Psychological Constructs

Psychological Constructs- Definition, Examples & Measurement


Psychology is the study of mental processes, human behavior, and social interaction. Theories about these subjects are often expressed in terms of psychological constructs.

These constructs represent different aspects or qualities that psychologists believe exist within a person’s psyche. There are many types of psychological constructs, and this article will cover some examples and provide information on how to measure them!

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What is a Construct?

A construct is a hypothetical idea that needs to be measured to be validated scientifically.

What Are Psychological Constructs?

Psychological constructs are the theories and hypotheses that psychologists use to explain or predict human behavior. They can be defined as either visual concepts, such as intelligence, or unobservable ones, like repression.

The constructs vary in their level of complexity and range from basic descriptions of phenomena (e.g., aggression) to more complex processes (e.g., cognitive dissonance).

Psychologists develop theories about these psychological constructs based on observations made by themselves or other researchers on empirical data collected through scientific methods.

These constructions are then put into measurements so they may be tested for validity in a controlled experimental setting with control groups against an experimental group(s), which allows for comparison between them to conclude the causal relationship between variables within the theory being

What Are Some Examples of Psychological Constructs?

Some examples of psychological constructs are as follows:

Aggression – a personality trait that reflects one’s instinctual inclination to seek out and respond to threatening or potentially harmful stimuli, such as another person’s hostile behavior.

Depression – a mental state characterized by prolonged feelings of sadness and loss of interest, accompanied by low self-esteem and diminished ability to enjoy life.

Intelligence – the ability to draw lessons from experience and adapt to new situations.

Neuroticism – the tendency for individuals to respond negatively and intensely to unpleasant stimuli.

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What Are Terms Used in Psychological Constructs?


Affect is the emotional expression of a person, such as feeling happy or sad. It is often measured in psychology by using a self-report questionnaire such as on the PANAS (Positive Affect and Negative Affect Scale), which are designed to measure two primary dimensions of affect: positive affect (PA) and negative affect (NA). This scale is based on the idea that positive and negative affect are polar opposites. The PANAS was developed by Watson, Clark, and Tellegen (1988). Positive affect represents joy, delight, or excitement, while negative affect represents distress, tension, or anger. The PANAS contains ten items for each of the two scales. Each item is rated on a scale of 1 (very slightly or not) to 5 (extremely).


Behavior refers to the actions, responses, and activities that people engage in. It can be intentional or unintentional. A behavior can reflect thoughts, feelings, and motives. One common way psychologists measure behavior is by observing it and then recording the results. Many psychological experiments use behavioral measures to make sure that their studies are properly controlled and objective.


Empathy is the ability to understand and experience emotions that are being experienced by others. It is a very important psychological construct because it allows individuals to connect with others and form relationships (McCrae & Costa, 2011). Research has consistently shown that empathy is associated with greater social functioning and development of the Self-as-Unique-Individual, also known as ego-esteem (McCrae & Costa, 2011).

This explains why it is important to measure empathy because it helps suggest ways to develop this construct. However, the measurement of empathy presents difficulties due to the subjective nature of emotions and personal interpretations of what empathizing means (Cabrera, 2012). This makes it difficult to measure empathy through a simple test.

Empathy can be measured using self-reports, where someone reports how they experience and understand other people’s emotions (McCrae & Costa, 2011). Alternatively, it can be measured by how an individual responds to others expressing emotions such as pain. It is also possible to observe how a person responds to someone else’s distress, such as crying or laughing (McCrae & Costa 2011).

Identity Formation-

Identity formation is a developmental process that occurs throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood as an individual organizes their self-concept (i.e., how one perceives themselves), self-esteem (i.e., one’s overall evaluation of self), and views about their social group(s). The identity formation process includes developing a sense of self-awareness, including gender identity, racial identity, moral identity, sexual identification, and professional identity.


The definition of intelligence is “the ability to learn or understand things. A person’s capability for logic, abstract thought, understanding language, and learning” (Oxford Dictionary). It is also involved with the capacity for abstract thinking, as opposed to concrete thinking. – Robert J. Sternberg


Self-esteem is the overall evaluation that a person makes about him or herself. It encompasses opinions we have about our capabilities, attractiveness, personality, intelligence, and much more.

Anxiety –

Anxiety is the mixed feeling of worry, nervousness, or uneasiness about something with an uncertain outcome.

Positivity – the tendency to see good things happening around oneself and one’s environment. The term contrasts with negativity in that positive is a neutral term indicating only a comparison to negative.

Negativity – refers to thoughts, feelings, or actions related to bad situations. It is typically used to describe a negative state or emotion, as in “negativity.”


Stress is an emotional condition that results from the perception of a threat to one’s well-being. When perceived physical or psychological threats are not responded to immediately, “stress” may result. It can have both positive and negative effects on the body.

Stress is not a disease in itself. Stressful events cause health problems when they do not allow your body to function properly or recover from illness. Certain stressors are more stressful depending upon our perceptions of them and our ability to cope with the demand they place on us.

Stress may lead to psychological disorders, particularly in those with a predisposition to emotional distress. The perception of stress is subjective and varies among individuals; what one person considers stressful may not be considered so by another. Stress may result from any number of sources: pressure or anxiety (either self-imposed or due to circumstances), depression, or physical pain. Stress may also happen from a lack of support in popular areas such as social and peer acceptance, family conflict/divorce, or other internalized conflicts.

Many people respond to stress by “freezing” (a paralysis of action) or becoming “stonewalled” (the avoidance of the issue).

The Appraisal of Stressful Events (ASES) is a useful measurement tool. It was developed in the 1980s to measure individual differences in general stress responsivity. It is used by psychologists, counsellors, nurses, physicians, and other professionals working with people who have difficulty coping with stress.

The ASES consists of a 20-item questionnaire that employs a 5-point Likert scale. Community samples typically show acceptable internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and construct validity.

Personality refers to how people think, feel, behave, and interact with others. A person’s personality is influenced by both their experiences and the way they perceive themselves physically (e.g., attractiveness), intellectually (e.g., intelligence), and socially (e.g., popularity).

Personality Traits-

Pioneered by Carl Jung in the 1920s, personality tests are designed to reveal how our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors differ from others. These results are compiled into a profile that provides insight into our personalities.

Personality tests are designed to allow for expressing all facets of a person’s character – even those most repressed by individuals themselves. This is because they reveal “deeper” inclinations than those that are usually expressed in day-to-day living.

Jungian Personality Tests:

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.

It was developed by Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter Isabel Briggs Myers, who Jung strongly influenced.: The MBTI sorts for Introversion (I) or Extraversion (E), Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perceiving (P).

These preferences create sixteen distinct personality types, allowing for varying levels of Introversion/Extraversion, Sensing/Intuition, Feeling/Thinking, and Judgement/Perception. However, the types are not organized into introversion/extraversion, sensing/intuition, etc.

Definition of Measuremen­t in Psychology:

The goal of psychological measure­ment is to minimize subjectivity in the pre­diction and interpretation of social behavior (Hoffman, 1998). Psychological measurement is a way of measuring thoughts, feelings, or behaviors observable by others.

A standard method must be used for each kind of measur­ing device. This process should be non­discriminatory and even-handed. An individual’s emotional state of mind should not affect the measurement process in any way.

When there is a discrepancy between scores, it can usually be traced back to this method of measurement (Elkington & Greenhalgh, 2010).

What Are the Five Levels of Measurement?

The five levels of measurement include:

Level 1: Nominal. This is the simplest level of measurement, and it is also the most commonly used. Nominal measurements organize objects into categories or groups that have no order to them.

For instance, if a psychologist wanted to research the age ranges of college students with ADHD, a nominal level of measurement would be used since the psychologist is not trying to organize the students based on how old they are.

