Standardized psychological test examples

Frequently Performed Psychological Tests - Clinical Methods


A psychologic test is a set of stimuli administered to an individual or a group under standard conditions to obtain a sample of behavior for assessment. There are basically two kinds of tests, objective and projective. The objective test requires the respondent to make a particular response to a structured set of instructions (e.g., true/false, yes/no, or the correct answer). The projective test is given in an ambiguous context in order to afford the respondent an opportunity to impose his or her own interpretation in answering.


Psychologic tests are rarely given in isolation but as a part of a battery. This is because any one test cannot sufficiently answer the complex questions usually asked in the clinical situation. Most diagnostic questions require the assessment of personality, intelligence, and perhaps even the presence of organic involvement. A typical battery of tests includes projective tests to assess personality such as the Rorschach and the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), an objective personality test such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI), a semistructured test like the Rotter Incomplete Sentence Test, and an intelligence test, usually the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised (WAIS-R).

The most important consideration for the physician is when to ask for psychologic assessment. As with medical diagnostic procedures, we are interested in finding answers to diagnostic questions that cannot be obtained through direct observation or interview. In our clinical experience, there are a myriad of circumstances requiring psychologic consultation either to assist in or rule out medical intervention. Some of the more typical situations include compliance, behavioral management, affirmation of clinical findings, the use of supportive drug therapies, and continuity of care issues.

Five case examples are offered to illustrate the above situations.

Mr. S. was a 35-year-old single salesman hospitalized for gastrointestinal problems associated with a previous operation. He had a history of noncompliance with both drugs and nutrition regimens. Severe debilitation would ensue following outpatient treatments, after which he would be hospitalized. This pattern repeated itself several times. Psychologic assessment data were consistent with a pattern of addictive behavior and poor coping mechanisms under stressful conditions. Recommendations included a drug rehabilitation program and stress management techniques.

Dr. L., a 68-year-old retired dentist, had severe behavioral management problems with the nursing staff. He was verbally punitive and intrusive of other patients" privacy. Psychologic assessment revealed an organic brain syndrome indicating greater individual care and a lower expectation of his performance.

A 21-year-old single male, Mr. N., was admitted for hospitalization complaining of severe stomach pains and rectal bleeding. Psychologic testing was administered because the internist could find no evidence of physical pathology. Test battery results described a young man under an inordinate amount of stress due to a huge difference between his intellectual capabilities and the demands of his work place. The recommendation was to find other employment and to work with a counselor to develop more realistic vocational goals.

Ms. C. was a middle-aged housewife complaining of panic attacks of unknown origin. She also said that she was in severe depression because of the death of her daughter 2 years previously. The clinical question was whether she should be given antidepressants or antianxiety agents as an adjunct to psychotherapeutic intervention. Test results were consistent with a state of anxiety as opposed to an affective disorder.

Ms. B. was a 23-year-old single female who was hospitalized following a drug overdose from a suicide attempt. Information was needed to determine how dangerous she was to herself, how restrictive an environment she needed for treatment, and what type of therapy was appropriate. Test results confirmed a compulsive personality with a dramatic flair. Ms. B. needed extensive individual psychotherapy but did not require lengthy hospitalization. Nevertheless, it was essential to link her with outpatient care while she was still motivated to receive care.

Although the above examples are by no means exhaustive, they do point out the variety of commonly occurring circumstances in which psychologic assessment may be useful. It is important when ordering testing to formulate the diagnostic question in as specific a manner as possible. Such requests as "describe personality dynamics" or "rule out psychologic disturbance" are too general to answer in an effective and efficient manner. Do not hesitate to ask exactly what you want to know. The psychologist will inform you if he or she is unable to answer. Use the examples described above to formulate your question: Is this patient depressed? Is this patient psychotic? Why is this patient not conforming to the treatment regimen?

When presenting a patient to a psychologist for evaluation, it is helpful to have demographic data and a detailed history of the client. Also, the description presented of the problems should be in behavioral terms. Saying that a patient appears to be depressed is not as helpful as describing him or her as having a loss of appetite, early morning rising, or slowness of speech. If the patient is a management problem, give a concrete description of what this entails: won"t go to rehabilitation therapy, won"t let a technician draw blood.

Finally, the referring physician may request either a specific test or an abbreviated battery. While some psychologists will go along with this practice, we do not encourage it. Psychologic tests, particularly personality ones, are only as good as the skills of the individual who administers and interprets them. The psychologist must feel confident and competent in the battery that he or she administers. Therefore, the number and choice of tests should be those of the psychologist, just as the medical procedures chosen for a patient are the responsibility of the physician in charge.

Basic Science

The most commonly used personality tests are the Rorschach, TAT, and MMPI. The assumptions underlying projective tests such as the Rorschach and TAT are that the standard set of stimuli are used as a screen to project material that cannot be obtained through a more structured approach. Ambiguous inkblots or pictures reinforce the use of individual expression and reduce resistance. A frequent criticism is the assumption that the individual simply responds to ambiguity with trivia or with what was most recently experienced, such as last night's television fare. The response to this criticism is the notion of psychic determinism. Behavior is a function of choice, not chance. Thus, how a person responds is a reflection of personal motives, fantasies, and needs.

