Prepared by: Dr. Farhat Jahan
We as a psychologist come across situations where we need to quantify human behavior. People around us often ask psychology students to measure their behavior for so many reasons. This behavior measurement is nothing but the result of psychometrics. Hence keeping in mind this important function of psychometrics we cannot undermine the importance of psychological testing or psychometrics. Psychometrics helps in understanding individual differences and possibility of their measurement. A psychological test is a measurement device or technique used to quantify human behavior. Thus, helps in understanding and predicting human behavior. Like for e.g. a spelling test measures how well someone spells a specific list of words. A mathematical ability test measures how accurate a person can do mathematical problem solving.
In Psychology we have a number of psychological tests to measure human behavior as we know there are thousands of behavior human being can express. There are various types of overt and covert behavior and for each of it we can have psychological measurement tool. Overt behavior are behaviors that are easily observable for instance, smiling and covert behaviors are behaviors that cannot seen directly like feelings, thoughts etc. so for each one of it we can administer a psychometric test. So, the function of psychological tests is to measure differences between individuals or between the reactions of the same individual on different occasions. The psychometric is important for identification, prediction, and diagnosis of behaviors in different setups. For e.g. Clinical setup, Educational setup, Occupational set up, Industrial setup and Counseling setup etc.
Psychometrics is a field that focuses on how properly we can measure certain behaviors and attributes such as cognition, knowledge and personality etc. This field of psychology is significant and vital for the success of all other branches of psychology. It is important for diagnosis of a disorder, selecting a suitable employee, helping you to choose a subject in which you can excel and many more. So the development of this field is important not only for its own conquest but also for the proper functioning and success of other fields of psychology. Next time we will learn about psychometrics in a more detailed manner.