Aiken & Groth-Marnat

Psychological Testing


Question 1

Convergent validity, as used in psychology, refers to the degree in which two theoretically related constructs are actually related. It is usually established when two similar constructs correspond with one another. It is helpful when using two different measurement procedures and research methods. Convergent validity is usually determined by assessing the strength that exists between the scores achieved from different sets of measuring procedures. Divergent validity is used to establish construct validity. This is done in establishing the differences that exist between the construct a researcher is interested in and those present in the study. Divergent validity is demonstrated by establishing the strength of the relationship between the scores obtained from the two different research methods and procedures used (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

Question 2

Thematic Apperception Test, TAT, is a projective test used to reveal the underlying motives and concerns of people by use of ambiguous pictures of other people. The ambiguous pictures used are to help the people interpret ambiguous situations, basing them on their experience and motivation. The TAT uses provocative but ambiguous pictures; subjects are asked to tell a story. Each subject is asked to tell a provocative story from the pictures showed to him or her, where he or she uses some set procedures. Each subject bases their stories on what led to the event, what is happening at that moment in time in the picture, what thoughts and feelings the characters have, and the eventual outcome of the story. The TAT contains 32 picture cards. Some pictures show either male or female figures, while others are ambiguous. The TAT shows what individuals feel about their environment and tells the tester a lot about the individuals personality, both conscious and unconscious (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

Question 3

Objective personality tests, MMPI being the most common, were created mainly to measure psychopathology. The test has several validity scales, used to determine whether clients responses to questions are accurate and truthful. Industrial-organizational psychologists use objective personality tests to select competent employees. This is done by weeding out employees who are more likely to be troublemakers or who may engage in theft and fraud. Screening of people in high-risk professions has been controversial, but so far, it has brought great results. Mental health professionals also use it in the assessment and diagnosis of mental illnesses. Mental illnesses are usually determined, especially in criminal defense cases and custody disputes (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

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Question 5

The empirical test, used to construct the objective personality test, involves basing the test scales on the actual test items that differentiate people who may deviate from the norm. The use of empirical data is advantageous because it prevents people from giving fake responses or denying existing problems. It is also advantageous because the results are based on empirical research and not a clinicians assumption. This, in essence, reduces the risk of bias. Personality tests, like the MMPI, contain 567 items, which are true/false statements. The nine validity scales assess lying, defensiveness, faking, etc. The empirical nature of the MMPI-2 makes it objective and has many clinical scales, which assess mental health problems, such as depression, anxiety, and personality characteristics, such as psychopathy and other general personality characteristics such as anger, somatization, and hypochondriasis (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

Question 7

The most interesting scales include the ones on a sense of well-being. This scale is used to identify people who strive to minimize their worries and complaints. It identifies people who are relatively free from self-doubt and disillusionment. The test is interesting because human resource psychologists can use it to determine who is more likely to work under pressure effectively. There is also the Managerial Potential Scale used to identify people with talent for supervisory and managerial roles. It determines the existence of behaviors, such as effectiveness, cognitive clarity, and goal-orientation. This scale is important in determining people eligible for promotions. The Psychological-Mindedness Scale is similarly interesting because it determines the degree to which an individual is interested in response to the inner needs, motives, and experience of others (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

Question 10

There has been great debate on whether intelligence is determined by nature or nurture. Some philosophers suggest that intelligence is inborn and occurs naturally without influences from the environment. However, other philosophers, such as John Locke suggest that mind is a blank slate and all the ideas that individuals have are resultant from environment influences. Today, psychologists and experts believe that intelligence is influenced by both nature and nurture (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

Question 11

Intelligence Quotient test is important because it can determine students of high ability and those with low ability. From the results of IQ, the instructor can come up with appropriate methods of teaching both groups. IQ tests can be used to measure the level of motivation among students. IQ test also measures the ability level of recruits in the army. It accurately measures general human ability. IQ tests measure memory, reasoning, and verbal skills of individuals. Employers use IQ scores to determine the most suitable candidates for employment opportunities. It is also used to measure the students abilities after being taught appropriate syllabus in school (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

The use of objective personality tests has been very common and effective in measuring personality characters, behavior, intelligence, and general motivating factors. This has been especially important in determining the syllabus to use, criminal prosecution, and job placements and promotion (Aiken & Groth-Marnat, 2009).

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