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Types of Psychological Tests

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Psychological tests may be categorized into various groupings depending upon the particular purpose of the classification system. There are a number of ways to categorize psychological tests.

They can be discussed in terms of how they are scored, constructed, and administered, or in terms of the kinds of behaviour they are designed to measure. There may be group or individual tests, instrumental or paper and pencil tests, aptitude or achievement tests, personality and interest tests, power or speed tests.

The types of psychological tests are:- 1. Individual and Group Tests 2. Instrumental and Pencil Tests 3. Intelligence Tests 4. Potential Ability Tests 5. Personality Tests 6. Interest Tests. 7. Speed and Power Tests 8. Essay and Objective Tests 9. Language and Non-Language Tests 10. Computer-Assisted Tests 11. Thomas Profiling Hiring Technique.


Types of Psychological Tests

Types of Psychological Tests – Top 11 Types

Psychological tests may be categorized into various groupings depending upon the particular purpose of the classification system. There are a number of ways to categorize psychological tests. They can be discussed in terms of how they are scored, constructed, and administered, or in terms of the kinds of behaviour they are designed to measure.

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There may be group or individual tests, instrumental or paper and pencil tests, aptitude or achievement tests, personality and interest tests, power or speed tests.

Type # 1. Individual and Group Tests:

There are number of tests which are designed to be administered individually, that is, they cannot be given simultaneously to two or more people by a single tester. For vocational guidance and counselling and for clinical and diagnostic work with emotionally disturbed persons, individual tests are preferred.

It is usually possible to delve more deeply into the behaviour being measured by using an individual test. Individual tests are more costly and, therefore, are used to a lesser degree in industry than are group tests. Other limitation is that the behaviour of the individual is more dependent upon the skill, sensitivity, and friendliness of the test administrator. An example of individual test would be the Stanford -Binet intelligence scale.

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Some tests are designed so that-they can be administered to a large number of people at the same time. These group tests are advantageous in a situation that requires the testing of many people. A test designed for group administration can be given to 20, 200, or 2000 applicants; the only limit is the size of the testing facility. The examples of group tests are Purdue Vocational Achievement Tests, the Adaptability Test, Wonderlic Personnel Test, etc.

Type # 2. Instrumental or Paper and Pencil Tests:

The instrumental tests make use of tools and usually are individual in character. Mechanical ability, for example, is tested better by having the applicants perform a series of mechanical operations than by having them answer questions about the nature of these operations. For the evaluation of more complex skills, expensive equipment may be required.

Instrumental tests may take longer to administer than paper-and-pencil tests and also may require an individual testing situation.

The paper-and-pencil tests are usually group tests involving written responses. The questions are in printed form and the answers are recorded on an answer sheet. Most of the standard group tests of intelligence, interest, and personality are paper-and-pencil tests. The examples would be MMPI, MPI, CPI, etc. The example for instrumental test would be, The Pintner Paterson Scale, The Arthur Point Scale etc.

Type # 3. Achievement or Intelligence Tests:

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These are also called ‘Proficiency tests’. These measure the skill or knowledge which is acquired as a result of training programme and on the job experience. These measure what the applicant can do. In other words, these tests indicate how effectively an individual can perform a job or what he knows about it. These tests are useful if the candidates have prior experience of similar jobs.

These are of two types:

(i) Test for Measuring Job Knowledge – These are known as – ‘Trade Tests’. These are primarily oral tests consisting of a series of questions which are believed to be satisfactorily answered only by those who know and thoroughly understand the trade or occupation. Oral tests may be supplemented by written, picture or performance types.

(ii) Work Sample Tests – These measures the proficiency with which equipment can be handled by the candidate. This is done by giving him a piece of work to judge how efficiently he does it.

Type # 4. Aptitude or Potential Ability Tests:

These tests measure the latent ability of a candidate to learn a new job or skill. These tests assess an individual’s potentiality to learn a job through adequate training and are effective if applicants do not possess earlier job experience. Instruments used are variously described as tests of ‘intelligence’ ‘mental ability’, ‘mental alertness’, or simply as – ‘personnel tests’.

These are of three types:

i. Mental Tests – These measure the overall intellectual ability or the Intelligence Quotient (I.Q.) of a person and enable us to know whether he has the mental capacity to deal with new problems. These determine an employee’s fluency in language, memory, induction, reasoning, speed of perception and spatial visualisation.

ii. Mechanical Aptitude Tests – These measure the capacity of a person to learn a particular type of mechanical work. These are useful when apprentices, machinists, mechanics, maintenance workers, and mechanical technicians are to be selected.

iii. Psychomotor or Skill Tests – These measure a person’s ability to do a specific job. These are primarily used in the selection of workers who have to perform semi-skilled and repetitive jobs, like assembly work, packing, testing, and inspection and so on.

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There are certain tests which when used in a particular way are classified as achievement tests and when used in other ways, can be designated as aptitude tests, that is, depends upon use. For example –

a. The “Wing Standardized Tests of Musical Intelligence”.

b. The “Purdue Clerical Adaptability Test”

c. The “MacQuarrie Test of Mechanical Ability”.

