Basic Concepts in Assessment
This chapter provides an introduction to some basic terms and concepts relevant to psychological assessments and chapter 5 discusses issues relevant to the actual use of assessments in applied settings. The reader is referred to texts by Aiken ( 1997), Ghiselli, Campbell, and Zedek ( 1981), and T. B. Rogers ( 1995) for extended treatments of topics relevant to psychological measurement and assessment.
I have used the term psychological assessment to refer to the process whereby information is collected about characteristics of the individual and used to form an inference or judgment. These inferences may then be used as a basis for a decision about the individual. For example, a school psychologist might interview a classroom teacher about the performance of a student, observe that student in the classroom, examine the student's IQ and achievement test scores, and, on the basis of the information collected, infer that the youth suffers from an attention disorder. This in turn might lead to a recommendation that the student be referred for remedial treatment.
This book is primarily concerned with two components of this assessment process. The first component entails the collection of information about the individual through measurement tools and procedures. There