The categories or groups would include “college students,” and each student could belong to more than one group (e.g., a college student who works part-time).

Level 2: Ordinal. This is when the order of the category/group is taken into consideration while also differentiating each group from one another. For instance, if measuring personality traits on a continuous scale, an ordinal level of measurement would be used.

This type of measurement can tell us how two people are similar or different based on how close they are in their scale scores (e.g., one person has a score of 25, and another has a score of 35 on the extraversion scale).

In this case, we would determine if the person who is more extraverted than the other is closer to being “extremely” extraverted or not as much so.

Level 3: Interval. This type of measurement is used when the order of the categories/groups isn’t that important, or it can be used to show how much each category/group differs from one another. For instance, if you measured someone’s foot size, a good way to do this would be on an interval level scale.

Since the task doesn’t require us to know which foot is bigger, the order of the categories doesn’t matter. Instead, we get to see how much larger or smaller each person’s foot size is from one another by using interval level measurements (i.e., showing that person A has a size 8 foot while person B has a size 6 foot).

Level 4: Ratio. This type of measurement can be used when each category/group needs to be placed into a certain order, and greater values are seen as better. For instance, if you wanted to determine how many times per week various students participated in physical activity, a ratio level measurement would be most appropriate. We know that person A participates three times per week while person B only participates once per week.

Level 5: Meta-Analysis. This level of measurement includes all other levels of measurement, except nominal (Kline, 1999). The psychologist can use a meta-analysis to combine studies that have been done using different methods and different samples to find an overall pattern in the data.

For instance, a researcher has collected data from two correlational studies that measured the correlation between age and GPA. Since this is a meta-analysis, the psychologist could combine both sets of data to get an overall picture of how much age affects GPA (i.e., if it truly does affect academic performance).

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What Are the Big Five Personality Dimensions and Their Examples?

The Big Five Personality Dimensions are: 1) Openness to experience/Intellect, 2) Conscientiousness, 3) Extraversion, 4) Agreeableness, and 5) Neuroticism. The Big Five Personality Dimensions model was developed by Lewis Goldberg (1992).

1. Openness to Experience/Intellect – This dimension refers to the degree that a person is curious about and interested in different ideas, values novel experiences, appreciates art and beauty, has an active imagination, thinks abstractly, and uses symbols. People low on this trait tend to be more practical and realistic, while those high on this trait are more imaginative and idealistic.

2. Conscientiousness – This dimension refers to the degree of orderliness and organization a person has. People high on this trait have planned, pay attention to details, are goal-oriented, and work hard to reach their goals. Those low on this trait don’t plan well, tend to be messy or disorganized in appearance and actions, do not meet goals well because they are not organized, and have trouble paying attention to important details.

3. Extraversion – This dimension refers to the degree of outgoingness and sociability that a person possesses. People high on this trait are talkative, assertive, socialize freely with many different people, often seek leadership roles in group settings, and enjoy interacting with large groups. Those low on this trait tend to be quiet, reserved, and not as talkative.

4. Agreeableness- This dimension refers to the degree that a person is compassionate and cooperative or reasonable and trusting toward others. People high on this trait are sympathetic, kind, affectionate, forgiving of others’ faults, helpful, and giving without expecting anything in return. Those low on this trait tend to be suspicious and distrustful of others, unsympathetic toward others’ misfortunes, readily disregard the feelings of others with their interests, and are likely to take advantage of people.

5. Neuroticism/Emotional Stability – This dimension refers to the degree of emotional stability and composure of a person. People high on this trait are emotionally “even-keeled.” They rarely experience emotional ups and down. They tend to remain calm in tense situations and view themselves as effective in dealing with problems that others might find too stressful to handle. They also do not become extremely upset when bad things happen. Those low on this trait tend to be nervous, anxious, depressed and discouraged easily.

