Guidelines and Designing of Good Psychological Tests

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 16: Psychological Tests

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Guidelines of Psychological Testing

  1. A test must be selected or designed on the basis of a sound job analysis program.
  2. It must be ensured that the test selected or designed for use is a reliable instrument.
  3. The test must pass the test of validity. A particular test may be valid for one purpose and invalid for another.
  4. As far as possible, the test should possess the face validity in addition to the statistical validity. In other words, the appropriateness of the test to the task at hand should be apparent to the candidate. 
  5. The battery of employment test should be regarded as an additional selection tool. The tests are not to be used as the sole basis for selection decisions.
  6. The administration of test must be controlled and standardized in order to make test result comparable. 
  7. Tests are better at predicting failure than success. There is no guarantee that a candidate clearing a test will prove to be a successful employee.

Designing of Test

1. Job analysis

The basic requirement to design a test for a job is to know the job first. The essential element of job should be thoroughly understood. When we analyze a job we get job description and job specification. These are essential to develop any type of test.

2. Selection of test procedure

Depending upon the analysis of the job a test may be selected either from the battery of existing test or a test may be devised for checking of qualities required for the job. 

3. Preliminary trials and refinement

A new test should be tried out and then revisions and refinements may be made accordingly. Trials can be done on officers and personnel groups similar to those sought to be tested. These trials are used to select items that are not up to mark and are either too difficult or too easy or items that fails to discriminate between people of different capabilities.

4. Validation of test procedure

While trying out a test, it is desirable to establish its empirical validity. Experimental evidence is called for do show that the test is effective in discriminating between those who are and between those who are not successful in a particular job.

5. Combination of test into a battery

Testing all the required traits by a single test is not always possible so different types of testing techniques are required to assess them. When different tests are combined, the validity of these tests and the correlation between them should be always considered.

6. Application of tests

Test should be applied only by experts trained in this field. The tests have to be selected with great care and only by persons who understand them otherwise the results will be misleading. To maintain the objectivity of test and to get correct results it should be applied by experts and persons who understand them. 

7. Standardization of test

The test must be standardized before they are applied to measure an individual’s traits or qualities. While standardizing the tests, the psychologist must see that these fulfil the statistical requirements of validity, reliability and objectivity. 

Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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