Psychological Testing : Theory and Practice book cover
1st Edition

Psychological Testing
Theory and Practice

ISBN 9781138228894
Published November 22, 2018 by Routledge
368 Pages

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USD $49.95

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Book Description

Winner of the British Psychological Society's Textbook Award 2019.

Psychological tests are everywhere. They are widely used by practitioners, researchers, clinicians, and educators -anyone, in fact, who needs to measure various aspects of personality, cognitive abilities, mood and suchlike. Psychometrics is the science of psychological assessment. It covers the construction, use and interpretation of psychological tests of all kinds – from simple questionnaires measuring personality, moods and attitudes, through to specialised tests measuring IQ and other mental abilities.

Psychological Testing: Theory and Practice provides test users, test developers, practitioners and researchers in the social sciences, education and health with an evaluative guide to choosing, using, interpreting and developing tests. Its aim is to give readers a thorough grasp of the principles (and limitations) of testing, together with the necessary methodological detail. Unusually for an introductory text, it includes coverage of several cutting-edge techniques. If you find mathematics frightening and statistics dull, this engaging text will help you to understand the fundamental principles of psychometrics, that underpin the measurement of any human characteristic using any psychological test.

The book is accompanied by additional resources, including a set of spreadsheets which use simulated data and other techniques to illustrate important issues, and allow users to understand various statistical procedures work, without getting bogged down in mathematical detail. These are fully integrated into the text.

This is an essential introduction for all students of psychology and related disiplines, as well as a useful resource for practitioners and those seeking accreditation in psychological testing.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Psychometrics
  2. Tests, Scales and Testing
  3. Scoring Tests and Scales
  4. Interpreting Scores
  5. Correlations
  6. Random and Systematic Errors of Measurement.
  7. Validity
  8. Introduction to Factor Analysis
  9. Performing and Interpreting Factor Analyses
  10. Alternative Factor Analysis Designs
  11. Developments in Factor Analysis
  12. Item Response Theory
  13. Constructing a Scale
  14. Problems with Test Scores
  15. Psychometrics in Context
  16. References
  17. Index

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Dr Colin Cooper has researched and taught psychometrics and individual differences at Queen’s University, Belfast for 20 years. He has published widely in these fields, and has been extensively involved in test design and consultancy.


"I'd recommend this book to practising professionals as well as students. It's a useful reminder of procedures, as well as a clear exposition of the challenges... Overall, this book provides a thorough coverage of major procedures, and a helpful summary of significant controversial issues. It's also, in itself, an interesting read!" - Nicky Hayes, Testing International

"Colin Cooper’s book is a splendid synthesis of the theory, statistics and applications of psychometrics. We are taken on a journey through this ‘measurement of the human spirit’, spanning basic concepts (reliability/validity), workhorse statistics (factor analyses), more recent techniques (item response theory), how to interpret test scores and, even, how to develop scales. But there is more: this is a hands-on book – each chapter comes with a datasheet on which to practice newly-acquired knowledge of psychometrics. Students, lecturers, test developers and practitioners will delight in this charming book."- Professor Philip J Corr, City, University of London, UK

"What a gem of a book this is! I am delighted to recommend Colin Cooper’s Psychological Testing: Theory and Practice to students, researchers, clinicians and educators. While the book eschews unnecessary diversions into mathematical and statistical obscurities, it also steers clear of the superficial, homespun presentations that sacrifice rigour in the altar of unrewarding readability. Without a doubt, this is one of the most accessible, effective and comprehensive introductions to psychological testing in the market today."- Professor K. V. Petrides, London Psychometric Laboratory, University College London, UK

"Colin Cooper has written the ‘down-to-earth’ book that many of us have been waiting for on the very complex and often misunderstood field of psychology tests and assessment. It is grounded in both the established cornerstones of psychological testing and contemporary developments necessary to understand how tests are made, evaluated and used in research and clinical assessment. This book will be of particular relevance for undergraduate and graduate university courses in psychological tests and measurement." - Dr. Don Saklofske, Western University, Canada

"Overall, Cooper delivers. The text gives readers such as myself the ammunition needed to critically select methods and justify why we develop and validate instruments of psychological measurement. For any researcher blindly running numbers through a powerful statistical package, Psychological Testing is a must-read." - Jack Tomlin, The Psychologist