Special Populations Collaborative
As a method of examining and describing the interactions between people, psychoanalytic tests are divided into three categories. These categories include psychological processes, personal qualities, and behavioral approaches.

Psychological processes includes all steps that a person takes, including the knowledge construction and the application of this knowledge. This category is often broken down into four categories; action, problem-solving, motivation, and goal setting. Each step in psychological processes is measured using tests of judgment and whereas a complete psychological function is measured using an assessment. Psychological tests are also used to measure relationships, motivations, and cognition as well as evaluate drug therapy, with the purpose being to uncover hidden motives and patterns of behavior. Personal qualities of people are sometimes measured by prompting questions and maintenance of extrovert/ introvert qualities using a test. Personality tests began to take the place of clinical assessments in the 1960s and 1970s. At the time, these tests were still based on clinical standards. In later years, they were promoted as part of the process for understanding human behavior. Behavioral approaches of people are measured by either events or Situational judgment. The events are designed to describe a specific situation, while Situational judgment simply categorizes behaviors as positive (e.g., happy) or negative (e.g., angry). These tests measure both conscious and unconscious actions. On a practical level, they help individuals understand the effects that their behavior is having on others. These tests are often used for clinical diagnosis, especially when behavioral interventions are being administered to a single patient or when the psychologist is not administering sessions. The tests involved in obstetricians’ work often use tests to aid in understanding the mother. He/she may use a test to listen to the baby and measure fetal heart tones, measures the placenta, and a number of other procedures. Tests are sometimes used at the beginning or at the end of labor to aid the physician in following specific behaviors to assume quickly what may be occurring in the mother’s body and to help avoid complications. Tests are also used by the physician or team to measure the effect of medications on the fetus in the womb. Tests measure the effects of physical or chemical influences and are used to predict, prepare for, and confirm treatments and to define adverse reactions or outcomes. There are many different types of tests that are used to gather information, from the test of the heartbeat, blood pressure and heart rate, blood group tests, blood sugar tests, and number of pregnancies. Tests are also used to establish the effect of medications as they are introduced. Throughout the test, the psychologist may discuss with the patient what she has experienced. He/she may then administer the test in the context of the patient’s indicating the understanding she has. Questions may then be directed on what the patient believes the test to be or on the startling results. Most test results are interpreted after the criteria the psychologist has determined are in play and the tests administered are properly interpreted. For both clinical and non-clinicians it is important to follow the rules of the test so a person’s responses can be measured and observed for others to see. People take tests to understand themselves, and other people as they change and grow. Tests are a way to understand who we are and what we are capable of doing. For that reason, people are sometimes more apt to share information when they know they may be rewarded for it later. Personality tests can determine the relative levels of intelligence. People with low levels of intelligence can benefit from medication and interventions to increase their ability to learn. In contrast, there are people that use tests as a way to understand the world and humans as a whole.