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PSY3041 - Psychological testing, theories of ability and ethics

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Dr Graeme Hyman


Caulfield First semester 2007 (Evening)
Caulfield First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Gippsland First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
Peninsula First semester 2007 (Flexible)
Singapore First semester 2007 (Off-campus)
South Africa First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit introduces the principles and processes of test development and concepts of test reliability and validity. Some widely used standardised psychology tests will be described. The unit also covers theories of ability and how our thinking about human abilities is influenced by our cultural framework. Other major themes include methods for establishing the relative influence of heredity and environment on human intelligence, causes of intellectual disability, and intervention programs for disadvantaged and disabled children. A basic knowledge of the ethical, legal and professional responsibilities of psychologists will be provided. Compulsory weekend school for off-campus students.


On completion of this unit students will

  1. have some insight into the origins and social context in which psychometric testing developed;
  2. understand the principles of reliability, validity and item analysis;
  3. have practical experiences in test construction and administration;
  4. be able to critically evaluate the psychometric properties of psychological tests;
  5. gain knowledge in the interpretation of test scores;
  6. identify diverse applications of psychological testing;
  7. understand the relevant theories of intelligence;
  8. be familiar with genetic and environmental factors which influence human intelligence;
  9. be able to list some causes of intellectual disability;
  10. appreciate group differences in the testing process;
  11. identify the social implications of psychological testing; and
  12. understand the key ethical principles and identify potential ethical dilemmas and their possible solutions.


Multiple choice examination (3 hours): 50%
Laboratory report (2000 words): 35%
Ethics report (1500 word): 15%
Hurdle requirement: 75% lab attendance

Contact hours

Two 1-hour lectures and one 2-hour laboratory class per week

Off Campus Attendance Requirements

Compulsory attendance at weekend schools is required for all off-campus students.


PSY2011 and PSY2022 or PSY2051