Finding psychological and educational tests instruments can make anyone "testy"!
Click on the links below to find answers to basic questions:
Since there could be hundreds of tests out there, depending on the people you want to assess and what you want to learn about them, your FIRST step is to find basic information about available tests, and narrow yourself down to a few that are really worth your time and money.
If you're working on a simple assignment and just about ANY test would be helpful, start with:
· Measures for Clinical Practice and Research, 4th edition (MCPR, 2 vols.), by Joel Fischer and Kevin Corcoran (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007, call number REF BF176.C66 2007).
MCPR provides copies of hundreds of tests, mostly derived from scholarly journal articles. Each entry includes reliability and validity information as well as the questions--just what you need for some professors' assignments. The only drawback to MCPR is that you generally will NOT find popular commercialized tests such as the Myers-Briggs personality test here. When using MCPR, be sure to consult the various tables of contents.
If you aren't satisfied with the MCPR, or you want to learn about other tests that are commonly used, there are other sources you can search. HOWEVER, these do NOT provide copies of tests. Instead, they will give you basic information, such as the test name, purpose, population, scoring system, validity, price, and publisher:
· Mental Measurements Yearbook (MMY, multiple volumes), published by the Buros Institute (Lincoln: University of Nebraska, 1938-present. Call number REF BF431.M45). Volumes 9-17 are also available online for PSU faculty, staff, and students.
· Tests: A Comprehensive Reference for Assessments in Psychology, Education, and Business, edited by Taddy Maddox (Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 1983-present. Call number REF BF176.T43).
· Test Critiques (Austin, TX: Pro-Ed, 1984-present). Available in print at Penn State Harrisburg Library, call number REF BF176.T419. Similar to Tests: A Comprehensive Reference, but provides much more detail.
· Health and Psychosocial Instruments (HaPI). Available online for PSU faculty, staff, and students.
If you find a helpful test in the MMY, Tests, Test Critiques, or HaPI, you must take steps to get a copy of that test. See the information on contacting test authors/publishers and other sections below.
Yes. University researchers, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, consultants, and others sometimes develop their own instruments. If they have published a journal article, research paper, book, or web page about their research, a copy of the testing instrument might be included in the text or in an appendix.
So how do you search for this stuff?
First, use a “directory” of tests published in books and journal articles:
· One free, online source is Helen Hough’s Tests and Measures in the Social Sciences available on the University of Texas at Arlington’s site. This will refer you to more than 12,000 tests published in more than 120 different books. After you find a citation to a book, you can check Penn State's CAT (book catalog) to see if a Penn State library owns it.
· Another resource is the Directory of Unpublished Experimental Mental Measures (8 volumes, Washington, DC: APA, 1974-present). This directory lists tests and instruments printed in about 35 of the top Psychology journals. Penn State Harrisburg is missing volumes 5 and 7, but we have the others at call number REF BF431.G625. University Park has all volumes, including the most current one. After you find a citation in the Directory, you can use Penn State's “E-Journals” list (available on the library’s home page) and other resources to get a copy of the journal article.
If you don't find what you need on Helen Hough's web site or in the Directory, try PsycINFO, other books, ETS, Google, and other libraries:
· Find a journal article or study that used tests for its research. There are two ways to do this in PsycINFO (a psychology database available online to PSU faculty, staff, and students):
o First try to find an article with a test “appended.” Here’s how:
§ Open PsycINFO
§ Then, click on the blue “Advanced Search” link on the right side of the screen
§ Then, in the first search box, type in your topic or the name of the test (such as “personality” or “Myers Briggs”)
§ Then, in the second search box, type in the word “appended,” and BEFORE YOU CLICK ON THE SEARCH BUTTON, change the “Anywhere” search to “Tests and Measures”
§ Then click on the “Search” button
§ Now, you should see a list of articles that include copies of related tests attached
o If you can’t find an article that has a test appended, you can try to find research that used your test. Here are the steps:
§ Open PsycINFO
§ In the search box, type in the name of the test, and change the “Anywhere” search to “Tests and Measures” (NOTE: there’s no guarantee that the articles will include the test or test questions)
· Find a book on psychological assessment for the topic or population that interests you.
o Books on testing often have words like “assessment,” “instruments,” “measurement,” “researching,” “scaling,” or “testing” in the titles, chapter titles, subject headings, or description.
o To learn what books exist, start with Google Book Search.
o To find books at Penn State:
§ Go to the CAT (Penn State's catalog) and use the “Advanced” search.
§ Type in broad keywords (like “personality,” or “women,” or “intelligence”)
§ Add words like “assessment” or “measurement” to your search.