There are several empirical measures of the Big Five that psychologists frequently use in their research. Goldberg’s (1992) Big Five factor markers (Goldberg & Johnson, 1988). The BFFM is a self-report inventory containing 40 adjectives that tend to describe the domains of each Big Five personality dimension. Factor analysis has established that these 40 adjective scales can be grouped into five higher-order domains or factors.

Although many psychologists still use self-report measures such as Goldberg’s, there are a few drawbacks to using this method alone. For example, people may not accurately report what they believe their traits are, or people may not answer all of the questions due to social desirability issues. These types of problems have led researchers to use a different method known as peer ratings.

Peer ratings allow researchers to eliminate these concerns. They have an independent person (peer) rate how much another person possesses each personality trait. This peer is known as the rater. A person’s trait can either be one of the Big Five or some other personality dimension of interest to the researcher. One frequently used measure for conducting peer ratings in research studies is the Personality Inventory for DSM-IV (PID-4; Zimmerman, Johnson, & Young, 1999). The PID-4 is an extensive self-report inventory that contains 240 scales for rating a person’s personality. These scales have been grouped into 18 higher-order domains.

Key Takeaways:

1. The Big Five are five dimensions or traits that can be used to describe people.

2. Each dimension comprises several facets: the actual behavioral constructs that make up each trait.

3. There are many different measures for assessing the Big Five and other personality domains, such as emotional intelligence and personality traits.

4. There are two different ways of measuring personality-self-report and peer ratings. Peer rating allows an outside observer to rate a person’s behavior, leading to more accurate results than self-reports alone. It also reduces problems with social desirability issues but involves some drawbacks as well.

What is the Conceptual Definition of a Psychological Construct?

A construct reduces an entire collection of phenomena into a single term. These terms are defined by their relationships with other terms, thereby forming a network through which psychologists can study patterns of causality. By definition, constructs are theoretical and can never be directly measured.

Conceptual definitions differ from the operational definition, also known as the empirical or experimental definition of a construct. This type of definition is used to measure scientific concepts with numbers and tests rather than words. Often psychologists use operational definitions when conducting research and conceptual definitions when developing explanations about phenomena.

Conceptual definitions are most commonly used in the social sciences, which include psychology and sociology. These concepts help pioneer new directions in research within a given area of interest while also explaining the unexplained. The development of many constructs happens through observation or experimentation, but all constructs have been built upon previous knowledge about the subject.

What is an Operational Definition?

An operational definition involves describing the measurement of a psych construct. Operational definitions are often used in research studies to describe and help understand how certain variables are being measured. If there is a misunderstanding or problem with how a psych construct is operationalized, then this can lead to problems with the study’s design or interpretation of the data.

There are three distinct phases in operationalizing a construct: determining the behavior or actions involved, which should ideally originate from theory; measuring these behaviors and defining them in such a way that they can be categorized as being positive or negative; and creating an operational definition for each observation (as with Likert Scales).

What Are Levels of Measurements?

First, there is a nominal level measurement that uses arbitrary labels. This means that two objects or behaviors are assigned a label, but the differences between each other have no special meaning. For example, labeling an object as male or female is one type of nominal scale because it does not convey any quantitative information about the characteristics of this object.

The second type of measurement is ordinal level, which focuses on the rank or order differences between objects. These ranks are represented by an ascending or descending order of values. For example, a test may have a rating scale that ranges from 1 to 5, with five being the best score. The difference between a score of 3 and 4 is not necessarily equal between 4 and 5.

The third level is the interval level type of measurement, which focuses on the magnitude differences between objects. The difference between two test scores might represent a true difference in knowledge, while the difference between ranks can sometimes be due to chance (e.g., getting a “lucky” question). The final type of measurement is known as the ratio level, which represents equal differences between objects. For example, a student who scores 93 on a test and then scores 96 can be considered to have made progress.

What Are Examples of Psychological Constructs?

