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Psychological Testing in Everyday Life

Psychological Testing in Everyday Life
History, Science, and Practice

March 2018 | 128 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Psychological Testing in Everyday Life explores how psychological testing is used in real-life settings to make the study of psychometrics interesting, relevant, and highly accessible. Author Karen B. Goldfinger examines a broad range of carefully selected topics to capture student interest, encourage critical thinking, and spark class discussions. Organized in the form of an applied casebook, each chapter presents the complex issues that arise when using psychological tests in a variety of settings, providing an in-depth view of psychological testing practices, historically and in the present. This unique text will support students in becoming thoughtful, informed consumers and providers of psychological assessment.

About the Author
Chapter 1: Introduction
Psychological Testing in Everyday Life

What Is a Psychological Test?

Categorizing Psychological Tests

The Science, History, and Practice of Psychological Testing
A Personal Note

Chapter 2: The Science of Psychological Testing: Fundamental Concepts


Chapter 3: Psychological Testing in Education: Comparing Student Outcomes Across Nations With the PISA and the TIMSS
Psychological Tests in Education

International Comparisons of Educational Achievement: History and Goals

International Tests of Academic Skills: The PISA and the TIMSS


Stan’s Experience with the PISA

Chapter 4: Psychological Testing in Applied Research
Applied Psychological Research: History and Goals

The MAP-DB, A Tool to Measure Temper Tantrums

Homesickness Research


Jason’s Experience as a Research Subject


Chapter 5 • Psychological Testing in Mental Health Diagnosis and Treatment
Assessment and Treatment of Mental Health Problems

The Role of Psychological Testing in the Mental Health Setting

Psychological Tests Used in Mental Health Settings: A History

Issues and Controversies

Best Practices in Psychological Assessment in Mental Health Settings

Outcomes Assessment

Therapeutic Assessment

Evaluating Derrick for ADHD: A Brief Case Example


Chapter 6: Psychological Testing in Medicine: Psychological Evaluation Prior to Bariatric Surgery
Psychological Testing in Medicine

The Problem of Obesity

Bariatric Surgery: History and Purpose

The Goals of Presurgical Psychological Evaluation

Selecting and Administering Psychological Tests to Prospective Bariatric Surgery Patients

Psychometric Issues

Joanne’s Experience with Psychological Testing Prior to Bariatric Surgery


Chapter 7: Psychological Testing in the Legal Arena: Child Custody in High Conflict Divorce
Psychological Testing in Child Custody Disputes: Mr. and Mrs. Kelly

A Brief History of Child Custody Evaluation

The Forensic Nature of Child Custody Evaluations

The Process of Child Custody Evaluations

Psychological Tests Used in Custody Evaluation

How Do Psychological Tests Contribute to Dr. Lissette’s Opinion About What Is in the Best Interest of the Kelly Children?


Chapter 8: Psychological Testing in Determining Disability: Intellectual Disability and the Death Penalty
Intellectual Disability and Capital Punishment: A Brief History

Why Does the Death Penalty Violate the Eighth Amendment for Defendants With Intellectual Disabilities?

Defining Intellectual Disability

Labeling and Describing Intellectual Disabilities

Diagnosing Intellectual Disability: IQ Testing

Measurement Error

Flynn Effect

Practice Effects


Diagnosing Intellectual Disability: Assessment of Adaptive Functioning

Is Randi Intellectually Disabled? A Brief Case Study


Chapter 9: Psychological Testing in the Workplace: Selecting Police Officers
The Relevance of Psychological Testing to Police Work

Psychological Tests and the Selection of Police Officers: An Introduction

Legal Considerations

Ethical Considerations

Current Practices

Choosing Psychological Tests for Selecting Police Officers

Interpretation and Communication of Test Results

Elinore and Elena: Different Test Results Lead to Different Outcomes

Chapter 10: Conclusion
The Importance of Psychometrics

The Challenges in Developing Good Tests

Controversies About Psychological Testing

The Past and Future of Psychological Testing

Key Takeaways


An engaging, real-world application of complex issues and concepts pertinent to psychological tests and measures. Psychological Testing in Everyday Life would be a nice supplemental text to a standard psychological testing book.

Anne-Marie R. Iselin
University of North Carolina Wilmington
Key features
  • A narrative writing style enhances accessibility and keeps readers engaged.   
  • Chapters begin and end with relatable examples to make the material more memorable and easier to learn.
  • Chapter-opening learning objectives introduce students to the material and prompt them to identify the key takeaways in their reading.
  • Conclusion sections in each chapter integrate information that students can review to check their comprehension.
  • Chapter-ending discussion and research questions provide opportunities for students to further engage with the material to master chapter content.

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