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Psychological testing/Psychometrics

Instructor: MA Ewa Witkowska

Credit hours: 30h/5 ECTS credits

Prerequisites: none
Attendance: non-required

Course Objectives:
The purpose of this lecture course is to introduce the student to the basic
theoretical psychometric concepts and use of psychological tests. Main
course objectives include understanding of the basic principles of
psychological measurement and the techniques of test construction,
administration, and validation. Test rationale, construction, characteristics
and the use of evaluation are emphasized.


Lecture 1. Test as a tool of psychological assessment – essential

concepts: Test definition, application and requirements for
psychological tests (standardization, objectivity, reliability, validity,
and norms). Concept of trait – psychological and psychometric

Lecture 2. Sorts of psychological tests – presentation of selected

methods. History of psychological testing.

Lecture 3. Fundamental problems of test application: Psychological,

psychometric, methodological and ethical considerations of
psychological diagnosis using tests.
Lecture 4. Differential measurement in psychology – basic assumptions.
Normal distribution of test scores and the basic statistics of test
results (mean and standard deviation). Test score as sum of
weighted and non-weighted test items (responses). Relationships
between mean and variance of test score and items’ means and
variances (and their covariances). The distributions of test scores as
a result of composition of the items – the relationship between test
scores and latent trait in different test scores’ distributions.

Lecture 5. Test reliability – essential concepts. Definition of test

reliability, two aspects of reliability: Internal consistency and
temporal stability. Classic Test Theory (Gulliksen and Lord & Novick
concepts of the test reliability): Raw score, true score and
measurement error. Standard error of measurement and standard
error of difference between test scores.

Lecture 6. Test reliability – methods of reliability assessment: Internal

consistency, test-retest and parallel tests. Dependence of reliability
on group’s homogeneity and the length of test.

Lecture 7. Test validity – definition; relationship between reliability and

validity. Three aspects of test validity: Content validity (and face
validity), criterion-related validity (concurrent and predictive
validity) and construct-oriented validity.

Lecture 8. Test validity – continued: Construct-oriented validity and

methods of its assessment. Aspects of construct-oriented validity:
Relationships between construct and behaviour; method of
analyzing of the internal structure of the test, correlations with
other tests (exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis – factor
validity), analysis of multitrait-multimethod matrix: discriminant
and convergent validity.
Lecture 9. Basic problems of test development – deductive, inductive
and criterion-oriented strategy of test construction.

Lecture 10. Basic problems of test development: test construction

procedure – continued: Preparation of the test and psychometric
analyses of the items and the test. Item analysis: difficulty and
discrimination. Item Response Theory - item characteristic curve
and its application in the analysis of psychometric properties of the
test items.

Lecture 11. Bias in psychological testing – faking-bad and faking-good

tendency in personality inventories (the role of the social
desirability), response styles; the methods of protecting the test
from response set.

Lecture 12. Basic problems of cultural adaptation of psychological tests.

Strategies of test adaptation: Translating (applying), adapting and
assembling the test.

Lecture 13. Norms and test standarization: Normalized standard scores

and rank scores (percentiles, T-scores, stanines, stens and IQ
scale); the cut-off scores in criterion-oriented tests.

Lecture 14. Interpretation of test scores: Intrapersonal and interpersonal

differences, clinical and statistical approach. Test manual and
documentation of psychometric procedures.

Lecture 15. Usefulness of testing in psychological practice – overview

and results of meta-analytical studies.

Murphy, K. R. & Davidshofer, C. O. (1998). Psychological testing.
Principles and applications: Internation edition (6/e). Upper Saddle
River, NJ.: Prentice-Hall, Inc.