§ Remember to “truncate” your search so that the catalog will find all forms of the root word. For instance, a CAT search for assess? will find books that have “assessment” or “assessing” in the title. In most other databases, the truncation sign is either a question mark (?) or a star (*).
· Try ETS. ETS, the same company that developed the SAT and the GRE, has one of the largest libraries of testing instruments. Its online library catalog, TestLink, lists more than 25,000 tests. You can search TestLink by test author and title, and even purchase some tests directly from ETS.
· Google. If you are looking for a SPECIFIC test (you know the name of the test and the name of the person or company that created it), you might be able to find a copy on the Internet. This is especially true for tests that were created or are used by governmental agencies.
o If the author teaches at a university, you can visit the university’s web page. You may be able to find his or her contact information in a campus “directory,” lists of “faculty,” or on the web page for his/her academic department.
o NOTE: be careful when using Google to look for "personality tests" or other categories of instruments. Remember, just about anyone can create a web page, and Google has no mechanism for sorting out reputable tests from all the junk that is out there!
· Look in the catalog of a library that has a large test collection. One helpful resource is the Directory of Test Collections in Academic, Professional, and Research Libraries, by the Education and Behavioral Sciences section of the Association of College and Research Libraries (Chicago: American Library Association, 2001, call number REF LB3051.D564 2001). This will tell you the self-reported strengths and weaknesses of other test collections in libraries throughout the United States, as well as whether the collections are open to the public. Unfortunately, no Pennsylvania libraries are listed in this directory!
If you are interested in people’s attitudes toward education, health, race, or other social issues, Penn State subscribes to several databases of public opinion polls. Polls often measure views about controversial current issues, such as gay marriage or the war in Iraq. You can find them in the “Databases” list on the library’s home page. We currently subscribe to:
· Gallup Brain (by the Gallup Organization)
· iPoll (by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research)
· Odum Institute’s Public Opinion Poll Question Database (by the Howard W. Odum Institute),
· and Polling the Nations.
· However, BEWARE that these databases contain poll questions and results going back to the 1930s, as well as recent surveys. Also, these databases do not provide information about whether the questions were valid or well-designed.
Test instruments can be tricky to find. Here are the most common problems:
· Some tests have abbreviations, popular names, and “official” or spelled-out names. Try all these names in your searches. For instance, one well-known test is referred to as the “MBTI,” “Myers-Briggs,” or the “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.”
· If you are getting TOO FEW results in your search, try related words. For instance, if you’d like to measure problem-solving ability in 16 to 21-year olds, try similar words like adolescents, or high school, or teenagers. Or, look for broader terms than “problem solving ability” (like intelligence).
· If you’re using a database, you’re finding TOO MANY results, and many of them seem irrelevant, the database might be searching the “full record” of each test (including every word mentioned in the description, critique, and bibliography!). If you are using MMY or HaPI online, try clicking on drop-down options (such as "Title" or "Author") to the right of the search boxes to search specific parts of each record.
· Pay attention to ANY clues you find regarding the test, its author, or its publisher. Take note of the corporation or university where the author works (including the name of the university and the academic department); the names of EVERY author who was involved in the development of the test; and the names, dates, and alternative versions of the test.
If you find a test in the MMY, a library book, or journal article, you can sometimes find the test author's "institutional affiliation," e-mail address, or other contact information quite easily:
· Within a large reference book, the author’s institution or e-mail address may appear within the text, in an entry or section dealing with the specific test
· In other types of books, it is sometimes on the back pages or book jacket
· In a journal article, it may be on the first or last page
If the information isn't available or is outdated, you can often locate the author by using a search engine like Google.
Be aware that contact information of test authors may be "buried" online in faculty, corporate, or governmental web pages.
· If you aren't finding the author by searching Google, BUT you know where he or she works, you can visit the university's or company's home page, find an online directory of faculty or employees, and search that.
If your test is distributed by a publisher, it can be tough to find the current publisher, especially for older tests. This is because smaller publishing companies are constantly being bought out by larger corporations. Here are some of the well-known publishers and their web sites:
· Academic Therapy Publications (special education)
· Consulting Psychologists Press (MBTI, career/workplace tests)
· CTB/McGraw-Hill (educational tests)
· EdITS (career/workplace tests)
· ETS (the SAT, GRE, and other educational tests)
· Hogrefe & Huber (various tests),
· Human Resource Development Press (career/workplace tests)
· Multi-Health Systems, Inc. (various tests)
· Pearson Assessments (has recently bought out American Guidance Service and Harcourt Assessment, focuses on behavioral and early childhood)
· Pro-ED (learning disabilities/behavioral problems)
· Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc. (various tests)
· Ramsay Corporation (career/workplace tests)
· Riverside Publishing/Houghton Mifflin (educational tests)
· Western Psychological Services (various tests)
In sources like MMY, reviewers often discuss the “validity” of tests, rather than whether tests are “good” or “bad.”
