PSYC3032 Psychological Measurement and Assessment

Graduate Diploma Course Unit

PSYC3032 Psychological Measurement and Assessment

Duration: One trimester

Level: 3rd year

Credit points: 3 (out of total of 24 points)

Prerequisites: PSYC1012, PSYC1022, PSYC1032, PSYC2012

Mode(s) of delivery: On-campus and Online Delivery

Core/elective: Bachelor of Psychological Science: Core, Graduate Diploma of Psychological Science: Core

Unit co-ordinator: Professor Mike Innes

Unit description

This unit provides an overview of key areas of psychological assessment. It begins with an historical perspective of the development of theory of psychological measurement and the application of methods of psychological assessment up to the present time. This will involve the consideration of many controversies in the area. This will be followed by an exploration of what makes a good psychological assessment, including the development of test theory and issues in the field of psychological measurement. Theoretical and methodological issues in the measurement of intelligence are presented, with a consideration of the characteristics of individual and group measures of the construct. The concept of personality assessment is examined with examination of measures of self report and of projective personality devices. Tests of special abilities are examined together with measures which are used in the study of organisations and behaviour in organisations. Finally, methods of assessment are considered within the context of the clinical interview.

Unit coordinator

Professor Mike Innes

Level 6, 11 York Street, Sydney


Lecturing staff

Professor Mike Innes

Other staff of Psychological Sciences to be announced.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of test theory and the concepts of validity, reliability and their various forms
  • articulate the strengths and limitations of psychological assessment
  • assess the usefulness of psychological tests in light of descriptions of their development and the methods used to assess validity and reliability
  • demonstrate a familiarity of some commonly used psychological assessment tests and procedures for the area of intelligence, aptitudes, and personality and in organisational settings
  • demonstrate an understanding of the ethical issues associated with psychological measurement and assessment and the ways in which professional standards have been developed to manage the training and execution of ethical practice.

Study schedule

Week 1

Introduction of the history of the development, practice and interpretation of theory and methods of psychological
measurement and assessment, including significant social controversies and their political implications

Week 2

Test theory and contemporary developments and key issues in psychological test development; Issues in the
presentation and utilisation of a psychological assessment and the role and function of the psychologist

Week 3

Assessing the characteristics of what may constitute a good and appropriate psychological test; Ethical and practical
issues in the use and application of the results of psychological assessment

Week 4

The concept of intelligence and psychological tests and procedures for measuring intelligence. The Flynn Effect and the
examination of the fundamental nature of function and structure of intelligence

Week 5

Assessment of intelligence, beyond the concept of IQ and the assessment of special abilities

Week 6

Issues related to achievement testing

Week 7

The assessment of personality

Week 8

The assessment of personality

Week 9

Clinical assessments

Week 10

Assessment methods in organisational settings

Learning and teaching process

The main content of the unit will be delivered in ten 2.5 hour lectures. Laboratories will be held on a weekly basis in which contemporary topics will be discussed in class in the light of psychological theory and method. Especially important will be the consideration of methodological issues in measures of self report and subjective experience and in the establishment of the validity and reliability of tests and measures.

Graduate attributes

The material covered in this unit will contribute to the development of the following graduate attributes:

  • knowledge and understanding of core topics in psychology
  • critical thinking skills
  • learning and the application of psychology
  • research methods in psychology
  • values, research and professional ethics

Assessment summary



Word Count

Submission Week

Examination of two key aspects of psychological test theory

Each student will choose two key concepts in test theory and
examine how these are operationalised in the practice of 
developing and applying a psychological assessment.

Learning outcomes: a, b, c.




Comparison of two tests

Each student will produce an evaluative report comparing and
contrasting two measures of intelligence against key indicators.
These assessments may take the form of traditional tests
assessing the concept of IQ. They may also comprise assessments
which have been developed within the tradition of experimental

Learning outcomes: a, b, c.





The examination is a combination of multiple-choice questions and 
short answers covering the unit curriculum including material
presented in lectures, laboratory/tutorials and in prescribed reading.

Learning outcomes: a, b, c, d, e.




Special provisions

Attendance at laboratories is required.

Recommended text

Cohen, R. J., & Swerdlik, M. E. (2010). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurements (7th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill.

Other significant references

Australian Psychological Society (2007). Code of ethics.

Allan, A., & Love, A. (2010). Ethical practice in psychology: Reflections from the creators of the APS Code of Ethics. Chichester, England: John Wiley.

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. This includes plagiarism of any nature. It is your responsibility to make sure that you understand what constitutes plagiarism in order to ensure that you do not engage in it. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it throughout the trimester. Your lecturer will advise when there are updates on the site and also when readings are available for class discussion.