Assessments are used to measure the various aspects and traits of a person’s personality. Each approach uses different types of assessments. One type is a questionnaire. These are important because it underlies the importance of objective tests.
An objective assessment is when the same questions and measures are used for each person so they're not varying and can be studied in more depth. In addition, a questionnaire or an objective form of assessment should give the same score when different people are scoring it.
A personality questionnaire is a written form of test, where a person is given a list of questions that reveal different aspects of a person's personality, depending on the answers they give. Personality questionnaires often include questions about likely behaviors, a person's feelings, and their responses in different kinds of scenarios.
An advantage of questionnaires is that they can be given to a large number of people. A large amount of data can be collected to support whatever theories are being tested.
The weakness of questionnaires is that they can be inflexible. They can't be changed depending on what type of person is being studied. They can also be biased toward particular groups. The way that they are written can affect what kinds of scores you get from different kinds of people.
Reliability means that the results are consistent. In other words, you get the same results each time you give a particular questionnaire. If, for example, you were to take the same questionnaire twice in a short period of time, you should be essentially getting the same score. Otherwise, the test isn't reliable.
Validity means that the test measures what it's supposed to measure. It isn't being affected by any outside variables. In addition, its results are similar to other tests that are reliable about the same kinds of subjects. If you were to test the validity of your questionnaire, you would look at other assessments that are measuring the same type of thing, that have been shown to be effective over time. If the results are similar to the results of your test, then you have a valid questionnaire.
Another type of test is a projective tests, which is a little bit different. Projective tests tend to use ambiguous words or images to attempt to uncover unconscious thoughts or desires. Projective tests are focused on psychodynamic theories of the unconscious.
EXAMPLEThe Rorschach inkblot test is a projective test that records people's responses to different images of inkblots, which are then interpreted by an observer.
The strengths are that projective tests are very difficult to fake because there aren't right or wrong answers. Often, the person doesn't realize what they're being tested on, because the test focuses on their unconscious, rather than their conscious mind. These tests can also provide in-depth information about the subject's mental processes that are otherwise very difficult to understand.
Weaknesses for projective tests include that they tend to be very low in validity since it is hard to tell at times what they are measuring. They're also subject to some interpretation by the psychologist who's giving it because the psychologist is recording the responses. There are specific procedures when scoring, however, so it's not completely up to the psychologist to determine what the interpretation will be.
Source: This work is adapted from Sophia Author Erick Taggart.