The best-known psychologic assessment tool is the Rorschach, the "inkblot test." It was first published by Hermann Rorschach in 1921 and was introduced to the United States in 1930 by Samuel Beck. The test consists of 10 symmetrical inkblots, half of which are acromatic. It is administered by giving the respondent one card at a time and asking him or her to describe what is seen. The respondent is told that he or she can see one or more things and that there are no right or wrong answers. The tester records the responses verbatim. There is then a second phase of testing called the inquiry. The respondent is again presented with each of the ten cards and asked to note the location of the response and what determines his or her answers.

A large body of research takes to task the reliability and validity of projective techniques in general and the Rorschach in particular. The issue of reliability cannot be approached in a conventional sense with projective techniques. The Rorschach inkblots and the TAT pictures do not lend themselves to split-half reliability because the stimuli are not designed to be equivalent with each other. Test–retest reliability is difficult because many of the variables addressed by the test are affected by time. Interjudge reliability indices using Rorschach summary scores have been reported to be favorable, and Exner (1978), using his own scoring system, has reported test–retest reliability correlations ranging from . 50 to .90 on 17 different variables.

Attempts at measuring the validity of the Rorschach also suffer from problems inherent in the nature of the test. The Rorschach is designed to assess highly complex, multidetermined behaviors for which prediction about specific acts is nearly impossible. It also assesses covert needs and fantasy life that may not currently or ever manifest themselves in overt behavior. Concurrent validity is contaminated by the unreliability of psychiatric diagnoses and the fact that individuals with similar diagnoses may indeed behave differently. In response to the criticisms on validity, Korner (1960) has answered that there is no good assessment technique capable of predicting behavior, so why criticize the Rorschach. He goes on to point out that projective techniques are not magic. They describe the personality at work, its adaptations and compromises, and the balance between fantasy and the demands of reality.

The TAT was developed by Henry Murray and Christiana Morgan in 1935. It consists of 30 achromatic picture cards, categorized into those appropriate for boys, girls, men, and women. It is customary to present approximately 10 cards to the respondent, who is then asked to tell a story about what is happening in the picture, what led up to it, and how will it turn out. The respondent is also asked to describe the characters" thoughts and feelings. As with the Rorschach, interjudge reliability is the most applicable test. Correlations have been about .80. The validity of the TAT can be measured when it is defined using specific procedures with a particular population and operationally defined criteria. Studies have examined both construct and concurrent validity. Stories have correlated significantly with behavioral measures of achievement and aggression. A correlation of .74 has been obtained between TAT expressed needs and those needs rated from autobiographies.

The most frequently used objective test for personality is the MMPI. It was published by Hathaway and McKinley in 1943 and revised in 1951. It is designed for ages 16 and over and contains 566 items to be answered yes or no. It may be administered to an individual or group, and the answer sheets can be hand- or machined-scored. The respondent is asked to read each question and decide what is true or false as applied to him or her and then to mark that response on the answer sheet. The test has four validity scales and eight clinical scales. The scales were developed empirically by administering an item pool to a large group of normal subjects, and contrasting their responses to those of selected homogeneous criteria groups of psychiatric patients. Those items that discriminate between the groups were used.

Results of the test are coded onto a profile sheet for interpretation. The mean t-score for each scale is 50 with a standard deviation (SD) of 10. The scale is significantly elevated beyond an SD of 2 or t-score of 70. Even though the MMPI is empirically derived, it shares a similar problem with the projective tests in terms of reliability and validity, that is, it is based on psychiatric diagnoses. How valid and reliable were the diagnoses of the patients in each of the criteria groups? The MMPI thoroughly addresses some other aspects of validity. The lie score (L) assesses social desirability. The F score is an internal consistency check, and the K score assesses test-taking attitude along a frankness–defensive continuum.

An interesting hybrid between the projective and objective assessments is the semistructured incomplete-sentence test. While ostensibly a projective technique in which the respondent reflects his or her own wishes or conflicts to complete a sentence stem, it easily lends itself to objective scoring or screening for experimental use. The Rotter Incomplete Sentence Test is one of the more popular of this form of assessment. It contains 40 sentence stems each of which is to be completed by the respondent. The test takes approximately 20 minutes to complete and may be administered to an individual or to a group. It was originally used as a screening device to determine mental disturbance at an army convalescent hospital. Reliability and validity correlations are quite acceptable. The interjudge reliability is about .90, and split-half reliability is .83. As to validity, correlation coefficients with adjustment and maladjustment classifications for women was .64 and for men .77.

The use of intelligence testing in a clinical setting may be puzzling to the reader. In many ways the intelligence test is the foundation for differential diagnosis to the psychologist. The intelligence test measures major mental abilities that may be affected by the presence of an organic disease or injury, thought disorder, or environmental stress. The patterning of the scores on the intelligence test gives the psychologist clues as to the presence, extent, and relative influence of each of the above factors. The most empirically sound intelligence test is the WAIS-R, which was revised in 1981. The WAIS-R contains 11 tests, 6 verbal and 5 nonverbal. It was standardized on a stratified sample of ages ranging from 16 to 74 years, 11 months. The basic score is the intelligence quotient (IQ), a comparison of the individual with the average score of his or her age group. Each of the 11 tests also has its own scale scores, which are conversions of raw scores dependent also on comparison to reference groups. The sum of scale scores are converted to three IQ scores: verbal, performance, and full-scale IQs. Mean IQ is 100 with an SD of 15; thus, two-thirds of all adults have an IQ between 85 and 115. Reliability coefficients are excellent in the mid-90's range. In terms of validity, there is a .50 correlation with school performance and a .85 correlation with the Stanford–Binet test of intelligence. The WAIS-R takes approximately 90 minutes to administer and requires a competent tester.

