What is Psychometric Psychology?
To understand psychometric psychology, it is important to understand what psychometrics is. Psychometrics is a field that is concerned with theories and techniques of psychological measurement, which includes measuring abilities, knowledge, attitudes and personality traits. Psychometrics is mostly concerned with studying the difference between people. (Assessmentpsychology.com)
Psychometrics involves two research areas: construction of instruments and procedures for measurement; and development and refinement of theoretical approaches to management.
If you are interested in a career in psychometric psychology, you will need to earn your Ph.D. in Psychometric Psychology in most cases. Below is important information about what it is, how to become one, job demand, and more.
Psychometric Psychology Overview
Psychometric psychology is concerned with creating assessment tools, measurement instruments, and formalized models that can connect observable psychological phenomena, such as responses on an IQ test, to theoretical attributes, such as intelligence. (Psychometricsociety.org)
There are two major types of tests that psychometric psychologists create to help patients:
- Aptitude tests: These measure the patient’s knowledge and reasoning in language, mathematics, patterns, and spatial awareness. After the person takes the test, their raw score is determined based on how many answers they got right and wrong. The raw score is studied next to the raw scores of other people in a certain group. For example, the raw score from an IQ test can be compared to raw scores of others in that person’s age group.
- Personality tests: These tests measure and reveal certain aspects of a person’s personality. Questions on these tests might ask about certain situations, how a person feels about them or might handle them. These tests do not have right and wrong answers, as is the case with aptitude tests. The answers that the person provides are compared to various personality traits, and the dominant traits are picked out and highlighted.
How Does Psychometric Psychology Help the Patient?
Psychometric psychology and psychometrics help the patient by evaluating their learning, social, behavioral, and personality development. Test results can help the patient because specific disorders can be identified, which can guide psychological planning for mental health and educational interventions. (Medicalhomeportal.org)
After an appropriate clinical evaluation, psychometric testing could be needed for school underachievement, educational planning and job planning. Testing also can be useful to identify intellectual disabilities such as autism, ADHD, or mood disorders.
Psychometric testing on the patient is usually done in a private, educational, or state-sponsored environment. The type of testing that is performed depends on the questions that need to be answered. The most common tests that are performed are intelligence tests, adaptive tests, behavioral tests, and achievement tests.
What Do You Need to Apply to the Program?
To work in psychometric psychology in private practice, you need to earn your Ph.D. Every admissions office has different standards for its applicants, but most Ph.D. programs in this field require the following:
- College transcripts: Official transcripts from all previous college work, such as bachelor’s and other master’s degrees.
- Standardized test scores: Most Ph.D. in psychology programs require you to submit GRE or GMAT scores. Others may not require test scores, or offer waivers to students with a high GPA and/or significant related work experience.
- Letters of recommendation: Psychometric psychology programs are highly competitive and you need to have excellent recommendations. Some require recommendations from both professors and employers.
- Prerequisites: If you have a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology, you probably have the course requirements to apply for a Ph.D. program. If your bachelor’s or master’s are in other specialties, you may need to take some background courses before you apply.
- Personal essay: How well you write is a critical factor when you apply for a Ph.D. in psychology program.
- Application: Most psychometric psychology applications are completed online. Be sure you provide all the information requested and apply by the deadline.
What Do Exams and Licensing Involve?
It is required to have a license to practice as a psychologist in the United States. While requirements vary by state, the typical requirements are at least a master’s degree in psychology and 2,000 to 4,000 hours of supervised clinical practice. After you have completed these requirements, you need to pass your state examination to practice as a psychometric psychologist. However, to have the best job options in research, private practice, or academia, you will need to earn your Ph.D.
Is The Job Outlook for Psychometric Psychologists Good?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports jobs for psychologists will increase by 14% by 2028, which is much faster than average. It is anticipated that employment for psychometric, clinical, and counseling psychologists will increase as the demand increasing for psychological services in all parts of the country. For example, psychologists are more often consulted in hospitals, schools, and mental health centers because people want help with their mental health problems. (BLS.gov)
Also, more psychologists are required to offer services to the aging US population, and we can expect more psychometric psychologists will be needed to understand and treat major psychological disorders. These include depression, memory loss, PTSD, anxiety, eating disorders, etc. These psychologists’ expertise in various types of psychological testing will be needed for students in schools as it is necessary for potential mental health and behavior problems to be identified as early as possible.
Further Resources for Candidates in Psychometric Psychology
If you are interested in a career in psychometric psychology, below are helpful resources to explore:
- Psychometrics 101: Knowing What Your Assessment Data Is Telling You: This is an online presentation that describes the fundamentals of item analysis, how you derive data, and the different ways to interpret it.
- Psychometric Assessments: Learn more about the different tests available, such as Myers-Briggs, Thomas-Killmann Conflict Mode, and Word Personality Index.
- Introduction to Psychometric Theory: A detailed analysis and explanation of psychometric theory.
Now that you have a better handle on what psychometric psychology is and how to become one, you just need to determine which Ph.D. program to apply to!