A psychological assessment can be considered as very important in terms of learning general or specific facts about how an individual acts, thinks, and functions in the present, as well as predict how they will possibly behave in the future. Though primarily used for psychological and mental assessment, it can also be used by different organizations for different purposes such as employee recruitment. In this article, one can learn about the subject further and realize its importance.
What is Psychological Assessment
Psychological assessment is basically a process of testing an individual’s mental and behavioral capacity. It uses a combination of different techniques and methods to help the professional or practitioner arrive at some hypotheses about the person being tested. As such, it is also referred to as psychological testing.
This is often conducted by a licensed psychologist or a psychology trainee or intern. They are typically the ones who have the ability to expertly perform the assessment and provide clear and accurate interpretation of the test results. Although it should be facilitated by a professional, it does not necessarily follow strict or defined steps and procedures. At times, it depends on the practitioner which techniques he or she will use to get the most out of the assessment. Furthermore, it can offer results that cannot be solely evaluated based on particular and exact psychometric grounds. Another characteristic of psychological assessment is that it is less routinary and can be individualized.
The Components of Assessment
Psychological assessments have common parts and components but it is possible that not all of them are incorporated in the test at the same time.
1. Norm-Referenced Tests
These are standardized psychological tests that offer a set or sets of tasks that must be performed under standard and specific conditions. These are designed to assess aspects of the person’s personality, knowledge, and skills. It can provide the professional a scale or basis of measurement to see consistent individual differences and similarities in relation to some psychological concept.
As with any interview, those done for psychological assessment are performed face-to-face, between the professional and the test taker. This part of assessment is more open and less formal, and allows the interviewees to express themselves freely in their own words.
Behavioral observations are done by watching and taking note of how the person acts and behaves. This can be conducted by visiting the individual’s usual environment. Meanwhile, it can also be performed during an interview, observing the person’s gestures and general behavior.
4. Informal Assessment
Informal assessments sometimes use non-psychological materials. For instance, if the person being assessed is a child, the practitioner can use teacher-made tests from their school. This is best used to support or verify the results given by the other techniques.
Is It Important?
Psychological assessments are very crucial as psychologists cannot offer diagnosis without them. When one consults a professional, they should expect to undergo some form of assessment as this will allow the practitioner to give educated recommendations, prescriptions, and treatments.