A physician who wants to rule out an organic brain syndrome may call upon neuropsychologic testing. This is particularly true when a CT scan is negative in the presence of suspicious symptomatology (early Alheizmer's disease), in assessing the relative importance of organic versus psychologic variables in the behavior of trauma victims, and in differentiating between dementia and depression in the elderly. For cases in which an intense work-up for neurologic deficits is required, the patient should be referred to a specialist for neuropsychologic assessment. Since this procedure can be costly and time-consuming, the physician may want to screen first for the presence of a brain dysfunction. Most psychologists are well trained for this task. We will briefly describe two neuropsychologic tests that are useful for screening purposes. We do not necessarily endorse them as the best available, but only those with which we have familiarity.

The first test is the Aphasia Screening Test adapted by Reitan (1984) from the Halstead/Wepman Aphasia Screening Test. It assesses several areas of dysfunction including dysphonia, dyslexia, spelling and constructional dyspraxia, and dyscalculia. The test uses the sign approach, that is, positive findings have distinct and definite significance, but normal performance cannot rule out organicity. Anyone with a basic grade school education is capable of answering every item correctly. The test is simple to administer and consists of 32 items that do not usually require more than 20 minutes to complete. The second, called the Category Test, is the most powerful in the Halstead/Reitan test battery. It consists of 205 stimuli and is divided into seven subtests. The Category Test assesses central processing, abstraction, and reasoning. The cutoff score is 51 errors. While Reitan recommends the use of a slide presentation with his own design projector and feedback system, DeFillipis and McCampbell (1979) have designed a much simpler method of presentation. Their Booklet Category Test (BCT) is portable, requiring only two loose-leaf notebooks and an answer sheet. They report .91 correlation between the BCT and the Category Test. There are two major criticisms of the Category Test: there is no normative data, and reliability has not been adequately studied. One study did report a test–retest correlation of .93.

Clinical Significance

The Rorschach describes personality structure, offering a multidimensional picture of the individual's current functioning and potential. As Korner (1960) states, the Rorschach shows the personality at work. There are several scoring systems for the Rorschach, most being based on four major categories: location, determinants, content, and the use of populars and originals. The location, or area of the response, yields information about the respondent's ability toward perceptual organization, abstraction, and synthesis. Determinants of the response refer to those qualities that produce it, such as form, shape, and color. They are tied to such personality variables as emotionality, impulsivity versus control, and openness versus constrictiveness. The content of the block reveals the personal meanings, attitudes, and interests of the respondent. Originals and populars are related to the respondent's creativity, reality testing, and conventionality, among other variables.

Whereas the Rorschach presents personality structure and organization, the TAT reflects the content of personality, including needs, pressures, conflicts, values, and interest. There are instances in which the content of a given TAT story is so revealing of the patient's difficulties that it would be reported verbatim in the psychologic report. Certain cards are said to "pull" specific types of themes: Card 1, attitudes toward authority; Card 4, attitudes toward heterosexual relationships; and Card 5, relationships with the mother figure. Also, diagnostic groups tend to have a certain orientation toward the stories. Obsessive–compulsives may be pedantic. Depressives may have short stories with monosyllabic words. Schizophrenics may have disjointed or delusional content.

There are three approaches to interpretation of the MMPI: single scale, statistical, and clinical. Many physicians who order the MMPI are doing so because they are comfortable with the single scale approach. This involves looking at an elevated scale and making assumptions about the patient. As stated, there are eight clinical scales: HS (hypochondriasis), D (depression), HY (hysteria), PD (psychopathic deviant), PA (paranoia), PT (psychothemia), SC (schizophrenia), and MA (hypomania). Although space does not permit a description of all these scales, elevations of each are associated with a diagnostic grouping related to a cluster of symptoms; for example, elevated HS is associated with an immature person with lack of insight who tends to complain about his or her health. Interpretation of single scales must be taken with great caution. The scales were devised to fit with the Kraepelin System of diagnosis, which is outmoded. For instance, there is no longer a diagnostic grouping of psychopathic deviate. Each of the scales has a much different meaning in relation to more modern classifications.

The statistical approach for interpretation involves code types. A code type is a particular correlation of elevated clinical scales (e.g., 2 through 7). A large sample of patients are given the MMPI. They are grouped by similarity in code types. These groupings are then correlated with clinical and demographic data, the notion being that patients with similar MMPI profiles will manifest similar problems. The difficulty with this approach, often called the "cookbook" approach, is that the data do not tend to generalize to other settings.

The third approach to MMPI interpretation is the clinical approach. The expert clinician depends on his or her knowledge of personality dynamics, case history, and current environmental circumstances to formulate hypotheses as to psychologic difficulties of the respondent. The MMPI computer-generated report uses this type of approach. One has to be extremely cautious in relying too heavily on the report because its author has no firsthand knowledge of the respondent. The clinical psychologist administering the MMPI will use the clinical approach but seldom in isolation without other tests, or at least a clinical interview.

The Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank is a screening device. We have found it useful as a way of obtaining content information similar to that of the TAT in patients who were too threatened or too depressed to take on the challenge of making up stories. Rotter has given several suggestions for interpretation in addition to a reliable scoring system. The adjusted person tends to produce stems that are more neutral and flippant. The statements tend to be short, concise, and humorous. The maladjusted individual tends to write longer sentences that are complicated and emotionally charged. A frequent theme is that nobody understands them.

It is not unusual for physicians to question the use of intelligence testing on their patients. The common assumption is that the test is not relevant to differential diagnosis. Contrary to this assumption, the intelligence test is an essential part of any test battery. First, the general level of intelligence will determine how much the patient is capable of understanding and therefore cooperating in his treatment. In other words, how concrete or simplified need the physician be in his or her instructions? Second, the intelligence test is a broad-based screening for organicity. The Verbal Scale IQ has been related to left hemisphere functioning and Performance Scale to right hemisphere. A significant difference of approximately 15 points between these two IQs requires more intense assessment. A dramatic difference between a given subscale mean and the mean for that scale may also be cause for concern. A third important use of the results of the intelligence test is its relationship to aspects of personality functioning. As an example, current state of anxiety can be related to subscale scores on digit span and picture completion. Loose association on the similarity or comprehension subtest may be associated with a psychotic process.

In the course of ordering psychologic consultation, if there is any question of the presence of brain dysfunction, the physician may want to order screening in the form of the Category Test and Aphasia Screening Test. The Category Test is the most powerful of the Halstead/Reitan battery. It is essentially a processing test assessing abstraction and reasoning. The Category Test measures level of performance and offers no information concerning localization. Further differentiation in terms of severity, location, or specificity requires more intense evaluation. A quick screening for localization would be the Aphasia Screening Test. It assesses both left and right hemisphere functioning with respect to language ability. If the respondent cannot copy correctly, we might suspect a right hemisphere lesion. On the other hand, if he or she cannot name an object, we might think about a left hemisphere lesion. In the use of this test there will be many false negatives but few false positives.

The physician usually receives the results of psychologic assessments in the form of a psychologic report. There are a variety of formats, so we will describe a typical one. The report will usually be about 2 to 3 typed pages, long enough to do the raw data justice but not so long as to impinge upon the valuable time of the physician. The first section will be a description of the presentation of the respondent and his or her test-taking behavior. The next section will describe the respondent's intellectual functioning, strengths and weaknesses, and the presence of organic symptoms. The third section is an overview of the respondent's current emotional and social functioning that may include samples of actual test responses as examples. In a final section, the psychologist summarizes the findings and offers recommendations. Interpretation of findings in psychologic test batteries largely depends on the clinical acumen of the psychologist. The organization and synthesis of test data require much skill and knowledge of personality dynamics. Each of the tests has a unique contribution to the overall clinical picture, but none can stand by itself. Thus, the psychologist must determine what is relevant, what is internally consistent, and what is central or irrelevant to diagnosis and intervention.


  1. DeFilippis NA, McCampbell E. The manual for the Booklet Category Test. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, 1979.

  2. Exner JE. The Rorschach: a comprehensive system. Vol. 2. New York: Wiley, 1978.

  3. *Freeman FS. Theory and practice of psychological testing. New York: Holt, Rineholt & Winston, 1962.

  4. Goldfried MR, Stricker G, Winer LB. Rorschach handbook of clinical and research applications. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1971.

  5. Harrison R. Thematic Apperception Test. In: Wolman B, ed. Handbook of clinical psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965;562–620.

  6. *Hathaway SR, McKinley JC. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory: users guide for the Minnesota report. University of Minnesota, 1982.

  7. *Jarvis PE, Barth JT. Halstead-Reitan Test Battery: an interpretative guide. Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, 1984.

  8. *Korner AF. Theoretical considerations concerning the scope and limitations of projective techniques. In: Murstin BI, ed. Handbook of projective techniques. New York: Basic Books, 1960;23–24.

  9. MacInnes WE, Forch JR, Golden CJ. A cross-validation of a booklet form of the Category Test. Clin Neuropsychol. 1981;3:3–5.

  10. Mauger PA. Predicting response to treatment using the MMPI. In: Butcher J, Dahlstrom G, Gynther M, Schofield W, eds. Clinical notes on the MMPI. Nutley, NJ: Hoffman-LaRoche, 1980.

  11. Reitan RM. Aphasia and sensory-perceptual deficits in adults. Tucson: Reitan Neuropsychology Laboratories, 1984.

  12. Rotter JB, Fafferty JE, Schachtitz E. Validating the Rotter Incomplete Sentence Test for college screening. In: Murstein BI, ed. Handbook of projective techniques. New York: Basic Books, 1960;859–72.

  13. *Schneidman ES. Projective techniques. In: Wolman BB, ed. Handbook of clinical psychology. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1965;498–521.

  14. Wechsler D. The WAIS-R manual. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981.

Types of Psychological Tests, Intelligence Tests

What are the different types of psychological tests? Psychological Tests are of different types: Intelligence Tests, Aptitude Tests, Vocational Tests, Attitude Tests, and Personality Tests, amongst others. Psychological Testing is mainly used for psychological diagnosis, screening job candidates, academic placements, identifying certain behaviour, research purposes, etc. The classification of psychological tests can be as per their nature or functions. Read this blog to know all about types of psychological tests, their uses, characteristics and more!

