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  • Semester 1Campus Attendance
  • Term Mode
  • Semester 1Campus Attendance


(PSYC104 Research Design and Statistics I OR PSYC110 Research Design and Data Analysis 1 ) AND (PSYC213 Individual Differences OR PSYC220 Personality and Individual Differences )

Teaching organisation

3 hours contact per week over 12 weeks or equivalent

Unit rationale, description and aim

The use of testing and assessment has a long history in psychology, as it allows the accurate measurement of psychological (and non-psychological) constructs. This measurement allows for comparisons between the performance of different individuals , or the performance of the same individual across multiple time points. Psychological assessment has been used in education placements (the identification of special needs or of gifted learners), workplace selection and promotion, career testing, and mental health to name but a few. It is the science of psychometric test development, based on classical testing theories, that allows these psychological fields to prosper and evolve in stable and predictable ways. Thus, the overarching aim of this unit is to train students in methods for the development and refinement of new psychological tests and assessments, and to understand the ethical and cross-cultural considerations when using psychological tests and conducting a psychological assessment.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

Learning Outcome NumberLearning Outcome DescriptionRelevant Graduate Capabilities
LO1Understand the major issues pertaining to test construction, administration, analysis and interpretation, particularly in relation to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoplesGC1, GC2, GC5
LO2Describe the ethical guidelines pertaining to assessment in the administration, interpretation and reporting of psychological assessment tools/techniques, including the need for factors such as culture to be taken into considerationGC2, GC5
LO3Explain the major psychological assessment techniques, including appropriate use/s, and advantages and disadvantages of those assessment techniquesGC1, GC2, GC7
LO4Relate the properties and applications of a number of commonly used psychological tests to contemporary uses in various fields of psychology and related disciplinesGC1, GC2, GC8
LO5Apply this knowledge to psychological research using principles of classical testing theory and psychometric assessmentGC1, GC2, GC3, GC7, GC9, GC11


Topics will include: 

  • Introduction to psychological testing and assessment
  • The history of psychological testing/assessment and how these practices/approaches have influenced current practices
  • Research methodologies and data analyses used in test construction and evaluation
  • Applications of psychological testing
  • Individual differences in cognitive ability, personality and behaviour
  • Lifespan development considerations in testing and assessment
  • Use of psychological tests in evaluation of mental health and evidenced based interventions
  • Ethical and cross-cultural considerations in testing and assessment
  • Decolonisation of key theories and tests of intelligence and personality

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Students have the equivalent of 3 contact hours per week over a 12 week period which involves lectures and tutorials. This mode of delivery is designed to enhance discussion and engagement in the content covered in the unit. The lectures are to aid students with the acquisition and understanding of knowledge while the tutorials are designed to enhance application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of that knowledge. To assist students in their self-directed learning, other learning resources are utilised including: online quizzes and activities; online forums; and lecture recordings.

Assessment strategy and rationale

In order to successfully complete this unit, students must:

  • complete and submit all of the assessment tasks listed in the table below
  • obtain an aggregate mark of at least 50%
  • demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome

To best enable students to demonstrate unit learning outcomes and develop graduate attributes, standards-based assessment is utilised, consistent with University assessment requirements. A range of assessment strategies are used including: a written assessment task assessing student's understanding of ethical and cross-cultural considerations specific to psychological assessment case studies; an APA style Lab Report to demonstrate student's understanding and ability to apply key psychometric concepts (i.e., test reliability and validity); and an exam which provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding, consolidation and application of the content covered in the unit.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning Outcomes

Assessment Task 1: Analyses of Case Vignettes (1000 words)  

This assignment will require answering short answer questions related to case studies which are designed to assess students' understanding and ability to apply ethical and cross-cultural considerations (particularly in regard to working with Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander peoples) when conducting psychological assessments. The ability to understand and apply ethical and cross-cultural considerations are essential in activities involving the application of psychological tests.


LO2, LO3, LO4

Assessment Task 2: Laboratory Report (1500 words) 

Students are to submit an APA style laboratory report to demonstrate their ability to discuss and consolidate research literature to develop a new psychometric assessment, to provide a description of the methodology of a study, and to interpret and discuss research findings. Students are to demonstrate their skill in locating and evaluating scholarly research and applying the APA referencing system to written work.


LO1, LO4, LO5

Assessment Task 3: Final Examination (1.5 hours) 

The exam will contain multiple choice and short answer questions. The exam provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding, consolidation and application of the content covered in the unit.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4, LO5

Representative texts and references

Australian Psychological Society (2014). Ethical guidelines for the provision of psychological services for, and the conduct of research with, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Australian Psychological Society.

Australian Psychological Society (2018). Ethical guidelines for psychological assessment and the use of psychological tests. Australian Psychological Society.

Cohen, R.J., Schneider, W.J., & Tobin, R. M. (2021). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (10th ed.). McGraw Hill.

Kaplan, R. M., & Saccuzzo, D. P. (2017). Psychological Testing: Principles, Applications and Issues (9th ed.). Cengage.

Rust, J., Kosinski, M., & Stillwell, D. (2020). Modern psychometrics: The science of psychological assessment. Routledge.

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