Individual Differences

Intelligence

Psychological Testing versus Psychological Assessment

Last updated:
03 Aug 2003

Assessment is more than testing

Definition of Psychological Testing

Definition of Psychological Assessment

Assessment is more than testing

Psychological testing (e.g., an intelligence test, personality test, or mental health test) occurs as part of the process of psychological assessment.  Professional psychological assessment usually also includes:

  • interview
  • demographic information
  • medical information
  • personal history
  • observations by others

Thus, the results of a psychological test are rarely used on their own.

The following definitions should help to clarify the difference between assessment and testing in psychology.

Definition of Psychological Testing

"An objective and standardized measure of a sample of behaviour"

(Anastasi, 1990)

Definition of Psychological Assessment

"An extremely complex process of solving problems (answering questions) in which psychological tests are often used as one of the methods of collecting relevant data"

(Maloney & Ward, 1976)