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This Blog Includes:
  1. What are Psychological Assessments?
  2. Characteristics of Psychological Tests
  3. Types of Psychological Tests
  4. Types of Intelligence Tests
  5. Personality Tests
  6. Aptitude Tests
  7. Speed and Power Tests
  8. Emotional Intelligence Test
  9. Neuropsychological Tests
  10. Individual and Group Tests
  11. Essay and Objectives Tests
  12. Types of Psychological Tests PPT
  13. Uses of Psychological Testing
  14. History of Psychological Testing
  15. Limitations of Psychological Testing
  16. [Bonus] Must-Watch Psychological Thrillers
  17. FAQs

What are Psychological Assessments?

Psychological Assessments or Psychological Tests are verbal or written tests formed to evaluate a person’s behaviour. Many types of Psychological tests help people understand various dynamics of the human being. It helps us understand why someone is good at something, while the other is good at another. However, Humans are complex beings which can’t be defined and classified under certain branches. The subjective nature of humans and individual differences has quite often raised criticism in psychological testing.

The classification of the types of psychological tests is as follows:

  • As per the nature of psychological tests in terms of standardized and non-testing methods of testing
  • As per the functions of psychological tests such as intelligence tests, personality tests, interest inventories, aptitude tests, etc.

How to Build a Career in Psychology?

Characteristics of Psychological Tests

Here are the key characteristics of Psychological Tests:

  • Reliability: The psychological assessment/test must produce the same result no matter when it’s taken.
  • Validity: The psychological test must measure what it’s been created to assess.
  • Objectivity: The assessment must be free from any personal bias for its scoring, interpretation of scoring or administration.
  • Standardization: The test must be standardized in terms of its place, material and time for the assessment as well as its environment.

Types of Psychological Tests

Now that you know about their origins, let’s explore the top and most popular psychological tests.

Here are the major nine types of Psychological tests:

  1. Personality Tests
  2. Achievement Tests
  3. Attitude Tests
  4. Aptitude Tests
  5. Emotional Intelligence Tests
  6. Intelligence Tests
  7. Neuropsychological Tests
  8. Projective Tests
  9. Observation (Direct) Tests

Types of Intelligence Tests

The pioneer of Intelligence Tests, Alfred Binet was the first one to construct the IQ test for assessing French students to identify which students need special assistance. He soon realized that a few students could solve much more advanced questions which an average student couldn’t. He then realized that various factors play a role in assessing the intelligence of a person which makes the term multi-dimensional. He then constructed the Binet-Simon test which was revised and given the name Stanford-Binet test which became the standard intelligence test in the U.S. Soon, many intelligence tests were formed for different groups of people. Psychologists started intervening the possible variables and Psychology tests like Wechsler Intelligence Scales, Raven’s Progressive Matrices, etc. 

Here are the major types of intelligence tests:

  • Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
  • Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Cognitive Disabilities
  • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
  • Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
  • Peabody Individual Achievement Test
  • Universal Nonverbal Intelligence
  • Differential Ability Scales

Personality Tests

Earlier, Phrenology (the measurement of the bumps on the skulls) was used to assess someone’s personality. A personality test evaluates our behaviours, emotions, behavioural and environmental traits, attitudes and even clinical disturbances in people. Each personality test is used to measure a certain variable or compare two variables. For example, adolescent emotional problems or psychopathologies are screened using The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-A). There are various versions of the MMPI depending on the sample type you want to test. 

  • Thematic Apperception Test
    Courtesy: Pinterest
  • Rorschach Inkblot Test
    Courtesy: The Video Suite

Another unique type of personality test is the projective assessment. Very commonly used Projective assessments are the Thematic Apperception Test and the Rorschach Inkblot test. These projective psychological tests are formed to test the response of a person to a certain stimulus which elicits different hidden emotions, underlying thoughts or beliefs using pictures.

Here are the types of personality tests in psychology:

  • Objective Tests of Personality: MMPI
  • Projective Tests of Personality: Rorschach Inkblot Test, The Thematic Apperception Test

Branches of Psychology

Aptitude Tests

As mentioned above, humans have certain abilities and specialities. A person who has a creative bent of mind might not necessarily have a calculative brain. Such different abilities and interests are tested using aptitude tests. It is used to predict the future scope of a person or test whether a person possesses a certain skill set. However, speaking of human complexities again, humans are incomprehensive and unpredictable in their ways which always leaves some room for ambiguity. Various aptitude tests are given to students and employees. Many capability tests also come under aptitude tests. (For eg.: Assessment of Edward who wants to become a police officer. For such an alert, courageous and risk-taking job, Edward must possess certain skills and abilities for being selected.) Some common forms of aptitude tests used are the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT), Graduate Record Examination (GRE), and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT), amongst others.

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“Every flower blooms at a different pace. ” ― Suzy Kassem

Speed and Power Tests

Another type of Psychological test on our list is the speed and power test. It is a test where the performance is measured based primarily on the speed with which one works. An example can be tests of clerical ability. The other alternative can be where the test is difficult and the applicant or the person is given as much time as he/she wants. This type of test where the person’s score is based exclusively upon his/her ability to answer the question correctly irrespective of the time he/she has taken is known as a power test. An example can be tested like the Tweezers Dexterity Test etc. 

