Psychological tests measure personality, intelligence, cognitive skills, and specific constructs such as self-esteem. The confidentiality of the questions on the test varies. You can find questions on instruments measuring social psychological concepts such as shyness easily while you will not be able to obtain questions on instruments measuring behavioral disorders or intelligence unless you are qualified to administer the test.
Attitude scales measure individuals' viewpoints on specific aspects of the environment. The following are some examples of attitude questionnaires with examples of questions in parentheses: Belief in a Just World ("Most people who don't get ahead should not blame the system, they have only themselves to blame."); Racial Attitudes ("I would probably feel uncomfortable dancing with a black person in a public place."); Gender Attitudes ("The activities of married women are best confined to the home and family."); Benevolent Sexism ("Women have a superior moral sensibility."); and Hostile Sexism ("Once a man commits, she puts him on a tight leash.")
The Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory consists of 567 statements to which the person taking the inventory responds either "true" or "false". Examples of statements in the inventory are: "I am often very tense" or "I believe I am being plotted against." The Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire by Raymond B. Cattell asks respondents to indicate on a 10-point scale where they see themselves on 16 source traits; for example from "Reserved" to "Outgoing".
You cannot obtain questions from the major intelligence tests used today unless you are qualified to administer them. Intelligence tests designed for children such as the Stanford-Binet Test or the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children include questions geared for children at different ages. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale has a verbal and performance component geared for adults. The verbal component asks questions that test knowledge, understanding and vocabulary; the performance component asks people to do such things as duplicate a pattern with blocks or arrange pictures to form a story.
Projective tests are designed in order to have people project their attitudes and concerns onto ambiguous stimuli. For example, a psychologist might show a patient the Rorschach Inkblot Test, a series of inkblots and ask what the patient sees. Another projective test is the Thematic Apperception Test, which consists of a series of black-and-white drawings of situations involving people. The therapist would ask the patient to describe what is happening. Two other examples of projective tests are the Sentence Completion Test ("I wish my mother...") and the Draw-A-Person test.
- American Psychology Association: Testing
- "Psychology"; Sandra Ciccarelli, Ph.D. & Glenn Meyer, Ph.D.; 2006
- "Social Psychology"; David Myers, Ph.D.; 2002
Linda Foley has been writing about psychology and the justice system since 1974. Her articles have been published in the "Journal of Forensic Psychology," "Trial Lawyer" and the "Journal of Social Behavior and Personality." Foley holds a Doctor of Philosophy in social psychology from the University of Florida.