According to the Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods, validity is “the extent to which any measuring instrument measures what it is intended to measure.” Validity is an important indication of whether a test will be useful.
BUT as the Sage Encyclopedia also explains, validity not only depends on the instrument itself, but HOW YOU USE the instrument. Even if a test is generally considered to be “valid,” it might not be applicable to the particular group, behavior, or situation you are trying to study (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 2004, p. 1171).
At this point, the library doesn’t have staff with expertise to recommend or evaluate tests. It really depends on your project. So, contact your professor.
No. For one thing, some tests can only be purchased, administered, or interpreted by a licensed or certified professional. Even if you are qualified to administer the test, there are a lot of other things you may need to do first. These include, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
· Talking with your professor about whether the instrument is suitable for your project
· Getting Penn State IRB training and approval for your project
· Getting the author’s/publisher’s permission to use the test
· Getting any training or certification that is required to administer the test properly
· Recruiting test subjects in a proper and ethical manner
· Finding an appropriate environment to test them
· Making arrangements for storing and analyzing your data.
· And more!!!
Always consult with your professor about the design of your research project, BEFORE you undertake it.
A test’s design is a piece of intellectual PROPERTY, analogous in some ways to how a car is personal property. General Motors owns a Chevy truck until the truck is sold to a dealership or sold to you. In a similar way, the person or company which creates the test OWNS the test, until he/she/it sells it to someone else.
Taking this example a step further, GM can manufacture a car model and sell the same car to numerous people for a certain price. Similarly, whoever owns the test design can choose to “publish” it by printing and selling copies.
Even if you see a car parked on the street, you still have to ask the owner whether you can drive it. Similarly with a test, if you see it in a book, journal, or on the Internet, you still have to GET PERMISSION to use it on clients or research subjects. A nice person may let you use his or her car for free, but companies like Budget or Enterprise make you pay rental fees. Similarly, many test publishers will make you pay to use their tests.
Yes, HOWEVER, THESE TESTS CAN ONLY BE USED BY GRADUATE STUDENTS ON A PRE-APPROVED LIST. If you aren’t on the list, contact Dr. Thomas Bowers (dvo(at)psu.edu), or your professor.
The tests are located in Reserves, on the first floor of the library. We have copies of about 30 instruments, including Bayle, HRNB, KAAIT, and WAIS III. You can borrow a test for 7 days.
You can find a list in the “course reserves” part of the library catalog (the CAT, at http://cat.libraries.psu.edu/). They are listed under:
· Instructor: “Bowers, Thomas"
· Course name: “Psychology Test Kits”
· Course number: “PSYC 101”
In general, no. Official manuals are often expensive. Also, because they are often used for diagnostic purposes, they should only be used by professionals. However, some commercial publishers have released “how to” guides and other information about popular tests. You can find some in the CAT, Penn State’s library catalog.
One useful series of books is Wiley’s Essentials of … , edited by Alan S. Kaufman and Nadeen L. Kaufman. These provide notes on administering, scoring, interpretation, and reporting of various tests. The series includes volumes on:
· ...16PF (Harrisburg owns, BF698.8.S5C265 2003)
· …Assessment Report Writing (Harrisburg owns, RC469.E875 2004)
· ... Assessment with Brief Intelligence Tests (Harrisburg owns, BF431.H573 2007)
· …Behavioral Assessment (UP owns, BF722.3.R36 2002)
· …Career Interest Assessment (UP owns, HF5381.5.P75 2000)
· …CAS Assessment (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.D37N34 1999)
· …Child Psychopathology (Harrisburg owns, RJ499.W463 2005)
· …Cognitive Assessment with KAIT and other Kaufman Measures (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.K38L53 2000)
· …Conners Behavior Assessments (UP owns, BF722.3.S67 2010)
· ... Creativity Assessment (Harrisburg owns, BF433.O7K38 2008)
· …Cross-Battery Assessment (Harrisburg owns, BF431.F437 2001)
· ... DAS II (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.D49D86 2009)
· …Individual Achievement Assessment (UP owns, LB3060.3.S62 2001)
· …Interviewing (Harrisburg owns, RC480.7.W54 2002)
· …KABC-II (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.K38E87 2005)
