Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2015 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.

FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitSchool of Psychological Sciences
OfferedCaulfield First semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Clayton First semester 2015 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2015 (Off-campus)
Malaysia First semester 2015 (Day)
South Africa First semester 2015 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Megan Spencer-Smith


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. Attendance at weekend school is highly recommended for off-campus students.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  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.


Laboratory-based report (2,000 words) (25%)
Ethics report (1,500 words) (15%)
Lecture topic quizzes (10%)
Exam (3 hours) (50%)

Hurdle: Students must pass the examination to achieve a pass for this unit.

Workload requirements

The School strongly recommends attendance at lectures however, they are optional. Laboratory classes are compulsory in order to complete the assessment associated with attendance.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

WESch classes are compulsory in order to complete the assessment associated with attendance. Please refer to the specific unit requirements for more detail. It is common practice, where possible, to timetable at least two WESsch options in each core unit. Sessions may be held at Clayton or Caulfield campuses.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: