What is Psychological Testing?
Psychological testing involves the use of standardized measures to diagnose mental health disorders and understand your symptoms. Tests can be used to gain information about your emotional functioning, attention, memory, learning abilities, personality traits, and more. The goal for each evaluation can be unique, but basic purposes for testing services include evaluating the need for treatment, planning treatment, determining the effect of interventions, and determining the appropriateness of access to community resources, among other purposes.
A Variety of Methods
An evaluation involves much more than administering psychological tests. As no test is perfect, your results are interpreted in the context of your history, information collected during interviews, observations made by your examiner, and more.
A Variety of Tests
Psychological tests are administered in a variety of ways. In some situations, your examiner might walk you through performance-based tests to determine how you are able to demonstrate cognitive abilities, attention capacity, or memory skills. Such tests might be conducted in a one-on-one setting, through the interaction with the examiner. Or, in some cases, computerized tests can be helpful to produce this information. Questionnaires, or test inventories, might be used to obtain your report about the significance or frequency of symptoms. Gaining similar reports from others (family members or associates) who describe your functioning might also be used, when this is available.
The Power of Psychological Tests
When you have completed your tests, your examiner can score the responses and compare the results to a sample population. Doing this can help to shed light on the significance of your symptoms and guide your examiner’s understanding of your mental health; your examiner can integrate your testing results with other information collected in the process to interpret what is causing your symptoms. At times, testing results can give clues about when additional information is necessary to make further decisions about your treatment.