WISC-V)
  • Woodcock Johnson Tests of Achievement, 4th Edition (WJ-IV)

CONTACT BRYCE GIBBS PHD & ASSOCIATES FOR YOUR PSYCHOLOGICAL TESTING NEEDS

If you are wondering if your child has an attention, learning, or emotional issue that could be affecting their functioning across social, academic, and family domains, we strongly recommend a psychological test battery by a qualified licensed psychologist. At Bryce Gibbs PhD & Associates, we can meet all your psychological testing needs quickly and effectively. Further, once testing is complete, we have in-house therapists if counseling is warranted, and a child and adolescent psychiatrist who can meet any pharmaceutical needs.

BRYCE GIBBS PHD AND ASSOCIATES

CAN HELP YOU REACH YOUR FULL POTENTIAL

EVERY SERVICE WE PROVIDE STARTS WITH A PSYCHOEDUCATIONAL ASSESSMENT BATTERY

Your testing process will be supervised by a psychologist and the assessment will begin with a clinical interview to get necessary background info. After, you will be tested by a psychometrician who will administer intellectual, academic, attention, emotion, and personality measures.

WE CAN HELP

bryce gibbs phd Psychoeducational Assessment
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