Introduction to Psychology 1A
Maria Cahill ID 11367156
How standardisation, reliability and validity play a role in determining whether a test is a good measure of personality.AbstractPersonality tests are used extensively by psychologists to determine traits, behaviours and characteristics of subjects. There are many tests available however only the Rorschach, Inkblot Test, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 and the Thematic Apperception Test are examined in this report. In determining what test to use, psychologists examine the degree of standardisation, reliability and validity of the tests. There is much research that has established positive and negative schools of thought in relation to each of the personality tests and whilst most of the negative evidence purports minimal standardisation, reliability and validity further evidence suggests that the tests continue to be the most widely used.IntroductionPersonality tests are used to measure observable or overt traits and behaviours together with unobservable or covert characteristics. The tests can be used to identify personality problems and psychological disorders as well as to predict how a person might behave at a future time (Plotnik, 2002). This essay explores the factors psychologists take into consideration to determine whether a test is a good measure of personality and focuses specifically on the standardisation, reliability and validity of the tests. Anastasi and Urbina (1997) highlight an interesting point that personality tests are used merely as a tool to gain insight into the subject and similar to all tools, the way in which they are used can result in a positive or negative outcome. Whilst there are many different tests available this paper will refer to the Rorschach Inkblot Test (hereafter referred to as the Rorschach), the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (hereafter referred to as the MMPI-2) and the Thematic Apperception Test (hereafter referred to as TAT) to illustrate and discuss the various schools of thought on whether the tests demonstrate an accurate interpretation of a persons personality. Prior to this analysis it is necessary to understand what personality is and acquire a basic overview of the three tests that will be used for discussion.Personality and Personality TestsPersonality can be defined as a combination of an individual's enduring patterns of thought, emotion and behaviour that typify the way people react to other people and situations (Letzring, Wells & Funder, 2006). It is these characteristic patterns of thought, feelings and behaviours that make a person unique by the way problems are solved, stress is managed, emotions are regulated and life is dealt with. Eysenck's (2004) definition is more detailed and encompasses the key words stable, internal, consistent and different when describing personality. This interpretation implies that personality remains relatively constant throughout life,...