Psychological assessment is a process that involves the integration of information from multiple sources. These sources include psychological tests, interviews, inventories, personal and medical histories, description of current symptoms and problems (by either self or others), and, at times, consultations with consent with physicians or relevant family members about the person being assessed. These tests evaluate intellectual skills, cognitive strengths/weaknesses, and personality characteristics. Practicing psychologists are trained to administer and interpret an array of tests that can help diagnose a condition or tell more about the way a person thinks, feels, behaves and copes.
Intelligence tests attempt to measure intelligence, which is a person’s basic ability to understand the world around them, assimilate its functioning, and apply this knowledge to enhance quality of life. Intelligence is a measure of a potential, not a measure of what has been learned.
Personality tests attempt to measure basic personality style by examining patterns of behavior and thinking that prevail across time and context. These tests differentiate one person from another, and are used to help with clinical diagnoses.