Psychological Testing in The Digital Era

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1271 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Words: 1271|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

The spectrum of testing today is vast, as it does not only assess basic functioning, but can also be used as diagnostic measures.

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The most traditional for of testing is the paper and pencil tests. These tests are popularly used till date. They provide the test taker some amount of ease, as they are familiar to the concept of taking similar kinds of tests. The paper and pencil test may consist of a questionnaire with multiple choice or options, writing down personal opinions and answers or ranking things in accordance to their opinions. The scoring criteria for these such either consisted on right or wrong answers to be calculated or the use of answer keys.

The two most important components for any kind of a test is reliability which refers to the consistency of a research study or measuring test (Mcleod, 2013) and validity that claims that a test measures what it claims to measure (Mcleod, 2013).

“Psychological tests are part of the field of psychology known as psychometrics. Psychometrics measures behaviour, personality, and aptitude using surveys. People often have a difficult time accurately assessing their own behaviour and understanding how their behaviour causes other people to perceive them. Psychological testing allows people the opportunity to get a glimpse of how they appear to the outside world based on answers to very specific questions about behaviour, attitudes, history, and preferences. Test questions often ask people to think about specific types of interactions, which can make it easier to assess behaviour” (Goodtherapy, 2007).

“Psychological tests could be in any form written, visual, or verbal evaluations administered to assess the cognitive and emotional functioning of children and adults. Psychological tests are used to assess a variety of mental abilities and attributes, including achievement and ability, personality, and neurological functioning. For children, academic achievement, ability, and intelligence tests may be used as tools in school placement, in determining the presence of a learning disability or a developmental delay , in identifying giftedness, or in tracking intellectual development. Intelligence testing may also be used with teens and young adults to determine vocational ability (e.g., in career counseling). Personality tests are administered for a wide variety of reasons, from diagnosing psychopathology (e.g., personality disorder, depressive disorder) to screening job candidates. They may be used in an educational setting to determine personality strengths and weaknesses” (health of children, 2020).

Most psychological tests follow the approach of using an answer key in order to ensure that the test has been assessed properly. Even though sometimes it is possible for people to make mistakes even while using the answer key, which is why, almost all tests use a formula to include such kinds of errors, in order to get a true and thorough assessment.

Psychological tests today have evolved, the use of testing has become open to a wide range of areas. Consequently, with the help of technology, traditional testing has also developed. Although, the ethical criteria’s for carrying out such assessments has been the main focus while devising such tests.

Internet-based tests have provided an opportunity for a broad range of users with constructing test, not only through traditional means but by adding their own creativity and innovations to it. Even though psychologist largely make use of traditional tests, there are a number of online test software that can allow researchers to work more efficiently, where the computer will not only help is the assessment but also in the interpretation of the test results.

Although, Internet-based tests are held to the same psychometric standards of reliability and validity as any other type of examination. APA's Board of Scientific Affairs and Board of Professional Affairs established the task force in 2001 to inform psychologists about the state of Internet testing. Its report underscores that the common standard for ethical use of all psychological tests applies in the online world. The standards outline, for example, how to justify a particular use of a test, such as a standardized high-stakes test. They also identify what populations can validly take different kinds of tests and what safeguards make them fair and reliable. An example is ensuring age-appropriate IQ testing (Kersting, 2014).

Presently due to the current pandemic online testing is being used in lieu of the traditional means of testing. The scope for using online means of testing has increased drastically. The use of assessing tests online and using different mediums is not only providing a new experience to use better means for test assessment, but is also ensuring a level of smoothness and ease to the test taker.

As technology has revolutionized almost every aspect of our common day to day activities, we can explore how psychological testing through the means of the internet has helped people not only maintain distance, but also receive services at their convenience.

New and innovative approaches to testing

Technology has indeed revolutionized the means of testing making creating new and innovative ways to conduct tests. These online tests ensure that they follow the appropriate APA ethical guidelines to ensure that it does not affect the test taker as well as the test results.

One of the most famous and initial means of online testing is the internet-based testing. This consists of using websites to assess different kinds of tests. These tests can be used by a psychologist, researcher and the test taker themselves.

It is an easier than the traditional kind of testing as the it computes all the scores readily and gives an inbuilt interpretation of the results of the test. The most commonly used internet-based tests are the IQ tests. Along with assessing one’s IQ, it also gives the test taker their score in the population of either the people who have visited the site or the general population itself.

Internet based testing has a lot of benefits as it provides the test taker an easy and smooth test taking experience, along with that, it diminishes test anxiety. It provides the test taker to answer the test in their own comfort. A lot of students use this mean to practice and revise their syllabus or any competitive examination that they might have to appear for. Since the practice gives them a first-hand experience, it increases their readiness and confidence while taking the test.

Although, it also is accompanied by a number of disadvantages. One of the most commonly faced problems is the constant crashing of the site since it may be viewed by a number of people at a time. If the test taker does not have a good internet connection it may almost completely interrupt the test. Sometimes, when websites may have a timer at the corner of their screen which may make the test taker conscious while answering the questions.

But most importantly, it is impossible to ensure that noise or any other kinds of distractions can be kept in control or minimized as in a traditional set up. This may affect the test taker, and interfere with their train of thought while answering the test. Many pop-up notifications, advertisements, subscription to the website, pop ups of other similar kinds of tests etc. may distract the test taker.

The origin of the non-traditional means of testing started with the use of software. Many psychologists in collaboration with software engineers came up with software for psychological testing. Many of these software are presently used as it is a much easier means for testing and analyzing data. These software are used both in clinical and educational settings. As it not only helps as a diagnostic measure but also in educating budding psychologists.

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Software like American Guidance Service, Achenbach System, Consulting Psychologists Press, IPAT, Multi-Health Systems, NCS Pearson, PAR, Pro-Ed (assessmentpsychology, 2015) and many more software that provides a wide range of services.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Psychological Testing in the Digital Era. (2024, February 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Psychological Testing in the Digital Era.” GradesFixer, 13 Feb. 2024,
Psychological Testing in the Digital Era. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Psychological Testing in the Digital Era [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 13 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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