Psychological Assessment

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
PSYC 4360
Psychological Assessment
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture 4 hrs. per week/semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The primary methods of instruction may include:

  • Lecture
  • Group activities
  • Case study presentations
  • Audiovisual media
  • Guest lectures.

Course Description
This course provides students with an introduction to the fundamental principles guiding the psychological assessment process, across the range of current applications. The historical-cultural context and relevant ethical principles are considered. Psychological assessment is presented as an integrative and multi-method process which includes structured tests. Key issues of reliability, validity and utility will be addressed. Applications in education and training, forensic, workplace, health care, clinical and counselling, and rehabilitation contexts will be considered, with an overview of current assessment practices.
Course Content
  1. Historical overview and implications of cultural context for psychological assessment.
  2. Ethical principles.
  3. Assessment as an integrative process.
  4. Reliability, validity, utility considerations.
  5. Test development.
  6. Normal distributions, normative samples, standardization and the meaning of individual scores.
  7. Statistics of particular importance to psychological testing.
  8. Psychological assessment applications in:
    1. Education and training.
    2. Forensics.
    3. The workplace.
    4. Healthcare.
    5. Psychodiagnostics and psychological treatment.
    6. Neuropsychology.
Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to describe and explain:

  1. Historical and cultural contexts of and consequent implications for the assessment process.
  2. Statistical concepts of particular importance to psychological assessment, including reliability, validity and utility, normal distributions, standardization.
  3. The process of test development.

Students will be able to interpret, calculate or apply statistics of particular importance to psychological testing.

Students will be able to articulate and apply relevant ethical principles.

Students will be able to describe current practices in psychological assessment across a range of service-provision contexts: education and training, forensics, workplace, healthcare, clinical/counselling, neuropsychological.

Means of Assessment

The course evaluation will be in accordance with Douglas College and Psychology Department policies. Evaluations will be based on the course objectives. The specific evaluation criteria will be provided by the instructor at the beginning of the semester.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Integrative assessment report: 20%
Five exams at 14% each: 70%

Written assignments:

  • Acculturation
  • Career personality reflection

Participation: 5%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbook(s) such as the following, the list to be updated periodically:

  • Cohen, R.J., & Swerdlik, M. (2013). Psychological testing and assessment (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.
  • Aiken, L., & Groth-Marnat, G. (2006). Psychological testing and assessment (12th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.