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d. “Minnesota Spatial Relations Test”.

Type # 5. Personality Tests:

Personality tests are still used for selection purposes despite evidence casting doubt on their predictive validity. These tests discover clues to an individual’s value system, his emotional reactions, maturity and his characteristic mood.

The tests help in assessing a person’s motivation, his ability to adjust himself to the stresses of everyday life and his capacity for interpersonal relations and for projecting an impressive image of himself.

The personality tests are basically of three types:

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i. Objective Tests – These measure neurotic tendencies, self-sufficiency, dominance, submission and self-confidence.

ii. Projective Tests – In these tests, a candidate is asked to project his own interpretation onto certain standard stimuli. The theory behind this approach is that an individual will project personal thoughts, desires, wishes and feelings onto this amorphous structure in an effort to give it some meaning.

iii. Situation Tests – These measure an applicant’s reaction when he is placed in a peculiar situation, his ability to undergo stress and his demonstration of ingenuity under pressure.

These tests are time consuming and must be administered individually. Extensive training and experience are required to interpret them properly. Although projective techniques are used in personnel selection, particularly at the executive level, the evidence against their use is overwhelming.

Type # 6. Interest Tests:

These are designed to assess individual predispositions, motivation and application orientation. These tests are used for vocational guidance, and are assessed in the form of answers to a well-prepared questionnaire; basically, interest tests include items about many daily activities and objects from among which the test takers select their preferences.

It is important to note that just because a person possesses a high degree of interest in a particular occupation, it is no guarantee that he or she has the ability to succeed in that job. All it suggests is that the individual’s interests are compatible with the interests of people who are successful in that career.

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Two widely used interest inventories are the Strong – Campbell Interest Inventory (SCII) and the Kuder Occupational Interest Survey (KOIS).

Type # 7. Speed and Power Tests:

Some tests are constructed so that every item is very easy – the task is to complete as many items as possible in a short time. When test performance is based primarily upon the speed with which one works, the test is referred to as a speed test. The other extreme, would be a test where the items were difficult and the person was given as much time as necessary to complete the items.

In such tests a person’s score is based exclusively upon his ability to answer the questions correctly, no matter how long it takes. This type of test is called a power test. Tests of clerical ability are an example of speed test whereas power tests may include, Tweezers Dexterity Test etc.

Type # 8. Essay and Objective Tests:

The essay type test is perhaps one of the oldest methods to test the candidate’s ability to organize his thoughts clearly and logically recapitulate important events, dates and relevant material. Lord Macaulay, has been credited with introducing this concept for the Indian Administrative Services.

On the other hand, objective test has one correct answer and does not require a candidate to write extensively. Those tests try to check the powers of mental ability and reasoning and above all, find out whether the candidate is clear in his mind and has understood and internalized the concepts.

Type # 9. Language and Non-Language Tests:

Sometimes it is important to distinguish between those tests which require a knowledge of a particular language (English) in order to understand either the-test instruction or the test items themselves. All such tests are called Language tests because performance on them depends partially upon the language ability of the tests, regardless of type of ability the test is designed to measure.

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In some cases it is desirable or necessary to avoid the language bias of a test. For example, to test the mechanical ability of people who are illiterate, using the test that has complicated written instructions would be quite inappropriate.

To solve this problem, tests have been constructed in certain areas which are “language free” tests. They require no language skill on the part of the testee. These are referred to the ‘non-language’ tests.

Type # 10. Computer-Assisted Testing:

A dramatic innovation, computer assisted testing, was developed at the Personnel Research and Development Center of the U.S. Civil Service Commission. Designed for large-scale group testing, computer assisted testing is nevertheless an individual testing situation in which the person taking the test interacts with a computer.

The advantage to computer-assisted testing is greater than just the mechanical presentation of questions. This testing considerably reduces the time needed to take a test. Testing can occur at any time a candidate applies for a job, not just when a qualified test administrator is available.

A wide range of abilities can be measured in a short period of time, thus ensuring that the motivation and interest of the test taker will not wane. Also, immediate feedback is available to the personnel department; the computer provides the applicant’s scores in a matter of seconds.

This is, however, an expensive and sophisticated procedure that is appropriate only for large organizations that regularly test great numbers of people.

Type # 11. The Thomas Profiling Hiring Technique:

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A variant of psychological test, the Thomas Profiling Hiring Technique forms a vital selection device as well as offers insight into how the candidate can be developed after he signs up. It facilitates the best behavioural fit between person and the job. It was devised by New York-based Thomas International Management Systems in 1945.

This technique is used by American Express and Digital Equipment India to recruit, train and counsel employees as well as build teams. It can be adapted to suit different companies and employees’ career aspirations.

It embodies two elements:

(i) The Personal Profile Analysis (PPA), which highlights the behavioural characteristics of the applicants.

(ii) The Human Job Analysis (HJA), which indicates the behavioural requirements of the job.

