Today, it is not uncommon to feel obliged to go through a psychotechnician, for example during a personnel selection process in a company. And this is not the only time that it will happen to us throughout our life, being a little more frequent and habitual than it seems. But, What is a psychotechnical test and what are you trying to achieve? Is there more than one type of psychologist or are they all the same? In this article, we will make a brief commentary on these questions.
What are psychotechnical tests?
Psychotechnical tests are considered to be a type of objective testing designed to objectively assess (without the subjectivity of an assessor in obtaining results) the intellectual abilities of one or more people. These are highly structured voluntary response tests controlled by the subject and in which the objective of the test is not obscured (it is relatively easy to imagine what is being measured). Answers given by the subject being analyzed will be treated as sincere and true, although these are performance tests that would not benefit from attempts to vary the answers.
Most of these tests are maximum execution, that is, they value the maximum potential shown by a subject in relation to a capacity or a characteristic concrete within a given time frame. They usually assess the general intelligence and skills of the subject being examined, and this assessment can have very different purposes in different cases. In general, it seeks to verify the adequacy of a person’s capacities to the needs and elements required to access certain permits or places, or simply to assess whether there is an alteration or difficulty in the adaptive functioning of the person. .
It is common for them to be taken with a personality test in order to assess not only cognitive skills, but also the way of being and the usual pattern of thought and behavior of the person being analyzed. Subsequently, after analyzing the information obtained by the two types of tests, some kind of decision can be made. It should be noted, however, that the tests themselves they do not offer information beyond a score, which must be interpreted and analyzed according to the information available on the subject and the comparison with different scales or criteria.
Types of psychotechnical tests
There are different types of psychotechnical testsAs not all of them aim to obtain information on the same aspects, neither are they carried out with the same objectives. In this sense, some of the major groups we can classify them into are as follows.
1. Attention and concentration test
these tests they assess the ability to remain attentive to a stimulus, to keep the attention fixed to the appearance of a particular item or to notice changes in the appearance of alterations. Monotonous tasks are generally used in which it is easy to get bored and distracted or in which it is difficult to detect a stimulus that is different from others.
2. Reasoning test
Organize information, draw conclusions and look for solutions quickly it is fundamental for many jobs and facilitates general adaptation to the events we face on a daily basis. There are many ways to assess reasoning, some of which are problem solving, planning alternative courses of action in hypothetical situations, or choosing between two options and justification. It is also common to have to look for relationships between different stimuli and solve matrices. Spatial, verbal, numerical or mechanical reasoning can be included in addition to the summary.
3. Spatial aptitude test
Distinguishing between shapes and being able to navigate properly in space is a skill that helps us orient ourselves and understand what is happening around us. In multiple trades or while driving, having some level of this skill is essential. Different visuospatial tests are generally used, How to decide what an object will look like from another perspective or keep a point within specific margins.
4. Verbal aptitude test
Communicating effectively, knowing how to understand and express what others think and think at high speed is essential for dealing with others. Vocabulary, vocabulary, reading and writing speed, grammar and spelling are some of the aspects examined in this type of test.
5. Numerical aptitude test
Making calculations is very useful in many professions or in our daily life. Digital fitness it is usually examined on the basis of mathematical problems, Rules of three, or straight calculation (usually not too complicated, unless you choose a location that requires a lot of competition in that industry, but measures the number of hits and misses in a given time).
6. Linked to executive functions
Working memory, decision-making capacity, response inhibition, planning and problem solving … all these capacities can be analyzed through different tests. usually they are used in neuropsychological and clinical evaluation, Although some may be adapted for other uses.
Areas in which they apply
If most of us know what a psycho-technical test is, it’s because at some point in our lives we have had it. In fact, today they are very common in different contexts in which it is necessary to know the mental capacities of a particular person with a specific goal. Among the different possible contexts, some in which they are more common are as follows.
1. Work environment
The area where we most often need to take one of these tests. Companies often have a number of skill requirements that their employees must meet., So that by passing these tests, they can get a score in skills such as writing speed, verbal comprehension, vocabulary, numerical ability, problem-solving ability or visuospatial skills, among others . This is why they are part of most staff selection processes (although the interview is usually more important).
2. Educational field
Psychotechnics are also often used in education and training, as a means of observing the abilities of students. They can be used to adjust the level and content to the student’s abilities, see their level of development or whether there have been improvements during an educational program or even to establish selection criteria for acceptance into certain universities or centers.
3. Clinical practice
Another area in which psychometric tests are used is clinical practice, to assess the abilities and abilities of patients. This is very useful to now assess the existence of alterations in patients with dementia or other disorders that may cause changes in mental capacity, Or simply to assess the patient’s current capabilities.
4. Driver’s license
Driving a vehicle is a big responsibility. We are in control of a powerful and heavy machine that will come into circulation and must be handled with great care and skill to avoid causing or sustaining accidents. This is the reason why an assessment of the skills of the future driver is necessary before granting him a license, in order to observe his attention and concentration capacities, his visu-perceptive and visuospatial capacities and his capacity to react.
5. Weapons license
Although much less common than the previous two, some people have to carry a firearm. This is the case with police, security guards and hunters. But no one should receive a weapon, because they represent a great responsibility and a great danger to others if they are not used correctly. For this, various psychometric tests are usually used, among other tests, in order to decide whether or not the conditions are met to be able to hold a weapons license.
- Cohen, RJ and Swerdlik, ME (2002). Psychological tests and evaluation. McGraw-Hill: Madrid.