Psychometric (or diagnostic) psychology is one of the emerging new theories in the field of psychology. This type of psychology has been around for decades but it has only gained in popularity over the past decade. The reason for this surge in interest in the field is the fact that many people believe it offers a way to find people who are “normal” and who possess the psychological abilities we all hope to possess. Psychometric testing, also called personality testing, can be used to look at everything from personality traits, to intelligence, and even spirituality. Some critics argue against psychometric psychology, saying that it amounts to “psychometrics”, which is the use of psychology to gain information about a person's underlying mental processes.
However, these critics fail to take into consideration the power that we all have to help find those who are “mentally normal”. In essence, psychometric or diagnostic testing can offer a way to objectively look at all aspects of a person's life – from personality, to beliefs, to habits, to intelligence, to social behaviors – and determine if there are any abnormalities. In many cases, these tests can be used to determine whether a person is experiencing psychological problems, or whether that person is simply an intelligent person who has some sort of gift. By doing this, it becomes possible to provide treatment for those who suffer from mental illness or provide therapies to those who are suffering from psychological disorders.
So, how does psychometric testing work? First of all, a psychologist will administer several different types of tests to a person – such as personality tests, or intelligence tests, or tests that look at spirituality. After administering these tests, the psychologist will have a series of results to analyze. Then, depending upon the results of these tests, the psychologist will be able to determine the levels of “personality disorder” that a person may have, as well as determine what types of psychological problems that person might be suffering from.
Critics argue against psychometric testing, primarily because many psychometric tests are not scientifically based. For instance, tests could measure things like eye color, but they could also measure things like personality. Critics argue that psychometric testing should be avoided, especially if there is no clear need for the information being derived.
However, proponents of psychometric testing point out that psychometric results can be used to provide some information about the psychological problems a person may have. These results can be useful in order to determine if someone has an iron deficiency, or if a person is suffering from some sort of psychological problem. In addition, psychometric testing can be used in order to detect the existence of some personality disorders – such as Asperger's Syndrome or depression, or some other type of disorder. For example, researchers have conducted studies showing that psychometric testing can in some cases be a good means of determining the presence of some personality disorders, such as autism. Even though critics of psychometric testing point out some of the limitations of these tests, however, there is no arguing the fact that this type of testing has been proven to be quite useful.
If you feel you may have some psychological problems, or believe you would benefit from some sort of psychological evaluation, you might want to speak with your local physician. Many primary care physicians will often carry out psychometric tests in order to help . . . . . . them diagnose certain medical conditions or predict how they will act in certain situations. However, if you do not wish to take medication or have surgery, or do not feel that your psychometric results will be able to help you in any way, you may wish to talk with your local physician about psychometric testing. If you are experiencing trouble with some of your psychological problems or would like to learn more about psychometric methods, you may wish to speak with your primary care physician first.