Testing is a method of psychological cognition, consisting in a standardized measurement of a person's psychological characteristics.
Testing is usually referred to the number of psychological methods proper. Psychological testing is an objective
and the standardized measurement of patterns of behavior, as the ego defines A. Anastasi. In psychological research and diagnosis it is used more often than others. This is due to a number of advantages of this method, especially in that the tests are mostly designed to provide an accurate description of the psychological phenomenon in relation to certain standards. Also, the mass use of tests by psychologists is related to the speed and ease of use, the ability to conduct them both individually and with the group. Tests favorably differ in that they have a clear procedure for collecting and processing data, as well as having a standard psychological interpretation of the results obtained. In addition, the results of psychological tests can be conveniently processed using mathematical statistics.
The limitations of the test method include the difficulty of inferring a qualitative interpretation of data, i.e. the results obtained during testing indicate the severity of this or that psychological characteristic in a person, but do not disclose either the psychological content or the cause-and-effect relationships of the given condition of the subject. For example, during testing it was found out that the child has a high level of school anxiety. At the same time, it is not clear from the result what caused this condition, and also how it manifests itself in this child. Even less clear is the picture of the group anxiety survey, since the high level of school anxiety obtained in the class is averaged. Such results do not carry any psychological information proper, except for stating that children with a high level of anxiety study in this class.
The testing procedure itself has some features. The selection of the necessary tools, which must meet certain requirements, is of paramount importance. First, the test material should correspond to the age group that will be examined. It is known that not all psychological tests have a modification for children. Accordingly, if the technique is not adapted for a given age, then it is impossible to apply ce. The researcher's attempts to create a version of a test are inevitably poured into a long and painstaking study, since an effective toolkit must have a number of characteristics.
First, the researcher must know exactly how a particular psychological phenomenon manifests itself in the study group (especially the age group), for which he wants to adapt the technique to adequately pick up the stimulus material.
Secondly, to find out whether and how accurately selected test or adapted by the researcher himself method the psychological characteristic under study. That is, determine the validity of the methodology, which all tests must meet. Most often the validity of the test is checked by repeated testing and obtaining
The same results on different samples, the results of other methods and a high positive correlation with the test data, aimed at the same psychological characteristics. Even if you use a ready-made and well-known test, you need to make sure whether it measures what it is intended for and how well. Data on validity are indicated in the description of the test.
Third, as with the creation, and when using the test, it is necessary to take into account such aspect of it as standardization. Standardization implies a uniform procedure for conducting and evaluating the performance of the test. In this regard, any test is accompanied by a detailed instruction. The other side of standardization is the description of the norms or levels of expression of a particular psychological characteristic. It is known that, in most cases, the norms of psychological tests are statistical, i.e. when they are created, the normal distribution of frequencies in the appropriate groups (age, sex, ethnic, etc.) is used.
Fourth, one of the important characteristics of any test is reliability.
Reliability is the stability of the test results when applied repeatedly to the same subjects at different times, using different sets of equivalent tasks or changing survey conditions.
Reliability data is also specified in the test description.
Fifthly, it is necessary to consider what material should be obtained based on the test results, in this connection, the most appropriate type of test should be selected. In psychology, there are several types of tests: questionnaires, task tests, projective tests.
Question-and-answer tests are also called standardized self-reports of subjects. Most often they are used to study personality characteristics. Their result is an analysis of the answers of the subjects to questions about the presence or severity of a certain psychological characteristic in the subject under study. The following criteria are taken as a basis for the creation of this type of tests: relevance of content, binding to the empirical criterion, data of factor analysis, theory of personality. Relevancy of the content is revealed through the clarification of the characteristics of a particular psychological phenomenon in the subject. For the first time such an approach was used to create clinical tests, where questions were included descriptions of symptoms characteristic of a particular mental disorder. Binding to an empirical criterion means the number of occurrences of a given characteristic or property in a sample, i.e. if in most empirical cases a certain fact of behavior corresponds to one or another feature of the personality, then the inclusion of the question of this behavior in the context of this psychological trait is legitimate. Factor analysis involves integrating questions into homogeneous and independent groups, if the questionnaire involves several scales. And the last aspect, when the basis of the test is laid down a certain personality theory , based on which are built TS or other characteristics, researched in the subject. In this connection, often under the name of the same personality characteristics, different phenomena can appear in different questionnaires, this is because the creators of tests have different understandings of the content of this characteristic. This fact should also be taken into account in the study. When creating a test questionnaire, not all aspects of constructing the methodologies of this plan are taken into account, which is determined by the tasks of the researcher.
Based on a detailed description of this type of test, we can talk about the difficulties that arise when they are used. Obviously, when it comes to self-report, i.e. about the self-observation data of the person being studied, one can face the social desirability of his answers, as well as the insufficient degree of human reflexivity, which inevitably distorts the results obtained in the course of testing. On the other hand, the test questions reflect the vision of the subject of the study by the author of the test or group of experts, which also entails subjectivity in understanding the phenomenon being studied. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to these aspects when applying the test, realizing in what perspective the examined psychological phenomenon will be considered.