· ... Millon Inventories Assessment (Harrisburg owns, RC473.M48S77 2008)
· …MMPI-II (UP owns, BF432.5.I55M33 2001)
· …MMPI-A (Shenango owns, RJ503.7.M56A729 2002)
· …Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (Harrisburg owns, BF698.8.M94Q45 2000)
· …NEPSY Assessment (UP owns, RJ486.6.K46 2001)
· …Nonverbal Assessment (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.I55M33 2001)
· …Outcome Assessment (Harrisburg owns, RC480.75.O35 2002)
· …PAI Assessment (Harrisburg owns, RC473.P56M667 2003)
· …Processing Assessment (Harrisburg owns, BF431.D38 2006)
· …Psychological Testing (Harrisburg owns, BF176.U73 2004)
· …Response to Intervention (UP owns, LB2822.75.V373 2010)
· …Research Design and Methodology (Harrisburg owns, BF76.5.M317 2005)
· …Rorschach (UP owns, BF698.8.R5R67 2001)
· …Specific Learning Disability Identification (UP owns, LC4704.F575 2011)
· …Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales (SB5) (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.S8R65 2004)
· …TAT and other storytelling techniques (Harrisburg owns, RC473.T48T44 2010)
· …Temperament Assessment (UP owns, BF798.J69 2010)
· …WAIS-III (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.W4K385 1999)
· …WIAT-II and KTEA-II (Harrisburg and UP own, LB3060.33.W47L53)
· …WISC-III and WPPSI-R (UP owns, BF432.5.W42K36 2000)
· …WISC-IV (Harrisburg and UP own, BF432.5.W42F58 2009)
· …WJ-III Assessment of Achievement (UP owns, LB1131.75.W66M37 2001)
· …WJ-III Cognitive Abilities (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.W66 E88 2010)
· …WMS-IV Assessment (available online via the CAT)
· ... WNV Assessment (UP owns, BF432.5.W423B78 2009)
· …WPPSI-III (Harrisburg owns, BF432.5.W424L53 2004)
· ... WRAML2 and TOMAL-2 (Harrisburg owns, BF375.5.W53A32 2009)
If Penn State doesn’t have a manual for your test, another option is to check WorldCat (available online to Penn State faculty, staff, and students). WorldCat is a database of college and public libraries throughout the world.
· If you find a manual in WorldCat, click on its title
· Then, you’ll see links to a list of “Libraries Worldwide" that own the item and a link to “Request the Item via ILL”
· After you log in and fill out the request form, Penn State’s Interlibrary Loan team will contact the other libraries and (hopefully) borrow a copy for you
· The book or manual will be delivered to the circulation desk of the first floor of the library
· NOTE: This option is usually a “last resort.” Many libraries do not loan test manuals because they are very expensive. Also, it may take several weeks for the manual to arrive, depending on how quickly the other library acts upon your request
Yes. Take a look at these:
· Comprehending Test Manuals: A Guide and Workbook, by Ann Corwin Silverlake (Los Angeles: Pyrczak Publishing, 1999). Call number BF176.S55 1999. If you need to improve your skills at determining test reliability, validity, or detecting bias, this is for you. Pryczak books provide word problems for you to get some practice.
· Comprehensive Clinical Psychology: Volume 4, Assessment, edited by Cecil R. Reynolds (New York: Pergamon, 1998). Call number RC467.C597 1998 v.4. Provides almost 20 in-depth articles on various topics in clinical assessment, including clinical interviewing, behavioral assessment of children, forensic assessment, and more.
· Encyclopedia of Psychological Assessment (2 volumes), edited by Rocio Fernadez-Ballesteros (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2003). Call number REF BF176.E53 2003. Discusses topics such as “Attachment,” “Identity Disorders,” and “Well-Being.” Articles typically give “a general conceptual and methodological overview, a section on relevant assessment devices, followed by links to related concepts and a list of references” [from back cover
· Handbook of Psychology: Volume 10, Assessment Psychology, edited by John R. Graham and Jack A. Naglieri (New York: Wiley, 2003). Call number BF121.H1955 2003 v.10. This volume is divided into three parts. Part one covers general topics relating to assessment, such as ethics and testing; clinical judgment; computerization; and training. Part two deals with assessment in various settings, such as mental health, correctional, and corporate organizations. Part three concerns methods, such as measuring personality or neuropsychological functioning. Each article is 20-30 pages long, and a solid introduction to the topic.
· Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods (3 volumes), edited by Michael S. Lewis-Beck and others (Thousand Oaks, CA: 2004). Call number REF H62.L456 2004. Explains broad concepts associated with quantitative and qualitative research, including concepts like “convenience sample,” “interviewer effects,” the “life story method,” and “scaling.” A great source if you’re new to psychological research.