Emotional Intelligence Test

Emotions depicted in Disney’s Inside Out
Courtesy: Pinterest

Have you ever felt like you impulsively shout at someone or cried without any reason? These emotions of anger and sadness are what we need to control and monitor. We need to identify our emotions and regulate them without being influenced by others. An Emotional Intelligence test taps various emotions through situations presented to the test-taker. An emotional intelligence test requires a person’s honesty in it to accurately evaluate a person’s EQ [Emotional Quotient] and suggest ways to improve it. It is often noted that people who have higher EQ are much more content and successful than people otherwise. Even though emotional intelligence can overlap with other aspects like personality or genetic composition, the Emotional Intelligence of a person tends to fluctuate or change. It often requires constant consciousness of your actions and evaluation of their consequences. 

When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.” – Dale Carnegie

Determinants of Personality

Neuropsychological Tests

Now scroll up to the beginning of the blog where we mentioned different perceptions. These perceptions are due to the different neurological structures and pathways our brain has. These tests are designed to measure the cognitive workings of a person. How would you test if you have a strong or a weak memory? Neuropsychological tests are the most essential form among the many types of psychological tests used for assessing diseases like Alzheimer’s, Brain Injury, and Emotional disorders, such as depression or anxiety. It is important for doctors to know the core of the problem to cure it. Neurological tests assess factors like Memory, Language, Executive functioning, Dementia, Visuospatial Function, etc.

Individual and Group Tests

There are a number of tests which are meant to be performed individually. Such tests are called individual tests and these tests are preferred for vocational guidance and counselling and for clinical and diagnostic work with emotionally disturbed persons. As individual tests are more costly, therefore they are less used in the industry than group tests. An example of an individual psychological test can be the Stanford -Binet intelligence scale. On the contrary, some tests are usually designed for a purpose so that they can be administered to a large number of people in the industry. Examples of group tests can be Purdue Vocational Achievement Test, the Adaptability Test and the Wonderlic Personnel Test. 

Essay and Objectives Tests

The essay tests are probably one of the oldest methods of psychological tests that are created to check the candidate’s ability to organise and articulate his or her thoughts clearly and of course logically. It is Lord Macaulay who has been credited with introducing this concept to the Indian Administrative Services or IAS. On the other hand, the objective test has one correct answer and does not require or ask for any sort of long extensive answers/explanation from the candidates. These tests are generally used to check the mental ability or mental power of the candidate and the reasoning and clarity of the concepts above all. 

Read about: Psychometric Test: Know All About It

Types of Psychological Tests PPT

Psychological tests from Neha Bhatt

Courtesy: Neha Bhatt, Slideshare

Uses of Psychological Testing

Psychological Tests are mainly used to analyse the mental abilities and attributes of an individual, including personality, achievement, ability and neurological functioning. Here are the central and most important uses of Psychological Testing:

  • Detection of Specific Behavior
  • Psychological Diagnosis
  • Tools in Academic Placements
  • Screening Job Candidates
  • Individual Differences
  • Research
  • To Promote Self-awareness and Understanding
  • Psychometrics/Career Assessment Tests
  • Organizational Development

History of Psychological Testing

Originally created by Francis Baton as a group of tests, Psychological testing methods can be traced way back to 2200 B.C. in China when an emperor tested his officials to know whether they were suitable for his office. Since then many Chinese dynasties have seen such tests unfold into more formal ones with various levels. These tests created an impression in the world and soon every country started following them. Fast forward to the time when the whole world was struck with World War I, this era served as a critical crunch in the psychological world. Many types of psychological tests were designed to evaluate soldiers for the army and to filter soldiers who were suffering from ‘shellshock’ or PTSD. Such intense screenings might come off as archaic in today’s world, but it was a landmark in psychology because it gave rise to the World’s first Personality Test.

Limitations of Psychological Testing

  • The tests are conducted in such a way that they are unreliable in some circumstances.
  • Depending on the test, candidates may lie, resulting in an entirely different outcome.
  • The applicant will be determined by the individual taking the tests, not by the examinations themselves. Even the most skilled evaluation specialists can make a mistake and hire someone who did not merit the position in the first place in some situations.
  • When society improves and becomes more productive, a particular test may become obsolete, forcing the replacement of a more advanced exam. This can be unproductive and prevent the person giving the test from getting a better result for the candidate.

[Bonus] Must-Watch Psychological Thrillers

Now that you are familiar with the most common Psychological tests, here are some recommendations for the best movies on psychology movies you can watch to understand human psychology, its use and misuse:

  • Primal Fear (1996)
  • Shutter Island (2010)
  • Fight Club (1999)
  • Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • American History X (1998)
  • A Beautiful Mind (2001)
  • The Machinist (2004)
  • Shutter Island (2010) 
  • The Butterfly Effect (2004)
  • Hannibal (2001)
  • Gerald’s Game (2017) 
  • Black Swan (2010)
  • Inside Out (2015)

Career in Psychology [The Only 2023 Study Guide You Need]


What are the three types of psychological tests?

The 3 main types of psychological tests are:

1. Individual and Group Tests
2. Instrumental or Paper and Pencil Tests
3. Achievement or Intelligence Tests

What are standard psychological tests?

