Psychological evaluations use a combination of techniques to better understand a person's behavior and personality. It is performed by a licensed psychologist who is expertly trained to perform and interpret psychological tests.
A standardized psychological test is a task or set of tasks given under standard, set conditions. It is designed to assess some aspect of a person’s knowledge, skill or personality.
Psychological tests provide a scale of measurement for consistent individual differences. Such tests can be thought of as yardsticks that yield one or more objectively obtained scores which provide a fair and equitable comparison among test takers.
Norm-references psychological tests are standardized on clearly defined groups and are scaled so that each individual score reflects a rank within the normative group.
Norm-referenced tests assess many areas of functioning including intelligence, academic achievement, visual-motor integration, gross and fine motor skills, adaptive behavior, personality orientation, social and emotional functions, attention, impulse control, emotional and behavioral functioning and aptitude.
Psychologists have a choice of many well-standardized and psychometrically sound tests with which to evaluate an individual and each assessment provides a wealth of information that would be otherwise unavailable to even the most skilled observer who did not use testing.
Also, psychological norm-referenced tests provide an index for evaluating change in response to a variety of medication, psychotherapeutic, educational and behavioral interventions.
Psychologists seek to take the information gathered from psychological assessment and weave it into a comprehensive and complete picture of the person being tested.
Recommendations are based upon all the assessment results and from discussions with family members, teachers and others who may shed light on the person’s behavior in different settings.
For instance, in children, information must be obtained from parents and teachers in order for psychological assessment to be considered complete and relevant to the child. Major discrepancies among findings must be resolved before any diagnostic decisions or recommendations for treatment are made.
Psychological assessments are never focused on a single test score or number. Every person has a range of competencies that can be evaluated through a number of methods.
A psychologist is there to evaluate the competencies as well as the limitations of the person and to report on them in an objective but helpful manner.
A psychological assessment report will not only note weaknesses found during testing but also the individual’s strengths. Furthermore, all psychological reports contain comprehensive recommendations for intervention.
Margaret J. Kay, Ed.D. Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist (NCSP)
Licensed Psychologist in PA and DE
Fellow American College of Forensic Examiners in Educational and School Psychology
Lancaster Office Phone: (717) 569-6223