Limitations of the psychological scales

Q. What are the limitations of the highly valid, reliable and thoroughly standardised tests? 10 marks.

4 thoughts on “Limitations of the psychological scales”

  1. Psychological tests measure mental processes, trait etc quantitatively or qualitatively. It has certain limitations such as:
    1. issue in interpretation of data : the tests provides the data but it is upto the individual to interpret it. Eg: an IQ test may provide a score of 80. But it is upto the individual classifying students to interpret this score as meagre and undergo specialised training. Thus, it is recommended to use other test scores along with psychological test scores.
    2. Uncertainity of measurement : Despite being valid there could be gap between what is measured and what is intended to measure because psychological features are not observable. Eg: chosing sales person solely based on extrovert criteria from big 5
    3. Changing circumstances : scales need to be regularly updated to stand the test of time. Eg: generation gap.
    4. Decision making issues in setting true cutoff leading to false positives and negatives. Eg: An IQ of 80 was considered as mentally retarded and now it has been changed to 70
    5. Cultural bias : most of the tests are in english. Linguistic differences can limit the usage. Also, other cultural differences exist. eg: myueller lyer illusions etc may not give correct results if it is used to measure perceptual organisation across culture.
    6. Permanently categorize the persons eg: An IQ test may score an individual 70 and may classify as mentally retarded. Though this may be irrelevant to the persons livelihood it can cause prejudices.
    7. Invasion of privacy when examinees are not informed about what is being measured.

    Despite having the above limitations, psychological tests acts as an effective tool in selection, educational intervention etc.,

  2. Highly valid,reliable and thoroughly standardised tests are very much precise and accurate .
    But because of lot of subjectivity there is always a gap between what a test is attempting to measure and what is actually measure.
    So there are so limitations which are as follows:
    1)VARYING INTERPRETATION:oxford university urges psychologist to cross check the test result with other tests.It is said so that there should not be any wrong interpretation of data because pschological test are sometimes subjective in nature.
    If a test uses some terms which are understood by few people,then it will become barrier for others to perform well and we would get false data.
    Its been found in some researches that people dont respond in same way when they face situation in reality.So,even after doing lot of work on this psychologist found some loop hole.
    4)CULTURAL BIAS:Psychologist raymond lioyd richmond says test administrators to use result with caution because it is nearly impossible for psychologists to make test that fits to every economic and cultural background.
    Inspite of all limitations,we could use psychological tests to measure mental abilities,selection processes etc if tests were made appropiate according to the requirement.

  3. Psychology test is used to assess the abilities, attitudes, attributes including personality, neurological functioning, learning capability, memory etc of an individual or group of individuals.

    Limitation of Psychological test:

    1. Cultural Biases: Eg a test designed for European people may not fit well for people of Indian subcontinent. Hence the test should be culturally adjusted.
    2. Varying interpretation: The test only gives us statistical data. It is upon the interpreter on whom data interpretation depends. Biased mind of interpreter will conclude only that result which it is inclined to see.
    3. Incomplete update of the test: Psychology test is valid for a certain time period. As new research, technology evolves new dimensions, parameter, items,constructs evolve too. Therefore, it is important to redesign the test taking new updates into account.
    4. Undetected errors: There is always difference between what test actually measures and what it intend to measures. This is because in psychological test things that are not directly observable are measured by certain indicators, which can be error prone.
    5. Response biases: A participant may try to answer psychology test in fearless and bold manner due to its awareness of being judged. Hence whatever the response of participant may, it may not be the same in real life.
    6. Ethical question: In some tests participant are not disclosed complete objective of the test, either due to keep errors in control or for any valid reason. Therefore, the participant is deceived sometimes.

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