Psychological constructs are the meaningful entities people use to interact in their daily lives (Vernon, & Piotrowski, 2001). The terms “construct” and “constructs” are often used synonymously when dis­cussing the concept of psychological con­structs. A construct is an idea or belief used to interpret or understand a particular phenomenon (Rychlak & Lehr, 2008). Constructs are theories that may explain either new data or old data.

The purpose of the construct is to explain and predict the behavior that people will exhibit in certain situations (Bochner & Day, 2003; Vernon & Piotrowski, 2001). For example, there is a construct called “power.” Power means the ability to control one’s own life. People with power tend to have more friends than people with less power. Another example of a psychological construct is “trust.”

Trust means confidence and reliance on someone or something that may not be present at the current time but may be beneficial in the future. For example, if someone trusts their self-reliance, they will not rely on another person for assistance. Instead, they will try to do things by themselves as much as possible (Rychlak & Lehr, 2008; Vernooy, De Haan, Geven, & Donker, 2007).

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How Are Psychological Constructs Measured?

There are several ways in which psychologists measure psychological constructs. One of the methods is a self-report survey (Vernon & Piotrowski, 2001). Through this method, individuals are asked to describe their feelings or behaviors regarding a certain phenomenon. For example, a researcher might ask an individual, “How do you feel about your parent’s divorce when you were a child?” The person is supposed to rate their feelings on the Likert scale. Another method of measuring psychological constructs is behavioral observation (Elkington & Greenhalgh, 2010).

The researcher observes specific behaviors of an individual to construct inferences about how the different variables interact with one another. An example of a behavioral observation would be observing an individual’s activity level in different social settings.

What Are the Limitations of Measurement?

One limitation of measurement is that it may not always accurately reflect reality (Elkington & Greenhalgh, 2010). In such cases, subjective judgment can sometimes lead to inaccurate results.

For example, if researchers or individuals are looking into feelings and behaviors regarding divorce during childhood, the terms of measurement may be influenced by their judgment.

Another limitation is that it is difficult to measure psychological constructs because they cannot always be directly observed (Bochner & Day, 2003). For example, psychological con­structs such as “trust” or “power” cannot be directly observed; instead, they are only inferred based on individuals’ behaviors.

What is Cognitive Control in Psychological Constructs?

Cognitive control refers to the monitoring of one’s behavior and thought processes. This is usually done to change them, but it can also be used for self-monitoring.

Examples include:

People may use cognitive control to monitor their thoughts when they are upset or angry. A person might use a calming technique such as breathing deeply to monitor their behavior and prevent an outburst.

A person may use cognitive control to alter how they act or think if it is hurting them in a particular situation (Cabrera, 2012). They might change the way they speak to others or make sure they do not come home late from work to show their partner that they are responsible.

Measuring cognitive control allows researchers to understand how people monitor their behavior and thoughts and attempts of others to do so (Cabrera, 2012). It is also important to develop treatments for individuals with psychological disorders such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Measurements of cognitive control can be quantitative or qualitative.

1.   Rating scales

One way to measure cognitive control is with rating scales, which are usually subjective (Cabrera, 2012). They involve an individual ranking a particular trait as either good or bad and then indicating the degree to which they think it applies. For example, someone might use a rating scale to measure how self-disciplined they are. They could then rate how much of a priority it is for them to develop self-control and work on it.

2.   Types of tests

Another way to measure cognitive control is to complete challenging tasks (Cabrera, 2012). An example would be using tests to determine someone’s ability to control their impulses or emotions and monitor how they speak with others.

3.   Observation of behavior

It is also possible to measure cognitive control by observing an individual’s behavior (Cabrera, 2012). For example, a researcher may observe an individual for 20 minutes to see whether they act impulsively and cannot monitor their behavior.

How Does Testing Cognitive Control Help Improve Psychological Constructs?

Cognitive control is important in developing many psychological constructs because it allows individuals to understand how they behave or think and adjust accordingly (Cabrera, 2012). It is also critical in the study of mental illness and its treatment.

