Test Construction/Validation – PSYC 545

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Discussion of principles to produce and improve tests and assessments of knowledge, skills, and other psychological constructs. A focus on techniques for evaluating existing measures for reliability and validity evidence and guidelines for the rigorous development of new instruments.




Thousands of psychological tests are used in the fields of psychology, counseling, business, and education. However, not all of these tests meet accepted standards of reliability and validity. It is important for the student to be able to evaluate if a particular psychological test meets accepted standards. In addition to identifying proper tests, students must also be aware of the many types of tests used in clinical settings and how these tests are used, the limitations of tests, the information derived from these tests, and how they are used to formulate treatment.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Apply quantitative as well as qualitative methods of analysis to determine the qualities of good and bad tests and their suitability in psychological applications.
    2. Evaluate the nature and purposes of testing, how results are used and how results can be misused. Students will also understand how results are used to make improvements to the test itself.
    3. Demonstrate the skills of gathering information from a library including computerized information sources, bibliographic systems, computerized literacy skills in word processing APA format, conducting internet/electronic searches, and utilization of various statistical packages, as well as other sources from which one can present a persuasive argument.
    4. Evaluate the language of the discipline found in textbooks and scientific journal articles, and present written arguments in the terminology of the discipline using elements of style and the presentation of scientific information described in the most recent Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
    5. Demonstrate knowledge of major psychological tests used to assess personality, ability and aptitude and how this information is used in psychological applications.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations (MLOs A–E)

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, there will be 2 Discussion Board Forums throughout the term. The purpose of Discussion Board Forums is to generate interaction among students in regard to relevant, current course topics. The student is required to post 1 thread of at least 400 words as well as replies of at least 200 words to 2 other students’ threads. (MLOs A–E)

SPSS Assignments (4)

In these assignments, the student will learn how to go from raw data in SPSS to describing the demographic characteristics of a normative sample. The student will create a table showing the most appropriate descriptive statistics for demographic variables, generate graphs, and develop a descriptive summary. The student will also continue analysis of the data by learning to assess and interpret the reliability and validity of a test. (MLOs A, B, D, & E)

Test Evaluation Paper

The student will evaluate 1 psychological test that is not covered in the textbook or course lectures. The student will choose his/her test and report on the psychometric properties of the test as well as justify his/her choice. The assignment will be 3–5 pages, including a title page and a references page. All elements of the paper must adhere current APA formatting guidelines. (MLOs A–E)

Quizzes (6)

There will be 6 open-book/open-notes quizzes (one per module/week), which contain 25 multiple-choice questions each. The student will have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete each quiz. (MLOs A, B, & E)