The PPA measures an individual’s behaviour in the workplace and indicates how the would- be employee sees himself, how he is likely to behave under pressure, and how he is likely to be perceived by others. It is obtained by a 24 point questionnaire which can be completed within 10 minutes by the applicant.

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The HJA compares the skill sets and behavioural patterns demanded by the job with those of the candidate. Combining the PPA and HJA, it is possible to prepare Thomas International Profiling System (TIPS). The Two elements together match the people and the job and thus, facilitate optimum job satisfaction and maximum productivity.

Pros and Cons of Psychological Testing:

The primary advantage of psychological tests, as a selection technique, is that they can improve the selection process. Tests provide insights about the individual candidate, which may not be revealed in an interview or through the qualifications and achievements listed.

A testing programme such as the one developed by sears can be of great value to any organization. Psychological testing offers objectively and standardised behaviour sample which ends itself well to statistical evaluation. Tests are less susceptible to biased interpretations on the part of the examiner.

Also, it is somewhat easier to conduct evaluative research on psychological tests than on some other methods of selection. A great deal of information about a person can usually be gathered in a relatively short period of time in using tests.

In terms of predictive value, it is true that tests have been more useful in predicting success in training programmes than in predicting successful job performance.

In terms of the predictive efficiency of tests for various kinds of jobs, the following general conclusion can be drawn:

(i) For clerical jobs, tests of speed and accuracy have been very successful in predicting job performance. Tests of intelligence and arithmetic are also useful.

(ii) Tests for jobs such as – assembly-line operator and general factory worker have proven valuable for prediction of job performance. The primary kinds of tests used measure dexterity, spatial abilities, and mechanical comprehension. For some highly skilled jobs, general intelligence tests are also useful.

(iii) The characteristics and abilities required for a successful sales career are complex. Apparently, personality factors are very important, but this in one area in which testing seems to be least efficient.

(iv) The prediction of potential managers and executives has been a major focus of personnel psychologists, and many tests have been developed and applied with mixed results. The kinds of tests used include projective and objective personality tests and tests of mental ability.

Tests are only as good as the quantity and quality of the research preceding and accompanying their use. Continuous supporting research is required if psychological testing is to be a positive addition to a selection programme.

The higher the level of the job, the more difficult it has been to predict performance by means of psychological tests. It is precisely these high-level jobs that are the most important in industry and that demand better and more efficient means of selection.

As is the case with the other selection techniques, the usefulness of a psychological testing programme to an organization depends on the amount of time and money the management is willing to invest in the necessary psychological research.


Types of Psychological Tests – Classified in a Variety of Ways

Psychological tests can be classified in a variety of ways like the manner in which they are constructed, scored, administered, or in terms of the behaviour they measure and so on.

(1) According to Methods the tests can be (i) Individual tests, or (ii) Group tests. Individual tests are administered to one individual at one time. Such tests are given for clinical evaluation or for testing one’s aptitude, interest and capacity to work etc. Performance tests are individual tests.

Some of the well-known individual tests are- Stanford – Binet Intelligence Test, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – Revised (WAIS – R) Group tests are widely used for industrial testing because they are more economical to administer.

(2) Accordingly to Medium of Instruction, the tests can be (i) verbal tests or (ii) Non-verbal tests. They can also be classified as ‘oral’ or ‘written’ tests. Non-language tests are for deal’s, illiterates, foreign language speaking people etc. Most of these tests have items in the form of pictures, designs, figures or some such symbols. And instructions are given by using appropriate gestures, without saying a word.

(3) According to time-limit, tests can be classified as (i) Speed tests or (ii) Power tests. Speed tests are closely timed whereas power tests have no time limit. Speed tests are so constructed that every item is very easy – the task is to complete as many items as possible in a short time. When performance is based primarily upon the speed with which one works, the test is referred to as a Speed test.

The Power tests on the other hand have the items arranged in increasing difficulty and the person is given as much time as necessary to complete the items, in such tests, a person’s score is based exclusively upon his ability to answer the questions correctly, no matter how long (within reasonable limits) it takes.

(4) According to type of questions, tests can be classified as-

(i) Objective,

(ii) Descriptive, or

(iii) Projective.

(5) According to Scoring Method, tests can be classified as-

(i) Objectively scored tests, and

(ii) Subjectively scored tests.

(6) Accordingly to administration, tests can be classified into-

(i) Paper- and – Pencil Tests, or

(ii) Performance Tests.

(7) According to the Use of Tests, tests can be classified as-

(i) Selection tests,

(ii) Classification tests, or

(iii) Placement tests.

In selection decision, an organization may reject some individuals whose future performance is of no direct consequence to the organization.

Classification decision, on the other hand, requires special consideration to determine on which of the several possible assignments a person will be able to do his best. Placement decision generally concerns with assigning a person to different levels of work, rather than distinctly different types of work.

(8) According to Kinds of Behaviour measured, the tests can be classified as (i) Cognitive Ability Tests or Intelligence Tests, (ii) Aptitude Tests, (iii) Achievement Tests (iv) Interest Tests, (v) Personality tests.

