Tips for researchers when selecting instruments

  • The test should be selected to answer a specific question and to assist in various decision making processes.
  • One should understand the construct being assessed by the test as well as the theoretical framework from which the test is based on.
  • All psychometric properties needs to be considered (e.g., standardisation [age, level of education, or proficiency], reliability, validity, sample on which these properties where obtained). These are usually obtained from the test manual.
  • Check if the instrument has been classified by the HPCSA as a certified psychological test as per the Health Professions Act 1974,
  • Take into account the practical considerations, including time allocation, delivery of the test, level of proficiency needed to take the test, and whether training is required on the test in order to administer and provide interpretations of the test
  • Assess the applicability of the test within the South African context through past studies (take into account the role of culture on the construct being tested).

Reference: Groth-Marnat, G. (2009). Handbook of psychological assessment. John Wiley & Sons.

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