In addition, you can find many more resources at Harrisburg and other Penn State Libraries by searching the CAT (the library's book catalog).
Penn State University Libraries (including Harrisburg) have numerous books that can coach you in designing instruments.
If you’ve never worked with tests and you want an easy-to-read introduction, try Neil Salkind’s Tests and Measurements for People Who Think They Hate Tests and Measurements (Sage, 2005. Call number LB3051.S243 2006).
Another good book is Theresa J.B. Kline’s Psychological Testing: A Practical Approach to Design and Evaluation (Sage, 2005. Call number BF176.K583 2005).
You can find other books in the CAT, Penn State's library catalog, by searching for keywords like:
· "Social surveys"
· "Experiments" OR "Experimental design"
The library doesn’t provide this type of assistance. However, there are other Penn State departments that can help. Try these:
· Penn State Harrisburg has a Center for Survey Research that provides limited, free service to students. See its web page for more information.
· The Statistical Consulting Center at University Park offers some assistance in statistical analysis. It provides two short term consultations at no charge, one at the design stage and one at the analysis stage of Master’s research. Instead of traveling to University Park, you may be able to receive consultation on the phone; this would primarily depend on your questions and needs related to your research. Each consultation consists of two meetings with a statistics graduate student enrolled in the center’s Consulting Practicum. You can call the center at (814) 863-0281 or request a consultation. Please make sure that you check the “short-term consultation” box. “Long-term consultation” is not free.
Yes. Penn State, government agencies, and professional organizations all have rules and guidelines for psychological research. Here are SOME (BUT NOT ALL):
· Penn State REQUIRES you to take a training session, pass a test, and get university approval for your project BEFORE you do research using human participants. For more information, see the training offerings at Penn State’s Office for Research Protections
· Pennsylvania has a State Board of Psychology which licenses psychologists and regulates practice in our state. Read Pennsylvania’s Professional Psychologists Practice Act (63 Pennsylvania Statutes §§ 1201-1218) and Regulations of the State Board of Psychology, (49 Pennsylvania Code, Chapter 41)
· APA and the American Educational Research Association have Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, 1999. Call number LB3051.A683 1999). For more information about APA’s activities, see the APA Science Directorate’s page on testing
· The Association for Assessment in Counseling and Education (a division of the American Counseling Association) has a statement on the Responsibilities of Users of Standardized Tests
If you want to follow in the footsteps of Harry Harlow, Stanley Milgram, or Philip Zimbardo, Penn State Harrisburg Library has books that can help. Try these resources first, since each describes multiple experiments:
· Classic Case Studies in Psychology, by Geoff Rolls (London: Hodder Arnold, 2005). Call number RC465.R65 2005.
· Classic Experiments in Psychology, by Douglas G. Mook (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004). Call number BF198.7.M66 2004.
· Forty Studies That Changed Psychology: Explorations into the History of Psychological Research, by Roger R. Hock (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, 2005). Call number BF198.7.H63 2005.
· Opening Skinner's Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century, by Lauren Slater (New York: W.W. Norton, 2005). Call number BF198.7.S57 2005.
You can also search for books or journal articles about the PERSON who initially conducted the experiment or made it famous. You might be able to find information ABOUT the person (biography), or something he or she WROTE. Here are some good resources:
· Biographical Dictionary of Psychology, by Neil Sheehy (New York: Routledge, 1997). Call number REF BF109.A1B56 1997.
· Encyclopedia of Psychology (8 volumes), by Alan Kazdin (Washington, DC: APA, 2000). Call number REF BF31.E523 2000.
· Portraits of Pioneers in Psychology (6 volumes), by Gregory A. Kimble (Washington, DC: APA, 1991). Call number BF109.A1P67 1991.
· CAT, the library catalog. This is a searchable list of all the books Penn State University Libraries own. You can type in a person’s name (last name, first name) and choose the “author” search (to find books he or she wrote). Or, you can choose “subject” to find books written about that person.
· PsycINFO, a database of articles from Psychology journals.
Ask a librarian and/or your professor for help. A librarian will help you find information using tools in the Library, on the Internet, and other resources. On the other hand, you and your professor should work together in deciding which tests are most relevant to your research.
Penn State Harrisburg’s Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian is:
Penn State Harrisburg Library (office: room 102A)
351 Olmsted Dr.
Middletown, PA 17057
Copyright 2011, Bernadette A. Lear. Please contact me for permission to use this page.