(9) According to Human Abilities measured, tests can be classified into (i) Mental abilities tests (ii) Psychomotor Abilities Tests (iii) Perceptual Abilities Tests (iv) Job Specify-Armies Tests.


Types of Psychological Tests – Intelligence Tests, Aptitude Tests, Psychomotor Ability Tests, Achievement Tests, Interest Test and Personality Tests

For the purpose of briefly reviewing the nature of psychological testing for vocational guidance and personnel selection in the “world of work”, we shall classify the tests as follows-

1. Intelligence Tests:

Several tests of cognitive ability, better known as intelligence tests, are used frequently in employee selection. Mental ability was the first area of scientific study in the field of psychological testing. Intelligence tests are probably the most widely administered standardized tests in industry.

An intelligence test is a psychological test that attempts to measure a person’s potential ability for activities requiring problem solving, adjusting to the environment, academic achievement, and other purposeful behaviours requiring thinking, reasoning memory, synthesis (putting together) of information, and learning.

A great variety of intelligence tests can be used for industrial purposes. There are group tests, individual tests, self-administered tests, and performance tests. Intelligence tests measure the overall intellectual activity.

Or the intelligence quotient (I.Q.) of a person I.Q. = (Mental Age/Chronological Age) x 100

Stanford Binet, and Wechsler Scales and their refined versions are used widely as general intelligence tests.

General intelligence designates the mental abilities associated with the cerebral cortex or gray matter of the cerebral hemisphere. They include such functions as learning, memory, flexibility in thinking, seeing relationships (commonly called insight), alertness, speed of thought process, and creative or inventive reasoning.

Intelligence tests have been of value in predicting production of general clerks, salesmen, electrical workmen, and inspectors. There are fairly good validities for foremen, assemblers, complex – machine operators, gross manual workers, processing workers, protective workers, and recording clerks. They have been of little value for selecting computing clerks or sales clerks, machine tenders, mechanical repairmen, packers and wrappers, service workers, structural workers, or vehicle operators.

It is apparent that mental abilities are related to success in all types of work requiring judgement, knowledge of the job, and understanding of fairly complex relationships.

(i) The Otis Self – Administering Test of Mental Ability:

This test is most frequently used selection test and is highly useful for screening applicants for a wide variety of jobs, including office clerk, assembly-line workers, and lower level supervisors, i.e. jobs not requiring an extremely high level of intelligence. The test is group administered and takes little time to complete. It is less useful for professional or high level supervisory positions because it does not discriminate well at the upper ranges of intelligence.

(ii) The Wonderlic Personnel Test:

This is a 50-item version of one of the Otis series of tests, and it is particularly popular in industrial selection because it takes a mere 12 minute to complete This is considered to be an economical screening device. This group test includes verbal, numerical and spatial content items and has been useful in predicting success in certain lower level clerical jobs.

(iii) The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised (WAIS-R):

This is a lengthy, individual administered test that is used in industry primarily for the selection of senior management personnel. The administration, scoring and interpretation of the WAIS require much training and experience on the part of the examiner.

The test includes eleven (11) subjects in two sections- “Verbal” and “Performance”.

“Verbal”:

1. Information- A series of open-ended questions is asked, dealing with the kinds of factual data people normally pick up in their ordinary contacts.

2. Comprehension- Another series of open-ended questions is asked, covering the individual’s understanding of the need for social rules.

3. Arithmetic- All the questions are of the story, or problem, type. Scoring is for the correctness of solutions and the time to respond.

4. Digit span- Here a group of numbers is read off, and the subject repeats them from memory, sometimes backward.

5. Similarities- Pairs of terms are read off, and a common property, or characteristics, must be abstracted.

6. Vocabulary- A series of terms must be defined in the subject’s own terms.

“Performance”:

7. Picture completion- A number of pictures are presented in which the subject must identify the missing component.

8. Picture arrangement- Items require that a series of pictures be arranged as rapidly as possible in the order that makes the most sense.

9. Object assembly- Jigsaw puzzles must be put together within a given time limit.

10 Block design- Working with a set of small blocks having red, white or red and white faces, the subject attempts to duplicate various printed designs as quickly as possible.

11 Digit symbol – Subjects are given a series of paired symbols and numbers as a code. They are to write as many correct numbers as they can for each of a whole series of scrambled symbols within a set time period.

2. Aptitude Tests (Potential Ability Tests):

“Aptitude tests measure whether an individual has the capacity or latent ability to learn a given job if given adequate training” Such tests are widely used to measure the ability of a candidate to learn new job skill.

Examples of specific capacities or aptitudes are as follows- mechanical clerical, linguistic, musical, and academic. In addition to these examples’ some psychologists, include in this category certain motor capacities such as finger dexterity, hand dexterity, and hand-eye co-ordination.

Tests of clerical aptitude deal with questions concerning office vocabulary arithmetic, spelling, and detail checking. These tests are concerned primarily with speed and accuracy of perception.

(i) The Minnesota Clerical Test:

This is a group test consisting of two parts- (1) number comparison and (2) name comparison for instance, sample items- “when the two numbers or names in a pair are exactly the same make a check mark on the line between them.