Another option for psychological tests is the test task , often iodine means performance tests. Their essence lies in the study of a particular psychological quality of a person through an analysis of the success of certain tasks, which are the criterion for the development of the quality under study. This type of tests include tests of general and special abilities, tests of intellectual development, tests of achievements. This type of test is often used in education and professional selection. The most significant moment in the preparation of these tests is the selection of tasks that will reflect this or that ability of a person. At the same time, the greatest discussions are caused by tests of intellectual development, since intelligence tests serve to identify those abilities that, according to the author of the test, are designed by intellect, and there is no single, accepted intellect construct to date. Nevertheless, in clinical psychology, D. Wexler's test is used to assess the intellectual development and use of this information when the psychiatrist makes a diagnosis of mental retardation. The methods of such a plan earlier applied to techniques that were not recommended for use in routine testing, so that subjects did not learn to perform assignments, which would not subsequently lead to distortion of results and doubts when diagnosing. Also, when carrying out this kind of tests, it is necessary to take into account that as a result we get the actual, but not potential level of expression of ability, i.e. to judge whether there is still a human potential for development or is the limit of its capabilities, but the results of tests of abilities, it is impossible.
Projective tests are used to investigate psychological qualities that can not be detected by observation, and other types of tests, and when, based on the characteristics of the subject, tests. They are aimed at researching the motivational, affective sphere, the system of human relationships, values, characteristics of human interaction with the environment and social environment, personal characteristics, unconscious aspects of the personality, etc.
A distinctive feature of these tests is the uncertainty of the stimulus material and instructions, which can not bring the subject to conclusions about what the technique is aimed at and give him freedom in expressing the properties of the mental potential. Also, the subject is in a situation free from evaluation, and does not know the diagnostic significance of certain answers, which avoids the traumatic situations that may arise when performance tests are performed, where the success of the test is not obvious. The advantage of projective tests is that this type of techniques can be used on different groups of subjects regardless of age, sex, clinical status. It should be noted that these tests are widely used in clinical psychodiagnosis, because they were originally created for clinical use.
Despite the wide possibilities of using projective tests, there are a number of difficulties in using them.
1. First, it is a dependence on the experimenter's qualification of his ability to conduct a test, and most importantly to interpret the results. For example, M. Luscher says that he needed more than one hundred samples in order to qualitatively interpret the results of his color test.
2. Secondly, it is impossible to pinpoint the validity, reliability, and standardization of this group of tests. The question of whether or not these techniques really investigate what is aimed at is still open, especially when it comes to the study of unconscious motives, feelings, etc. Here it is worth mentioning the absence of normative data from projective methods.
3. Thirdly, the research situation and the personality of the researcher can affect the test results.
In addition, in psychology, there is a wide variety of projective techniques, the test characteristics of which differ, and it is customary to single out several groups of projective tests. These are the methods:
• Structuring: Rorschach ink spot test, cloud test, 3D projection test;
• Design: MAPS, the world test and its various modifications;
• Interpretations: TAT, Rosenzweig frustration test, Sondi test;
• additions: unfinished sentences, unfinished stories, Jung's associative test;
• catharsis: psychodrama, projective play;
• Expression studies: analysis of handwriting, features of speech communication, myokinistics method of Mira-i-Lopets;
• Study of products of creativity: a test drawing a person's figure, a test drawing a tree Koch, a drawing test at home, drawing a finger, etc. This group of methods is similar to two other methods - the analysis of products of activity and the interpretation of materialized forms of human activity. Data on the validity, reliability, standardization of these tests are usually present in the description.
In United States psychology, the semantic differential is often referred to projective methods, since the result of this test is the definition of the personal meaning of a particular object of reality for the person being studied. Obviously, the semantic differential was attributed to projective methods in connection with the fact that this method examines the value of an object for a person not in a direct way, but through an associative series. In modern psychology, Osgood's method is formalized into a psychological method, since it is based on a whole theory of psychosemantics of consciousness, originally derived from the theory of AN Leontief's activity.
In general, projective tests are often used to supplement, clarify data obtained with the help of other tests or methods. They greatly expand the understanding of the subjective picture of the personality of the subject.
In conclusion, it should be noted that, despite a number of limitations, the testing method has proved to be one of the most effective research methods in psychology, most scientific and practical work lately relies on data obtained as a result of its application. Let us give an example of such an investigation.
Correlation of the manifestation of aggressive behavior of adolescents with their social status in the group
Empirical referents of aggressive behavior are adolescents' judgments about their behavior in different situations. To do this, we used the Aggression Condition Diagnostic Questionnaire Bassa-Darka and Technique of drawing frustration by S. Rosenzweig & quot ;. The sociometric status of a teenager was established using the methodology "Sociometry" J. Moreno and "Methods of measuring the interaction distance - the SSB scale". The relationship between the manifestations of the aggressive behavior of adolescents with their social status in the group was established using a correlation analysis of the results obtained on the scales of the above methods. The result of this study was the establishment of a relationship between the low social status of a teenager and the high frequency of manifestations of aggressive behavior. Thus, a teenager who observes frequent manifestations of aggressive behavior, especially physical aggression, is rejected by classmates. This conclusion allowed us to make the results of a study of the behavior of adolescents in the alleged frustrating situation, which suggests that in this case they do not show aggression directed at other people. Consequently, the aggressive behavior of a teenager can not be a reaction to rejection by his classmates (the frustration of the need for communication with peers), just his aggressive actions entail rejection.
This study is more practical, because it was conducted in the same class and the revealed relationship is typical for interpersonal relationships in this group of adolescents. Distributing these results to all cases of the relationship between aggressive behavior and sociometric status would not be correct.
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