A test given with a set of conditions to understand the psychological behaviour of a candidate is a standard psychological test. They are conducted to understand specific skills of a person like IQ, personality, etc.

Hope this blog helped you explore the various types of psychological tests! Want to study psychology? Our Leverage Edu experts are here to guide you in selecting the best course and university for studying Psychology and we will also assist you throughout the admission process to ensure that you get successfully shortlisted! Register for a free session with us today!

10 serious psychological tests that you can take on the Internet

January 26, 2021 Life

Questionnaires used by practicing psychologists will help you look deep into yourself. The main thing is not to try to make a diagnosis “by profile picture”.

1. Sondi test

The test is aimed at identifying psychological abnormalities. It consists of several stages. At each of them you will be shown portraits, from which you will need to choose the least and most pleasant in your opinion. nine0003

This testing method was developed by psychiatrist Leopold Szondi in 1947. The doctor noticed that in the clinic, patients communicated closer with those who had the same diseases. Of course, the Internet test will not give you a diagnosis - it will just help to detect some tendencies. Moreover, depending on the state of the psyche, the results will be different, so you can take the Szondi test in any incomprehensible situation.

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2. Beck Depression Scale

As the name suggests, this test measures how depressed you are. It takes into account the common symptoms and complaints of patients with this disease. When answering each question, you have to choose the closest one from several statements. nine0003

The test is worth taking even for those who are absolutely sure that they are healthy. Some of the statements in the questionnaire may seem strange to you, but many of them are true for a person with a disease. So if you think that depression is when someone is depressed from idleness, it's time to rethink your attitude.

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3. Zang (Zung) scale for self-assessment of depression

Another test related to depression. It is shorter and easier to understand than the previous questionnaire. If you like an integrated approach in everything and are not ready to be content with the results of one test, you can combine them. nine0003

The author of this test is psychiatrist William Zang, also known in Russian psychology as William Tsung.

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4. Beck Anxiety Scale

The test allows you to assess the severity of various phobias, panic attacks and other anxiety disorders. The results are not very telling. They will only tell you if you have reason to be concerned or not.

You are to read 21 statements and decide how true they are for you. nine0003

Take the test →

5. Luscher color test

This test helps to assess the psychological state through the subjective perception of color. Everything is very simple: from several colored rectangles, you first choose those that you like more, and then those that you like less.

Based on the results of the Luscher test, a specialist will be able to give recommendations on how to avoid stress, but you just look deeper inside yourself.

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6. Projective test "Cube in the Desert"

This test looks less serious than the previous ones, and it really is. It consists of fantasy exercises. Few questions, but the result is simple and clear.

You will be asked to present a series of images, and then they will give you an interpretation of what you were imagining. This test, most likely, will not discover America, but will simply introduce you to the real you once again.

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7. Eysenck's temperament test

You have to answer 70 questions to find out whether you are choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic or melancholic. At the same time, the test determines the level of extraversion, so you can find out if you are an introvert or just temporarily tired of people. nine0003

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8. Extended Leonhard-Shmishek test

The test helps to reveal personality traits. The final grade is set on several scales, each of which reveals one or another aspect. Separately, it is checked whether you sincerely answered questions or tried to be better than you really are.

Pass the test →

9. Heck-Hess neurosis rapid diagnostic method

This scale will help determine the degree of probability of neurosis. If it is high, then it may be worth contacting a specialist. nine0003

Take the test →

10. Hall's Emotional Intelligence Test

Emotional intelligence is a person's ability to recognize the moods and feelings of others. To evaluate it, psychologist Nicholas Hall came up with a 30-question test.

Take the Test →

Also Read 🧐

  • 11 Free Online Resources for Psychological Help
  • Why you can't trust the results of psychological research
  • The secret ingredient for extraordinary mental toughness

*Activities of Meta Platforms Inc. and its social networks Facebook and Instagram are prohibited in the territory of the Russian Federation.

Psychological tests: types and principle of action

Often people take psychological tests on the Internet. They make it possible to determine the type of personality by the answers and tell a lot of interesting things about a person. What is the principle of such tests? Do their results differ from those that can be obtained from professional research?


  • 1 The first psychological tests and the history of their origin
  • 2 The work of tests in modern realities
  • 3 Varieties of psychological tests
  • 4 Can tests be trusted?
  • 5 Why are people interested in any kind of tests on the Internet?

The first psychological tests and the history of their origin

The first tests for human psychology appeared at the end of the 19th century. Their creator was James McKean Cattell, an American psychologist, author of the article "Intellectual Tests and Measurements", which was published in 1890 year. After this article, psychological tests gained great popularity, and they began to be carried out professionally. However, then the approach to tests was very different from what we are used to and rather resembled clinical trials.

