What are psychological tests/scales/assessments/checklists? What do they do? Who uses them?
Mental health providers use both tests and assessments to help formulate diagnoses and to guide treatment for their clients. Validity refers to how accurate or reliable a test is.
Psychological tests are instruments used to measure an assortment of mental abilities and characteristics, such as personality, achievement, intelligence, and neurological functioning. They often take the form of questionnaires. They may be written, verbal, or pictorial tests (like the famous Rorschach test that uses inkblot images). The tests may also be referred to as: scales, surveys, screens, checklists, assessments, measures, inventories, etc.
Psychological assessment is a more comprehensive process that may utilize the results from psychological tests, but can also involve interviewing the client and/or family, reviewing the client's history, checking medical records, and consulting with the client's previous medical providers or therapists.
Some common psychological tests are: