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Foundations of Psychological Testing

Foundations of Psychological Testing
A Practical Approach

Fifth Edition
Additional resources:

July 2015 | 640 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Offering a clear introduction to the basics of psychological testing as well as to psychometrics and statistics, this practical book includes discussion of foundational concepts and issues, using real-life examples and situations students will easily recognize, relate to, and find interesting. A variety of pedagogical tools further the conceptual understanding needed for effective use of tests and test scores. Now aligned with the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, the Fifth Edition offers new and expanded content throughout.

Section 1: Overview of Psychological Testing
Chapter 1: What Are Psychological Tests?
Why Should You Care About Psychological Testing?  
What Are Psychological Tests?  
The History of Psychological Testing  
Testing Today  
The Defining Characteristics of Psychological Tests  
Assumptions of Psychological Tests  
Test Classification Methods  
Psychological Assessment, Psychological Tests, Measurements, and Surveys  
Locating Information About Tests  
Chapter 2: Why Is Psychological Testing Important
The Importance of Psychological Testing  
Who Uses Psychological Tests and for What Reasons?  
The Social and Legal Implications of Psychological Testing  
Chapter 3: Is There a Right or Wrong Way to Use Psychological Tests?
Ethical Standards for Psychological Testing  
Appropriate Use of Psychological Tests  
Testing Special Populations  
Chapter 4: How Does Computerized Testing Work?
Computerized Testing  
Computerized Adaptive Testing  
Web-Based Assessment  
Implications for the Future  
Section II: Psychometric Principles
Chapter 5: How Do Test Users Interpret Test Scores?
Levels of Measurement  
Procedures for Interpreting Test Scores  
Standard Scores  
The Role of Norms  
Chapter 6: What Is Test Reliability/Precision?
What Is Reliability/Precision?  
Three Categories of Reliability Coefficients  
Classical Test Theory  
The Reliability Coefficient  
Using Computer Software to Calculate Reliability  
Interpreting Reliability Coefficients  
Factors That Influence Reliability  
Generalizability Theory  
Chapter 7: How Do We Gather Evidence of Validity Based on the Content of a Test?
Sources of Evidence of Validity  
The Appropriate Use of Various Validation Strategies  
Evidence of Validity Based on Test Content/Content Validity  
Face Validity  
Chapter 8: How Do We Gather Evidence of Validity Based on Test-Criterion Relationships
What Is Evidence of Validity Based on Test-Criterion Relationships?  
Methods for Providing Evidence of Validity Based on Test-Criterion Relationships  
Selecting a Criterion  
Does the Criterion Measure What It Is Supposed to Measure?  
Calculating and Evaluating Validity Coefficients  
Using Validity Information to Make Predictions  
Ethical Issues Associated With Test Validation  
Chapter 9: How Do We Gather Evidence of Validity Based on a Test’s Relation to Constructs?
The Traditional Notion of Construct Validity  
Gathering Evidence of Construct Validity  
Factor Analysis  
Section III: Developing and Piloting Surveys and Psychological Tests
Chapter 10: How Do We Construct, Administer, and Use Survey Data?
What Are Surveys?  
Knowledge Acquisition and the Scientific Method  
The Survey Research Method  
The Scientific Method of Survey Design  
Survey Reliability and Validity  
Chapter 11: How Do We Develop a Test?
Why Develop a New Test?  
Defining the Testing Universe, Audience, and Purpose  
Developing a Test Plan  
Composing the Test Items  
Writing Effective Items  
Writing the Administration Instructions  
Chapter 12: How Do We Assess the Psychometric Quality of a Test?
Conducting the Pilot Test  
Conducting Quantitative Item Analysis  
Conducting Qualitative Item Analysis  
Revising the Test  
Validating the Test  
Developing Norms and Identifying Cut Scores  
Compiling the Test Manual  
Section IV: Using Tests in Different Settings
Chapter 13: How Are Tests Used in Educational Settings?
Decision Making in the Educational Setting  
Educators as Test Users  
Psychological Test Use in Educational Settings  
Norm-Referenced, Criterion-Referenced, and Authentic Assessment of Achievement  
Chapter 14: How Are Tests Used in Clinical and Counseling Settings? - contributed by Karen B. Goldfinger
Models of Psychological Assessment  
Tests Used for Diagnosis and Intervention  
Neuropsychological Tests  
Chapter 15: How Are Tests Used in Organizational Settings?
A Short History of Employment Testing  
Pre-employment Testing  
Performance Appraisal  


Instructor Teaching Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring one’s course
  • Chapter exercises provide lively and stimulating ideas for use in and out of class. The activities apply to individual and/or group projects
  • Learning activities from the book are included electronically so they are easy to use and assign
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter to encourage students to think critically
Student Study Site

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material
  • A  customized online action plan includes tips and feedback on progress through the course and materials, which allows students to individualize their learning experience
  • Chapter summaries with learning objectives reinforce the most important material
  • Interactive exercises and meaningful web links facilitate student use of internet resources, further exploration of topics, and responses to critical thinking questions
  • Video and multimedia links feature relevant interviews, lectures, personal stories, inquiries, and other content for use in independent or classroom-based explorations of key topics
  • EXCLUSIVE! Access to full-text SAGE journal articles that have been carefully selected to support and expand on the concepts presented in each chapter

This book is wonderful for higher education students that are in Master's courses or doctoral courses. For an undergraduate purpose (like what I teach) it goes too in depth with statistics and how to design tests. The basic text book for general assessments in the counseling field and psych field is what I have adopted for my course. I have also used that book from sage. For any one that is doing heavier concentration on test development, this is the book for you and your class ! I really find it useful in some of my own research!

Mr John Robert Mathe
School of Education & Social Sciences, Robert Morris University
April 6, 2017

LOVE this book. Best one I have found for T&M and I have looked!

Professor Becky Witt
Social Behavioral Science Dept, West Liberty University
October 5, 2016

The course was not approved for Spring 2016, we did not have the enrollment numbers needed. However, I will adopt this text once I get approval for a future semester.

Mr barry davis
Arts Humanities Dept, Tri-State Bible College
June 23, 2015

Although the course was not approved for Spring 2016, we did not have the enrollment numbers needed I will adopt this text once I get approval for a future semester. I like the way the information is presented as well as resources provided.

Mr barry davis
Arts Humanities Dept, Tri-State Bible College
June 16, 2015
Key features


  • Updated chapters reflect changes to align with the newly published Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (APA, AERA, and NCME, 2014).
  • A rewritten Chapter 14 provides much more detail on how tests are used in clinical and counseling settings.
  • New content includes discussion of key standards in test development and expanded coverage of common statistical techniques used in testing; APA’s position on high-stakes testing; more in-depth coverage of the concept of fairness in testing and test-taker rights and responsibilities; the issue of faking on personality tests; and more.
  • A new Student Study Guide is also available with the text and provides opportunities for hands-on learning.
  • FREE online instructor and student resources include a test bank, PPT slides, a personalized action plan, quizzes, mobile-friendly eFlashcards, and more.


  • Section previews and concept maps provide written and graphic overviews of the contents of each text section.
  • For Your Information boxes throughout each chapter supplement coverage of particular topics.
  • In the News boxes feature testing stories from the print news media, such as the 2009 Supreme Court decision in the Ricci v. DeStefano case on reverse discrimination.
  • On the Web boxes provide online resources of related topics, such as test security and the availability of test stimuli.
  • Interim Summaries highlight important and often misunderstood information and help focus students on key points.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 6

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