Newyork World – Newyork World Cargill Grain Co. – Gargil Grain Co.

The test is a speed test to determine the individual’s accuracy when working in a limited time period. The number comparison consists of 200 pairs of numbers, each of which contains 3 to 12 digits. The name comparison section is similar but uses proper names instead of numbers. These tasks are analogous to work required in clerical jobs.

(ii) The General Clerical Test:

This is a group test published in two booklets-

A – Numerical and B – Verbal.

Booklet A contains items on checking, alphabetizing, numerical compilations, error location, and arithmetic reasoning and is suitable for testing job applicants for accounting or payroll clerk positions. Booklet B contains items on spelling, reading, comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar and is suitable for applicants for secretarial jobs.

Tests to measure Mechanical aptitude focus on the abilities of mechanical comprehension and spatial visualization. Two of the most widely known mechanical-aptitude tests are the Bennett Test of Mechanical Comprehension and the Stenquist Mechanical Aptitude Test. Questions asked focus on understanding mechanical relationships. Some questions relate to knowledge of actual shop machines, tools, and similar equipment.

Some questions relate to certain practices such as the type of fastener to be used to fasten a board to a box or a hinge on a door. The Bennett Test focuses on mechanical reasoning. In this test, pictures are shown depicting various mechanical problems. A number of questions are then asked to determine if the subject understands the mechanical processes and the principles involved in them.

For instance-

(i) Which man carries more weight?

(ii) Seat – Where a passenger will get a smooth ride?

(iii) Pictures of pulleys or gears – which way the wheel turns when another turns clockwise?

(iv) A train is harder to stop than automobile; because – (a) it is longer (b) it is heavier (c) its breaks are not so good.

What is commonly called mechanical ability is really a combination of general intelligence and certain aspects of muscular coordination. Tests in the mechanical ability area cover an extensive range from those of a more or less theoretical nature, through performance tests of a practical nature, to those of routine performance with tests of dexterities.

Inventive mechanical ability is tested by showing a candidate how a particular gadget functions and requiring him to draw diagrams to show how the inside mechanism must be arranged in order to work the way it does. For instance, he may be shown how the movement of one lever activates another lever in a peculiar fashion and be asked to draw the inside mechanism that makes possible this particular action.

The selection of repairmen, trouble shooters, merchandise packers, and many machine operators can be greatly improved by the use of well-selected mechanical ability tests.

General Aptitude Test Battery is aimed primarily at the lower job levels and contains 12 separately timed tests. The special aptitudes measured are verbal, numerical, spatial, form perception, clerical perception, coordination, finger dexterity, and manual dexterity.

Differential Aptitude Test consists of eight components which measure verbal reasoning, numerical ability, abstract reasoning, clerical speed and accuracy, mechanical reasoning, space relations, language usage – spelling and grammar. For instance, in abstract reasoning, the items are made up of sets of four “problem figures” that constitute a logical sequence of some kind. Respondents are required to understand the operating principle and then to select a fifth figure from among five “answer figures” to complete the sequence.

It consists of 50 problems to be answered in 25 minutes.

Verbal reasoning test measures the ability to abstract or generalize, and to think constructively rather than simple vocabulary recognition. The test consists of 50 items to be answered in 30 minutes. The respondents have to identify words to complete sentences as true and sensible.

e.g……… is to night as breakfast is to ……

1. Flow

2. Gentle

3. Supper

4. Door

a. include

b. morning

c. enjoy

d. corner.

General mechanical ability and spatial visualization ability frequently have been found to be requirements for jobs such as craftsmen, mechanics, repairers, drafters and engineers.

Most commonly used mechanical tests are:

1. Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test

2. D.A.T. Mechanical Reasoning

3. D.A.T. Space Relations

4. Minnesota Paper Form Board, Revised

5. O’Connor’s Wiggly Block Test

6. Purdue Industrial Training Classification Test

7. Purdue Mechanical Adaptability Test

8. Purdue Mechanical Performance Test

9. S R A Mechanical Aptitudes

10. Mac Querrie Test for Mechanical Ability

3. Psychomotor Ability Tests:

Many jobs in industry and the military require a high degree of motor skill involving muscular coordination, finger dexterity, or precise eye-hand co­ordination. Apart from the coordination and dexterity tests of the General Aptitude Test Battery, other typical psychomotor measures are the Mac Querrie Test for Mechanical Ability and the O’Connor Finger and Tweezer Dexterity Tests. In addition, there are a number of special coordination measures and apparatus tests that tap muscular skills of a grosser nature.

(i) The Macquarie Test for Mechanical Ability:

Although most psychomotor tests require some kind of special equipment, the MacQuerrie test utilizes only paper and pencil.

There are seven subjects:

(1) Tracing- The subject draws a continuous line from a start through gaps in a series of vertical lines to a finish point.

(2) Tapping – The subject makes dots on a paper as quickly as possible.

(3) Dotting – Dots are made within small, irregularly placed circles

(4) Copying – Simple designs are copied with straight line drawings by connecting appropriate dots from among a much large number. e.g. copy figure in dotted space

(5) Location- Specific points must be located in a smaller size version of a large stimulus figure.

