Projective Personality Tests

By Dr. Monique Marie Chouraeshkenazi  Photo Source: Projective Personality Tests

By Dr. Monique Marie Chouraeshkenazi

Photo Source: Projective Personality Tests

   I see many changes with focus on validity, reliability, and credibility when it comes to personality assessments. Based on the last few weeks of discussing projective and personality assessments, I have realized that experts rely on these tools to better understand individual’s emotional, behavioral, cognitive, social, and intelligence capabilities. From a legal perspective, there should be specific elements that are revised to ensure information within these tests are considered useful, especially for competency hearings that will significantly impact people’s lives. With that said, I believe changes will happen to make sure tests produces reliable results to show information truly make a fair assessment of every individual. Expert, Annie Murphy Paul (2016) stated that personality tests capture less about a person’s personality and more about the who created them (i.e. Hermann Rorschach, Henry Murray, Stake Hathaway, and so forth). As for functions and applications, I see psychological experts, scholars, and academicians fixing the issues of bias, standardization, and skewed statistical and numerical data, streamlining methodologies for a more accurate assessment. Paul made a good point that there could be some bias in questions and testing standards based on those who established such tests. This is very important, as the assessment process is the focus and psychological testing is predicated on the administration of one of more standardized procedures under specific environment to represent a sample of behavior (National Institutes of Health, 2018). Standardization, from my perspective, would be the more important portion of a personality test to revise. That National Institutes of Health (2018) states that most personality tests ask true or false questions to determine if one engages in specific activities, feelings, emotions, and so forth. If questions are standardized as multiple choice, I believe it increases the chances of individual’s personal truth about them her/herself. For instance, if a question asked the following:

  • My life goals are clear. 

    1. Strongly Agree

    2. Agree

    3. Neutral

    4. Disagree

    5. Strongly Disagree 

    6. I don’t know 

 

A question like this with additional options (besides true or false), gives a trained expert the overall concept of person, instead an inaccurate assessment because answers are only based on two options. It is very important to understand that those who are completing personality assessments, especially if it is for employment or legal purposes that an individual truly understands the questions he/she is answering. Schwanenflugel and Flanagan (2017) state that psychologists focus on measuring assessments, especially for standardized testing standards. To complete such work, it is very intuitive that general reading capabilities are at a moderate level. Reading levels can be useful to guide trained experts in determining what reading levels are too difficult for students. It is important to consider an individual's reading capabilities to determine if they understand the information. The more a person understands their responsibilities, it increases the reliability, credibility, and validity of testing results. 

WebMD, the Mayo Clinic, and Healthline provide an abundance of information about diseases, illnesses, and so forth, is very common and useful. I am guilty of being one of those people who Google my symptoms to determine my issue prior to going to the hospital. I do not like being in hospitals and if there is anything I can do to prevent going, I will do so. Like you mentioned, psychological and emotional issues can be found on the Internet by discussing causes, symptoms, and treatment. I believe people will use such resources to do so based on the fact that there is a negative stigma of seeking help for mental illnesses. Some who believe they have such issues will seek help through the Internet rather going to a trained specialist to seek treatment. Many will useful the Internet as a way out and avoid going to a train psychologist to have a "clean" slate or medical record. I know there are people who have sensitive jobs, which could be significantly impacted if it is found that mental or behavioral problems exist. 
 

References

National Institutes of Health. (2018). Psychological testing in the service of disability 

            Determination. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK305233/

            (accessed on 21 August 2018). 

Paul, A. M. (2016). Personality tests are popular, but do they capture the real you? 

National Public Radio. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/06/25/483108905/personality-tests-are-popular-but-do-they-capture-the-real-you (accessed on 21 August 2018). 

Schwanenflugel, P. J. Ph.D. &  Nancy Flanagan. (2017). Three myths about "reading levels: And why you shouldn't fall for them." Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/reading-minds/201702/three-myths-about-reading-levels (accessed on 25 August 2018). 

Dr. Monique Chouraeshkenazi