The Psychology Today Magazine website offers a free collection of self-tests pertaining to career, health, IQ, personality, and relationships. These self-tests may be used as a self-evaluation process by the general population or as a lead-in to an academic discussion (undergraduate and graduate level). Each test begins with a brief overview of the test's purpose as well as information about the number of questions in the test and the estimated time required to complete it. Test-takers are alerted to missed questions and can chart their progress. On completion, test-takers receive an analysis in the form of a Snapshot Report. A report containing full results must be purchased. NOTE: The provider of the Psychology Today self-tests is PsychTests AIM Inc. A full selection of tests (more comprehensive than what is found on the partner site at psychologytoday.com) is available at PsychTests AIM's website: http://testyourself.psychtests.com. PsychTests AIM’s tests are used in a wide range of academic endeavors that include teaching-related purposes (for self-exploration or as class assignments, frequently in the form of critique), research, and academic program assessment. Particularly noteworthy is the incorporation of artificial intelligence systems that drive test scoring engines and report generation, an approach that is designed to enhance precision. Further detail is available via the following link: http://corporate.psychtests.com/solutions/academic_testing.
Type of Material:
Assessment tool in a quiz/test format consisting of a simple question- answer structure (i.e., self-tests on various psychological attributes/topics that are of popular interest).
The self-tests would be particularly beneficial in classes that are relevant to the psychology of personal adjustment, diagnostic classes, and personality classes. In addition, the tests could inform assessment classes (tests and measures) where students might be asked to identify problems of reliability and validity; the tests would provide the foundation for a discussion of issues in testing.
• No special technical requirements
• The self-tests can be accessed with multiple browsers (e.g., Internet Explorer 8.0, Mozilla Firefox 11.0).
Identify Major Learning Goals:
Learners will assess their skills, preferences, personal style, and motivations in areas such as career, health, IQ, personality, and relationships.
Target Student Population:
Undergraduate or graduate students (most relevant for the discipline of psychology)
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
• Psychology Self-Tests offers an interesting array of assessments in an easy to access format which is followed by an immediate score report and an opportunity to seek further analysis with a paid report.
• The tests can be used by students who may not have previous knowledge of the subject matter areas covered by the tests.
• The Psychology Today website does not report the reliability and validity of these instruments; thus, it will be incumbent on instructors to direct students to the PsychTests AIM website for information about test validation and also for the disclaimer.
• Instructors will need to connect this site (and any self-assessment results) to academic content for follow up (e.g., anger management assessments could be connected to theories of aggression in textbook chapters on motivation & emotion; the career advancement assessment could be connected to topics in a business psychology course).
• For more advanced courses, instructors may find that the site leans too much in the direction of “pop psychology.”
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
• This site offers support for psychology instructors who may be searching for self-tests to use as a lead-in to course topic discussions.
• When accompanied by learning objectives or assignments, this site could be incorporated into class as an effective teaching tool.
• There are no explanatory or subject-enhancing articles to accompany and support the collection of tests. The site works well as a stand-alone “fun” resource for self-examination; however, as an academic tool it needs more structure as to purpose and possible goals. Instructors would need to develop and provide this structure.
• Instructors will need to provide content concerning validity-related issues (including issues specifically related to self-testing).
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
• The site is very easy to navigate and easy to understand.
• The self-testing process incorporates immediate access and results.
• A progress-tracking bar helps test-takers chart their progress toward test completion.
No concerns were noted with respect to ease of use.
Other Issues and Comments:
Overall, Psychology Self-Tests serves an interest that most people have in understanding or appreciating themselves better.
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