(6) Blocks – Piled blocks are shown in two dimensions, and the total number of the pile must be determined.

(7) Pursuit – The subject visually tracks assorted lines in a maze, – wavy lines that cross several other lines.

This test measures a group of abilities including speed, accuracy of tracing, tapping, dotting, copying, letter location, block identification, and visual pursuit! This test has proved useful in personnel selection for occupations such as aviation mechanic and stenographer.

(ii) The Purdue Pegboard Test:

This is a performance test that stimulates conditions on an assembly line and measures finger dexterity as well as gross movement skills of fingers, hands, and arms. The task is to place pins in a series of holes as rapidly as possible, first with one hand, then the other, then both. Each of these tasks takes 30 seconds.

The Purdue Pegboard also includes a one-minute test involving the simultaneous use of both hands to assemble pins, collars and washers in each hole.

Typical dexterity tests require the subject to place pegs in small holes arranged in various patterns. The arrangement of holes determines relative importance of finger and arm movement.

Precision tests may require the subject to plunge a stylus accurately into a hole each time it is mechanically uncovered.

Tests of Rhythm require the subject to duplicate by tapping a telegraph key, a pattern which is presented on a phonograph The use of a device that measures the speed with which person can of the oldest test in use. Short reaction times are helpful in most activities which require alertness.

(iii) The O’Connor Finger Dexterity and

(iv) The O’Connor Tweezers Dexterity Test:

These tests measure how fast a person can insert pins into small holes both by hand and by the use of tweezers. The subject is required to place three pins, 1 inch in length and 0.072 inch in diameter, into a hole 0.196 inch in diameter. The holes are spaced 1/2 inch apart ten in each row. This is a standard measure used to obtain an index of finger dexterity and the test has proven successful in predicting success among sewing machine operator trainees, dentistry students and a variety of other tasks requiring precise manipulative skills.

(v) The Minnesota Rate of Manipulation Test:

This test consists of two parts. The subject’s task in the first place is to place 60 cylindrical blocks in 60 wells in a board. The second task is to turn all the blocks over. The score is the amount of time taken to complete each task.

In the coordination area, the most typical measure probably is the pursuit rotor which establishes the aiming skill or motor coordination. The subject uses a stylus to follow a dot on a revolving disk.

One variation of this procedure is the Purdue Hand-Precision Test. As an upper disk with a hole revolves, the subject must touch target holes in a plate underneath the disk by using a stylus. The score is kept electronically as the stylus activates a counter.

Much more complex apparatus tests requiring a subject to pull certain levers, push certain pedals, and so on, when a given pattern of lights appears, have also been developed.

Psychomotor tests or skills tests measure the person’s ability to do a specific job. They are administered to determine manual dexterity or motor ability and similar attributes involving muscular movement control and coordination. They are highly useful in the selection of workers who have to perform semi-skilled and respective jobs, such as bench assembly work, packing, testing and inspection, and watch assembly.

4. Achievement Tests:

Whereas aptitude is a capacity to learn in the future, achievement is concerned with what one has accomplished. When job applicants claim to know something, an achievement test is given to measure how well they know it. Achievement tests are also known as proficiency tests and they measure the skill or knowledge which is acquired as a result of training or on-the-job experience.

Tests for measuring Job Knowledge are administered to determine proficiency in short-hand, typing, in operating calculators, adding machines and simple mechanical equipment. Such tests are useful for office-workers mill supervisors, stenographers, public utility employees etc.

Work Sample tests demand the administration of the actual job as a test. The typing test provides the material to be typed and notes the time taken and the mistakes committed.

Trade tests involve performance of simple operations requiring specialized skill:

Oral type of trade tests consist of a series of questions that may be satisfactorily answered by those who know and thoroughly understand the trade or occupation. Such tests conveniently identify “trade bluffers”, i.e., individuals who claim knowledge and job experience which they do not possess. Several trade tests are well developed for such trades as asbestos workers, punch-press operators, electricians, and machinists. Many times, unstandardized achievement tests may be given in industry such as typing or dictation tests for an applicant for a stenographic position.

(5) Interest Tests:

Interest tests are designed to find out patterns of individual interests and thus to suggest the types of work that may be satisfying to individuals. A person who is interested in a job or task will do much better than one who is uninterested. Interest inventories are of greater value in vocational guidance and career counselling than in industrial personnel selection.

Interest tests measure the liking or lack of it for a particular task.

Two of the more widely used tests of interest are the-

(i) Strong-Campbell Interest Inventory (SCII) and the

(ii) Kuder Preference Record.

The SCII is a group-administered test composed of 325 questions that deal with occupations, school subjects, activities, leisure pursuits, peculiarities of people, social contacts etc.; some of which are to be ranked in order of preference and others rated as like, dislike, or indifferent.

Patterns of interests have been developed for some sixty occupations among which are accountant, architect, dentist, engineer, personnel manager, production manager, and teacher. The SCII groups occupations in six areas- Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.