The form of testing in the form of "question-answer" appeared only in 1904 thanks to Alfred Binet. It was according to its format and the development of James Cattell that other specialists began to create tests. A few years later, in 1917, the US Army ordered the development of a collective methodology for the formation of tests that did not require specialists to have any knowledge on the topic of psychology. Arthur Sinton Otis fulfilled this order and made a new round in the evolution of psychology tests. After that, the massive development of new ways of knowing the human brain and the principles of its work began in the United States of America. nine0003

The work of tests in modern realities

It should be understood that the test is a standardized technique that has been worked out over the years, through which a person always comes to one of the previously prepared scenarios. It determines his personality type, character, mindset and other characteristics. Each response in the system is predetermined, and it is impossible to go beyond it. Today, psychological tests are carried out everywhere: in schools, when applying for a job, in medical institutions, in social structures. Among them there are special ones for children, for women or men, people of certain categories. Each of these tests has its own nuances, some are aimed at identifying mental disorders, others determine how productive or creative a person is. On the Internet, you can even find tests that can identify a totem animal from a person’s answers. Of course, this will no longer be a scientific test, and you should not take it extremely seriously. In principle, whether psychological tests on the Internet can be trusted is a rather controversial issue. You can, most likely, only if this test is on some serious portal dedicated to psychology. nine0003

Varieties of psychological tests

There are several types:

  1. Verbal tests

This type of testing is used to select employees for various vacancies. The tasks that the test proposes to perform assess a person's ability to correctly and logically perceive information in writing, and interpret it. In addition, the results of verbal testing reveal the ability to form logical conclusions, to independently organize reports, as well as to clearly formulate thoughts and questions. nine0003

How do psychological tests of this type work? Verbal testing is structured as follows: a person is given an excerpt from the text for review, after which a conclusion is written that can be drawn from what they read, but they may misinterpret the essence of the text. The subject must make a choice whether he agrees with the conclusion below or not.

  1. Achievement tests

They are aimed at assessing the level of skills and knowledge achieved by the examinee, checking for potential. This category of tests is divided into subcategories, some of which are narrowly focused tests, and the other - more extensive. This form of testing does not have a single form and structure: a person may be asked to perform a certain action, solve a problem, write a text, it all depends on the format of the test. nine0003

  1. Simulation test

One of the popular testing methods. To conduct it, the subject is offered to complete a practical task, but is asked how he is going to perform it. For example, a person who has come to take a job as a teacher will be asked to simulate a situation in which he will need to calm children who are making a lot of noise. Here, the test subject needs to approach testing with all responsibility, clearly answer questions, and also try to think through everything to the smallest detail. nine0003

  1. Intelligence test

The most famous and widespread is the IQ test. The features of such tests are as follows:

  • are aimed at verbal-logical thinking;
  • evaluate the development of a visual-effective, as well as a visual-figurative type of thinking;
  • determine the quality of memory, concentration, orientation in space, verbal development of the personality.

At the moment, you can find dozens and even hundreds of varieties of psychological testing, and all thanks to such great people as Sigmund Freud, Berres Frederick Skinner, Jean Piaget. The most popular standard test for personality psychology, which allows you to determine the personal and psychophysiological properties of a person. For example, the pessimist-realist-optimist test falls into this category. nine0003

In today's world, new generation technologies have left an indelible mark on psychology. That is why clinics already have machines that completely replace the routine work of writing tests and analyzing the respondents. All this has now been replaced by equipment that does such work many times faster and more efficiently.

Can tests be trusted?

Most of the questionnaires are still created abroad and may not correspond at all with our culture and our way of life. The origin of the test plays a big role, because the more local and closer the test is to a person, the better he will be able to describe it. nine0003

There are also universal test methods, however, they are less accurate. A great role and responsibility also lies with the specialist who works with the testee; a lot depends on his qualifications. Any person can really conduct a survey, but not everyone will be able to correctly interpret and interpret the answers, as well as correctly convey them to a person. Only a true professional can do this.

For example, the Cattell test can only be performed if the employee has a license obtained after a year of training. There is no way to find educational materials for free on the Internet; they are sold only in special stores and are expensive. If a person manages to find the Cattell test on the Internet, then only an incomplete version, and testing it on your own and making a diagnosis for yourself is useless. Only an experienced specialist will be able to assess the results sharply from the outside, having the necessary knowledge on this topic. nine0003

Why are people interested in all kinds of tests on the Internet?

It is important for everyone to have an idea of ​​what kind of person he is, to study himself and discover something new in himself, which he might not have seen or been unaware of before. Tests become indispensable assistants in this matter. Passing tests practically does not take time, which means that it is available to everyone. The compilers probably know what kind of audience reads them, and what exactly people expect from the results of passing the test. That is why many people, having reached the end of testing, thought to themselves: “Wow, it really is!”. nine0003

Unfortunately, most people don't realize that the tests are designed so that there are no answers that would not fit, they are generalized and fit the description of each in advance. In this case, the Barnum effect works one hundred percent. In other words, a person clings to a certain part of the description of his personality and does not pay attention to outright inconsistencies that are associated with the lack of proper personalization of the test.

Test results should never be taken as 100% information about you, and the advice prescribed in some of them should not be taken seriously. Each test has a strict focus, so in no case should you stigmatize yourself with what is written in the next IQ test found on the Internet, or refer to the Rorschach test found in a book. Such methods of introspection are no more accurate than horoscopes built on the same principle of the Barnum effect. nine0003

Psychology is a science, and psychological testing is a serious procedure that requires deep knowledge in this area. That is why you can never unquestioningly trust online tests that can make you very happy or, conversely, disappoint you in a minute. However, self-knowledge and self-development are necessary stages in the formation of a personality. If you want to know yourself better, choose your tests carefully. And if you're concerned about development, take courses based on human psychology. Wikium offers a wide range of courses to help develop certain skills. For example, the course "Mentalist" helps to learn to understand people's behavior, predict their emotions and reactions to different situations.

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