Types Of Assessment In Psychology


Neuropsychology refers to a discipline in the field of psychology concerned with exploring how an individual’s behavior and condition are connected within the brain and the rest of the nervous system. Specifically, professionals working in the branch are predominantly focused on how illnesses and injuries of the brain impact a person’s cognitive and behavioral functioning (Gluck et al., 2019). The types of tests commonly used in neuropsychology are broken down into categories based on what they are intended to measure, such as memory, intelligence, language, executive function, visuospatial capacities, dementia-specific indicators, and several functions. For example, when testing memory, Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS) is used, while for intelligence, either Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS) or Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC-IV IQ test) is used.

Within specific categories of assessment, for example, dementia, neuropsychological testing can be necessary for diagnosis and patient care recommendations. However, it is not always appropriate because it is lengthy and can be stressful for subjects. The tests developed for the majority culture members may not be applicable for ethnic minorities, such as those speaking a different language or having little formal education. When it comes to format, neuropsychological tests are structured and may combine both qualitative and quantitative data. Percentile and scaled scores are the most common in this type of testing. While the former represents the percentage of scores in the sample that are lower than the obtained scores, the latter shows how well an individual performed on a specific sub-test. In the neuropsychological class discussing dementia, such concepts as shifts in cognitive and intellectual functioning will be used to describe persons affected by the condition.

Personality Testing

Personality testing and assessment represent various techniques intended to measure the specific patterns of traits that people exhibit in multiple situations. Such tests can be used for helping to clarify clinical diagnoses, guide interventions in therapy, and help predict reactions to various circumstances. The most widespread types of personality tests include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI). For instance, while MBTI is a self-report inventory identifying personality types, preferences, and strengths, MMPI assesses personality traits and psychopathology.

While personality tests are appropriate for general knowledge and self-discovery, they are inappropriate when their sole purpose is financial gain and the imposition of standards on the population. Individuals with mental health disorders may find such tests discriminatory because they are intended to make clear-cut conclusions, while every person is multi-dimensional (Macabasco, 2021). Specifically, there has been a problem with employees using personality tests to filter potential applications (Remaida et al., 2021), which is problematic because they cannot cater to everyone. Moreover, personality tests alone cannot allow for making a diagnosis of personality disorders. The format of personality tests is usually differentiated into self-report inventories, which are often quantitative, and projective tests, which tend to be qualitative. Scaled scores are commonly used in personality test results, representing the total number of raw scores respondents have provided, which have been converted onto a standardized scale. In the class that explores personality disorders, such concepts as extraversion versus introversion, avoidance, antisocial behavior, obsession, and dependency will be used to determine whether an individual has personality issues.

Industrial, Occupational, and Career Assessment

Industrial, occupational, and career assessments are carried out to help individuals understand how their skills, personality, and tendencies impact their success in a particular occupation and career choice. They allow for identifying essential strengths and weaknesses in a person and their suitability for different positions. The most common tests in this area include the Career Key, Work Preference Inventory, Myers Briggs Personality Tests, and Princeton Review Career Quiz. Specifically, while the Career Key matches personality, skills, and interests to a potential job, Work Preference Inventory provides a career test based on individual values.

While occupational assessments are appropriate for getting some general information about a person’s career tendencies, they are often unreliable because different tests can give different results. For less-educated individuals or individuals with educational, intellectual, and personality disabilities, the tests may provide uncertain results because responders may find questions confusing (Ellison, 2020). Moreover, whether a person is suited to be a lawyer, for example, can only be found in practice because there could be a misalignment between theoretical assumptions and real practice. The format of career assessments is highly structured, with responders expected to answer close-ended multiple-choice questions or Likert-type-scale questions that entail self-reported evidence, commonly combining quantitative and qualitative data (Leutner & Chamorro-Premuzic, 2018). As in personality tests, scaled scores are used for communicating the results of the assessments. When measuring an individual’s tendency to be successful in an occupation, one may look at such indicators as proficiency in science, artistic ability, leadership tendencies, and skills, as well as athleticism.

Forensic Assessment

Forensic assessment denotes a systematic evaluation of a defendant, witness, or offender carried out by a mental health professional. The term forensic has several meanings, one of which includes relating to the application of scientific methods for crime investigation, while another includes scientific techniques and tests used in connection with crime detection. A forensic assessment is used for informing the court about issues such as the competency of a defendant to stand trial, the likelihood of criminal responsibility, and overall risk assessment. Common standardized forensic tests include the Kohlman Evaluation of Living Skills (KELS) and Allen Cognitive Level Screen (ACLS-5), Evaluation of Competency to Stand Trial – Revised (ECST-R), and others.

While forensic tests provide valuable information on subjects, they can be inappropriate to be used in cases when responders have undergone severe trauma and require hospitalization. Besides, tests focusing on psychology can be misinterpreted and overinterpreted in the forensic setting, which may harm the persons being evaluated. Besides, the tests usually target the majority population, thus making them difficult to be comprehended and understood by the representatives of ethnic minorities. The propensity of an individual to commit a crime cannot be measured only through testing because there could be environmental reasons that influenced their behavior at a particular point in time.


Because forensic assessment tools are multi-disciplinary, their format can range and combine both qualitative and quantitative data. Structured multiple-choice and Likert-type-scale questions are usually used, with items being scored both from observation and patient reports to achieve greater validity. For instance, in KELS, a scale score between 0 and 17 is used, with scores of 6-17 indicating that the subject needs assistance to live community (Chandran et al., 2021). In terms of common terminology of forensic assessment, when evaluating an individual’s criminal tendencies, such indicators as antisocial values, low self-control, substance abuse, criminal peers, and dysfunctional family dynamics will be considered.


Chandran, M. C., Saji, F., Samuel, R., & Jacob, K. (2021). Development and validation of Vellore Inventory of Life Skills among people with severe mental illness. Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 63(1), 15-27.

Ellison, R. (2021). The danger of making life decisions from career assessments — And how to make good decisions. Forbes. Web.

Gluck, M., Mercado, E., & Myers, C. E. (2019). Learning and memory: From brain to behavior (4th ed.). Worth Publishers.

Leutner, F., & Chamorro-Premuzic, T. (2018). Stronger together: Personality, intelligence and the assessment of career potential. Journal of Intelligence, 6(4), 49.

Macabasco, L. W. (2021). They become dangerous tools’: the dark side of personality tests. The Guardian. Web.

Remaida, A., Moumen, A., El Bouzekri El Idrissi, Y., Abdellaoui, B., & Harraki, Y. (2021). The use of personality tests as a preemployment tool: A comparative study. SHS Web of Conferences, 119. Web.