The Kuder Occupational Interest Survey consists of a large number of items arranged in groups of three. Within each trial, a subject must indicate which activity he/she most prefers and which he/she least prefers. Subjects are not allowed to skip any trial – if they do not like any of the alternatives, or to check more than one as their most preferred activity. It can be scored for 126 occupations.

There is one difficulty with the use of interest inventories as a selection tool and that is the problem of taking responses. The success of any such inventory largely depends upon the honesty of a person’s answers. In a selection situation the person’s motivation to falsify answers may be great for the desperate need of the job.

(6) Personality Tests:

The importance of personality to job success is undeniable. It is not an uncommon experience to find an individual who possesses the intelligence, aptitude and experience for a certain job and still fails because of inability to get along with and motivate other people.

Certain personality characteristics are important for job success in specific occupations e.g. autonomy and persistence are vital for an investigative reporter; orderliness and precision are essential for an accountant; similarly traits of affiliation and nurturance are important for a successful career as a counsellor.

In fact, job performances as well as job satisfaction both are closely related with personality characteristics. It is widely accepted that non-intellectual factors of personality are most important for the success or failure of managers and executives.

Personality inventories measure characteristic way of reacting to variety of situations. A variety of dimensions are measured such as introversion, extroversion, dominance-submission, self-confidence, social maturity, interpersonal relations, authoritarian attitude, impulsiveness and so on.

Personality tests aim at measuring those basic characteristics of an individual which are non-intellectual in their nature. These tests probe deeply to discover clues to an individual’s value system, his emotional reactions, his temperament and characteristic mood. They asses his motivational interest, his ability to adjust himself to the stresses of life, and his self-image.

There are two approaches to the measurement of personality:

(i) Self- report inventories, and

(ii) Projective techniques.

The Self-report inventory presents a variety of items that deal with specific situations, symptoms, or feelings. Subjects are asked to indicate how well each item describes themselves or how much they agree with each item.

A major problem with self-report inventory is the honesty of the people taking the test.

The Projective technique approach to personality testing presents the individual with an ambiguous stimulus such as an inkblot. The task is to give some structure and meaning to this stimulus – to tell what is seen in the figure. The theory behind this approach is that an individual will project personal thoughts, desires, wishes and feelings onto this amorphous structure in an effort to give it some meaning.

These tests cannot be faked because there are no rights or wrong answers.

The most well-known self-report inventories are the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), Fundamental Interpersonal Relationships Orientation (FIRO), and California Personality Inventory (CPI). MMPI is probably the most influential self-report inventory containing 550 items classified by the respondent as true, false, or cannot say.

It measures ten personality dimensions given below:

Hypochondriasis, Depression, Hysteria, Psychopathic deviation, Masculinity- femininity, Pshychasthenia, Schizophrenia, Hypomania, Social introversion.

Its excessive length limits its usefulness for selection purposes; high level of motivation is required to respond to each item with care. MMPI uses 3 scales that can be scored to determine if the subject was faking, careless, or misunderstood the directions.

Projective Tests attempt to obtain a more realistic assessment of personality. They usually consist of pictures or incomplete items. A subject is asked to narrate what he sees in pictures or complete the incomplete. They induce the individual to put himself into the test situation (project) and thus reveal his motives, attitudes, frustrations, aspirations, apprehensions, etc.

Projective tests are of two kinds – Unstructured (meaningless situation) and structured (where past experiences can be relied because they have form and meaning).

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)- Structured are the most well-known projective tests, however, Rorschach has low predictive validities for personnel selection as compared to TAT.

Thematic Apperception Test (TAT). Developed by American Psychologist Henry Murray in the late 1930s is most popular. In this test, the subject is shown a series of pictures, one at a time, and is asked to make up as dramatic a story as he can for each. For instance, (1) a short elderly woman stands with her back turned to a tall young man; and (2) a boy lies on the floor next to a couch with a revolver by his side.

The subject is asked to tell what led up to the event, what is happening at the moment, what the characters are feeling and thinking, and what the outcomes of the situation will be. The psychologist analyzes the story in terms of such factors as length, vocabulary, cohesiveness, bizarre ideas, plot, mood, and symbols used.

Another approach that is closely related to the TAT is the Tomkins – Horn Picture Arrangement Test (PAT). In this instance, the subjects are presented with three pictures at a time, which they must arrange to produce a sequence that .makes a logical story. Then the brief story describing the pattern of events is written below the pictures.

There are 25 such items. Impressive results have been obtained with this measure in predicting success in occupations ranging from office machine operation to sales and consulting.

Surveys of the testing literature reveal lower levels of validity for personality tests as compared to intelligence tests.

Attitudes and Values tests help to identify personality predisposition. Attitudes are tendencies to act favourably or otherwise to people, situations, action, phenomena, and a host of other such things. Because emotional overtones are involved, attitudes cannot be directly observed or measured. A particular attitude is inferred from the responses or response patterns.

Values refer to the concept of desirability. Values deal with normative as opposed to existential position. Various tests are well developed to measure attitudes and values, for instance, tests of social desirability, authoritarianism, study of values, Machiavellianism and employee morale.

