Psychological tests are standardized tests used to measure characteristics, feelings, beliefs and skills. These tests are also used to measure the presence of certain mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, stress, substance use, or other personality characteristics. A standard psychological assessment includes an interview with a mental health practitioner and a psychological test. Testing can be completed independently or can be administered by a psychologist. Generally tests are given to help gather thorough and complete information in order to understand a problem more in depth and are used as a guide for treatment. These tests measure an individual’s performance at a specific point in time. Psychological tests help understand general behaviors or trends, but its important to note that these tests do to predict future actions, thoughts, feelings or behaviors.
A thorough assessment of an individual will first include a medical examination to rule out possibilities of medical illnesses. After ruling out medical illnesses or diseases, your medical provider may refer you to a psychologist for further assessment and testing. Typically a medical health care provider will make a referral for psychological testing if they believe it is beneficial. It is also common for doctors, teachers, and social workers to make referrals for further psychological testing.
Psychologists administer psychological testing for a wide variety of reasons. There are many psychological tests available and each measures different attributes. There are aptitude tests that help to identify learning disabilities and there are tests that evaluate if a client is experiencing an emotional disorder. Other tests measure personality traits. For example, if an individual is having problems with personal relationships or interpersonal skills there are tests available that help to identify personality traits that might contribute to the problem. Testing helps to provide valuable information and insight in understanding issues while also identifying individuals strengthens.
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