Measurements can help researchers understand more about how cognitive control develops, why it influences behavior, and how to improve it (Cabrera, 2012). This can lead to better treatments for psychological disorders and a greater understanding of behavior that does not necessarily meet the criteria of a disorder.

Cognitive control can be improved by learning and practicing techniques to monitor one’s behavior (Cabrera, 2012). Examples include:

1. Write in a journal about how you respond to situations or thoughts are going through your head during the day. You can then use this information to make changes that will improve your behavior.

2. Talking to a professional or joining an anger management group to learn how to monitor your behavior and think differently.

3. Trying relaxation techniques such as deep breathing when you feel angry or upset instead of acting on these emotions (Cabrera, 2012). This way, it is possible to monitor one’s thoughts and actions without making the situation worse.

It is also important to recognize that cognitive control can be developed in children and adolescents (Cabrera, 2012). This can help prevent many psychological disorders from developing.

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How Do Psychological Constructs Help Us Understand How Cognitive Control Develops?

Empathy can be developed either through one’s genetic and biological make-up or through one’s environment (Cabrera, 2012). For example, if an individual was raised in a family where they were taught that other people have feelings and should be treated with respect, this will likely improve their ability to empathize.

However, it is also possible for empathy to be developed by using cognitive control to monitor one’s behavior. For example, if an individual gets upset by someone else’s distress and then makes a conscious effort to stop themselves from reacting in this way, they may become more empathetic over time (Cabrera, 2012).

It means that cognitive control processes can have both personal and societal effects on the development of empathy. Therefore, it is critical to understand how cognitive control develops to improve the way societies function.

What Are Popular Psychological Constructs?

Popular constructs include learned helplessness, mindfulness, and locus of control (Bochner & Day, 2003). Learned helpless­ness is the real condition that occurs when an individual becomes dependent and reliant on others.

This condition refers to when an individual may not learn from past experiences because they have low self-esteem (Bochner & Day, 2003). Mindfulness is the state of being completely aware within each moment of every activity that one performs (Rychlak & Lehr, 2008).

A mindful person uses their senses (i.e., sees what is going on around them and hear the sounds) to gain information about events and objects in the environment. One example of a locus of control would be having an internal locus of control versus an external one (Taras & Rodriguez, 2007).

Having an internal locus of control means believing that their actions influence their success in life. Having an external location of control means believing that the success of one’s life depends on outside forces, such as luck and chance (Elkington & Greenhalgh, 2010; Martin & Latham, 2005).

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What is Self Esteem?

Self Esteem is the measure of the worth or value that one places on their self. It can be defined as a positive or negative evaluation of the individual’s personality (Rychlak & Lehr, 2008). For example, if a person feels confident in themselves, they will believe that there is a positive evaluation. If a person does not believe that they are good enough, they will negatively evaluate themselves.

What Are the Strengths and Limitations of Self-Esteem Measurement?

The strengths of measurement include providing information on how an individual perceives. The limitations include that it can be difficult to measure self-esteem (Elkington & Greenhalgh, 2010). Like other psychological concepts, self-esteem is subjective; therefore, some people do not agree with the concept of self-esteem.

What Are the Strengths and Limitations of Self- Esteem as a Construct?

The strengths of self-esteem as a construct include that it is easy to understand and measure (Elkington & Greenhalgh, 2010). The limitations include that it does not always accurately reflect the individual’s reality. For example, if a person has low self-esteem, they may believe that they cannot achieve certain things in life.

Categories of Constructs in Psychology

Several categories are associated with psychological constructs (Cabrera, 2012). They include: cognitive, psychodynamic, behavioral, and physical. Cognitive con­structs pertain to how an individual thinks about the world around them.

Psychodynamics is related to unconscious and personal experiences that influence conscious thinking processes. Behavioral is used to indicate how an individual responds physically to their environment. The physical category pertains to how indi­vidual uses their senses such as sight, hearing, touch, and smell.

What Are Measures of Constructs?