Study of Values by Allport, Vernon and Lindzey (1951) is the most well- known test designed to measure the relative strength of six basic values or interests- theoretical, social, economic, aesthetic, political, and religious.


Types of Psychological Tests – 4 Different Kinds: Aptitude Tests, Achievement Tests, Personality Tests and Interest Tests

There are different kinds of psychological tests.

The important among them are:

1. Aptitude test,

2. Achievement test,

3. Personality test and

4. Interest test.

Type # 1. Aptitude or Potential Ability Tests:

Aptitude tests are the tests which measure ability and skills that have potentiality for late development in a person.

These tests measure the latent ability or potential of a candidate to learn a new job or skill quickly and efficiently. These tests detect peculiarities or defects in the person’s sensory or intellectual capacity. They focus attention on a particular kind of talent such as learning, reasoning, mechanical bent of mind etc.

Such tests are of the following types:

(a) Intelligence Test or Mental Tests:

These tests measure the overall intellectual capacity of a candidate to understand and deal effectively with the problems and make decisions. These tests are also used to measure such factors as ability for comprehension and reasoning, word fluency, verbal comprehension, numbers, memory, picture arrangements, speed of perception, spatial visualisation etc.

The scores on intelligence tests are generally expressed as Intelligence Quotient (IQ), which is calculated by the following formula-

IQ = (Mental Age x 100) / Actual Age

This means that intelligent quotient (IQ) is derived by dividing mental age by actual age and multiplying by 100 (to remove decimal places).

IQ is calculated on the assumption that there are different forms of intelligence tests for different age-groups. Intelligent test in industry is based on the assumption that in case the organisation is able to get bright, talented and alert employees, who are quick at learning, it can arrange for their training at a faster rate than those who are less bright and less alert.

Intelligence tests are useful in selecting employees for a wide variety of jobs. However, administration of these tests is cumbersome, laborious and expensive. They are also criticised on the ground of discrimination against weaker and backward sections of the community.

(b) Mechanical Aptitude Tests:

These tests measure a person’s capacity to learn a particular kind of mechanical work. These tests are used to judge capacity for spatial visualisation, perceptual speed, manual dexterity, visual insights, specialised knowledge of techniques, problem- solving ability, technical vocabulary etc. They help in selecting apprentices, machinists, mechanics, mechanical technicians, mechanical workers etc.

(c) Skill Tests:

These tests measure the ability of a candidate to perform a particular job. They help to determine mental ability or motor skill and such other attributes involving muscular movement, control and coordination. They are mainly used for selecting candidates who are required to perform semi-skilled and repetitive jobs such as assembly work, testing, inspection etc.

Type # 2. Achievement Tests:

These tests measure a candidate’s achievement in a given job. They determine his skill or knowledge already acquired through training and on- the-job- experience. There are mainly two types of achievement tests.

(a) Knowledge Tests:

These tests measure a candidate’s knowledge of the job for which he is to be selected. For example- test for measuring the knowledge of taxation laws, audit regulations, accounting system, banking etc. can be taken for selecting candidates for the posts of auditors and accountants. Similarly, test for measuring the knowledge of short hand, speed at which it is written, etc. may be used for selecting a steno-typist.

(b) Work Sample Tests:

These tests are used to measure the working capacity of a candidate in a particular job. For example- typing test may be taken for selecting typists.

Type # 3. Personality Tests:

Personality tests, also known as personality inventories, are used to measure a candidate’s motivational reactions, predispositions, maturity and characteristic mood. They predict a person’s performance success in jobs which involve dealing with people or jobs which are essentially supervisory or managerial in nature such as supervisors, executives etc.

They are expressed in such traits as self-confidence, ability to lead, patience, emotional control, optimism, decisiveness, conformity, objectivity, interpersonal compliance, dominance or submission, extroversions or introversions, initiative, sympathy, integrity, stability etc. They are widely used in industry as they provide an all-round picture of a person’s personality. However they have been criticised as superficial, easily forked and misleading.

There are mainly three types of personality tests:

(a) Objective Tests:

These tests are used to measure neurotic tendencies, self-sufficiency, dominance or submission, and self- confidence. These tests are scored objectively.

(b) Projective Tests:

These tests are used to measure a candidate’s ability to project his interpretation on certain stimuli like ambiguous pictures, figures, etc. shown to him. The ways in which he responds to these stimuli reflect his own values, motives and personality.

(c) Situation Tests:

These tests are used to measure a candidate’s reaction when placed in a peculiar situation, his capacity to undergo stresses and strains of the job, and his demonstration of ingenuity under pressure. They generally relate to a leaderless group situation, in which some problems are posed to the group and its members are asked to give their decisions on such problems, without the help of a leader. Group discussion and basket methods are used to conduct these tests.

Type # 4. Interest Tests:

These tests measure a candidate’s likes and dislikes in relation to work for which he is going to be selected. They are used to find out the candidate’s areas of interest and identify the kind of work which will satisfy him. They are usually used for vocational guidance.


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