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Foundations of Psychological Testing

Foundations of Psychological Testing
A Practical Approach

Sixth Edition

January 2019 | 584 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Foundations of Psychological Testing: A Practical Approach by Leslie A. Miller and Robert L. Lovler presents a clear introduction to the basics of psychological testing as well as psychometrics and statistics. Aligned with the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing, this practical book includes discussion of foundational concepts and issues using real-life examples and situations that students will easily recognize, relate to, and find interesting. A variety of pedagogical tools furthers the conceptual understanding needed for effective use of tests and test scores. The Sixth Edition includes updated references and examples, new In Greater Depth boxes for deeper coverage of complex topics, and a streamlined organization for enhanced readability. 


INSTRUCTORS: Bundle Foundations of Psychological Testing with the Student Workbook, featuring critical thinking and practical exercises, for only $5 more! Bundle ISBN: 978-1-5443-6670-8

Section I: Overview of Psychological Testing
Chapter 1: What Are Psychological Tests?
Why Should You Care About Psychological Testing?  
What is a Psychological Test?  
The History of Psychological Testing  
The Three Defining Characteristics of Psychological Tests  
Assumptions of Psychological Tests  
Test Classification Methods  
Psychological Assessment, Psychological Tests, Measurements, and Surveys  
Locating Information About Tests  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 2: Why Is Psychological Testing Important
Types of Decisions Made Using Psychological Test Results  
Which Professionals Use Psychological Tests and for What Reasons?  
Psychological Testing Controversies  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter3: What are the Ethical Responsibilities of Test Publishers, Test Users, and Test Takers?
What are Ethics?  
Professional Practice Standards  
Certification and Licensure  
General Responsibilities of Test Publishers, Test Users, and Test Takers  
Testing Special Populations  
Chapter Summary  
Section II: Psychometric Principles
Chapter 4: How Do Test Users Interpret Test Scores?
Levels of Measurement  
Procedures for Interpreting Test Scores  
Standard Scores  
The Role of Norms  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 5: What Is Test Reliability/Precision?
What Is Reliability/Precision?  
Classical Test Theory  
Three Categories of Reliability Coefficients  
The Reliability Coefficient  
Interpreting Reliability Coefficients  
Factors That Influence Reliability  
Generalizability Theory  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 6: How Do We Gather Evidence of Validity Based on the Content of a Test?
Sources of Evidence of Validity  
Use of Various Sources of Evidence of Validity  
Evidence of Validity Based on Test Content  
Face Validity  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 7: 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  
The Relationship Between Reliability and Validity  
Using Validity Information to Make Predictions  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 8: How Do We Gather Evidence of Validity Based on a Test’s Relation to Constructs?
The Notion of Construct Validity  
Gathering Evidence of Construct Validity  
Factor Analysis  
Chapter Summary  
Section III: Developing and Piloting Surveys and Psychological Tests
Chapter 9: How Do We Construct, Administer, and Use Survey Data?
Similarities and Differences Between Surveys and Psychological Tests  
Survey Software  
The Scientific Approach to Constructing, Administering, and Using Survey Data  
Survey Reliability/Precision and Validity  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 10: 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  
Conducting the Pilot Test  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 11: How Do We Assess the Psychometric Quality of a Test?
Conducting Quantitative Item Analysis  
Conducting Qualitative Item Analysis  
Revising the Test  
Validating the Test  
Ethical Issues Associated With Test Validation  
Developing Norms and Identifying Cut Scores  
Compiling the Test Manual  
Chapter Summary  
Section IV: Using Tests in Different Settings
Chapter 12: How Are Tests Used in Educational Settings?
Types of Decisions Made in the Educational Setting  
Educational Professionals as Test Users  
Standards Specific to Educational Professionals as Test Users  
Specific Uses of Psychological Tests in Educational Settings  
Norm-Referenced, Criterion-Referenced, and Authentic Assessment of Achievement  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 13: How Are Tests Used in Clinical and Counseling Settings?
The Work of Clinical and Counseling Psychologists  
Mental Health Practitioners' Use of Psychological Tests  
Psychological Testing in Depth: Assessing Autism, Depression, and Alzheimer’s Disease  
Evidence-Based Assessment  
The Psychological Testing Report and Client Feedback  
Chapter Summary  
Chapter 14: How Are Tests Used in Organizational Settings?
Pre-Employment Testing  
Performance Appraisal  
Chapter Summary  
Appendix A: Test Spotlights
Appendix B: Guidelines for Critiquing a Psychological Test
Appendix C: Code of Fair Testing Practices in Education
Appendix D: Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct


Instructor Resource Site

Free online resources for instructors are available on the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.

  • Test Banks for each chapter provide a diverse range of questions with 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.
  • Lecture Notes provide fully crafted summaries and chapter outlines that follow the structure of each chapter, providing an essential reference and teaching tool for course lectures.

“The textbook provides an excellent, psychometrically-grounded introduction to using psychological tests in a variety of practical settings.”

Jane L. Swanson
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“I like the clear connection to the 2014 Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing. Students can understand this professional agreement and align their learning with current practice.”

Elizabeth K. Gray
North Park University

“Good textbook for upper-level psychology majors to learn about testing and psychometrics.”

Holly E. Tatum
Randolph College
Key features
  • Critical thinking questions linked to learning objectives at the end of each chapter provide opportunities for students to check their understanding of the material at higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.
  • In Greater Depth boxes contain more complex information that instructors can choose to cover or skip at their discretion without losing instructional continuity.
  • More detailed concept maps at the beginning of each section graphically organize the relationship between concepts and ideas presented in each chapter within each section.
  • Brief introductions to validity and survey chapters explain the reasoning for and organization of the chapters in the text.
  • A student workbook to accompany the text actively engages students in the learning process with critical thinking and practical exercises.


  • A conversational style is used to present information at a comfortable reading level that  students can easily understand.
  • Real-life examples that illustrate concepts draw from the testing literature and the authors’ own experiences.
  • Section Previews prepare students to receive the material to be covered with detailed concept maps.
  • Chapter-opening narratives provide students with means to identify with the material by relating them to their own experiences.
  • Learning Objectives set expectations for what students should know and be able to do after studying the chapter.
  • For Your Information, In the News, and On the Web boxes provide supplemental coverage of particular topics and resources for further exploration.


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ISBN: 9781506396408