In psychological research, a construct or concept is measured so that it can be understood. For instance, self-esteem may be measured using various self-reports. Other examples of measures used in psychology include interviews and questionnaires (Rychlak & Lehr, 2008). An interview usually provides qualitative data rather than quantitative data, while a questionnaire collects quantitative data (Taras & Rodriguez, 2007).

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Examples of Measurement in Psychology

An example of measurement in psychology is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. A psycholo­gist or psychiatrist administers this test to individuals who are experiencing emotional distress or mental problems.

The purpose is to help uncover the person’s unconscious thoughts. This is an example of a measure used in psychodynamic psychology (Cabrera, 2012). Another example is the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory-III (MCMI-3) which provides infor­mation about an individual’s personality profiles and mental disorders (Rychlak & Lehr, 2008).

What is an Example of a Physiological Measurement?

An example of a measurement of physiology is the Electroencephalogram (EEG). The EEG provides information about an individual’s brainwaves. It measures electrical activity in the brain by using small probes placed on the scalp (Cabrera, 2012).

How Are Constructs Used in Psychology?

Constructs are used to help understand individuals. The type of measurement that is used will depend on the research conducted (Cabrera, 2012). For example, in clinical psychology, information gathered from self-reports may be more reliable than an interview as it provides insight into the individual’s perception of their self-esteem. This can then be used to help identify problems and areas that need improvement.

Types of Measurements in Psychology:

Qualitative and Quantitative

Qualitative research refers to gathering information about an individual’s experience in a particular setting. For example, a qualitative researcher or investigator might interview someone who has experienced depression to understand the person’s experience (Cabrera, 2012).

The process of quantitative research, on the other hand, allows for the categorization of information. In this case, the researcher may conduct a study that analyzes previous data to understand what is typical for depression sufferers and what’s common.

What Are Some Methods of Measurement in Psychology?

Some methods used to measure psychological constructs include assessment tools, rating scales, checklists, and interviews (Cabrera, 2012).

  1. Assessment tools

Assessment tools such as the Rorschach Inkblot Test assess individuals on their cognitive (thinking) processes. The results of this test can then be compared with other psychological measures given by an individual’s psychiatrist or psychologist (Cabrera, 2012).

  • Rating scales

Rating scales are a tool that is used in the assessment. It provides an individual with a series of behavior descriptions, and they rate their personality against them. The scale can be used for introspective measures, such as self-observation or peer observation (Cabrera, 2012). Rating scales also provide a rating system

Several assessment tools have been created to measure constructs in psychology. Rating scales, on the other hand, are commonly used for personality assessments and trait ratings.

  • Checklists

Checklists are a specific type of rating scale. They provide an individual with a list of items to check if the item fits the subject’s personality (Cabrera, 2012).

Researchers or clinicians may use checklists to monitor different treatments, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (Cabrera, 2012).

  • Interviews

The last psychological measurement tool is the interview. This provides qualitative data about an individual’s experience and thoughts on a particular situation. For example, an interviewer might ask someone about their experiences with grief. The interview may be in person or over the phone, depending on the individual’s availability and preference (Cabrera, 2012).

A clinician may also interview an individual who is experiencing depression. The interview can then be used to help determine the best treatment for the person.

It is important to note that individual differences exist even when different people measure the same constructs. This can be due to many reasons:

The person may not have recognized their personality traits or the constructs in question.

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What is the Main Point of Psychological Assessment?

Measurements in psychology allow for the identification and study of human behavior (Cabrera, 2012). It can determine how much impact a particular treatment has on patients or the effectiveness of educational programs.

Psychological measurements can also help identify behaviors that need further improvement and which ones are working effectively (Cabrera, 2012). Measurements in psychology also allow for the diagnosis of mental illnesses.

For example, if a person expresses certain personality traits and experiences certain emotional states such as depression or anxiety, they may be diagnosed with a specific mental illness. The individual may then be given a treatment proven to be effective in treating people with similar symptoms.

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