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PSYC71-403: Principles of Psychological Assessment May 2017 [Standard]

General information

This subject provides students with an introduction to the principles of psychological assessment. The subject examines the rationale for psychological assessment, and covers topics such as test norms, reliability, validity, test development, and test item analysis. The subject provides an overview and critical evaluation of various tests currently used within applied areas of psychology, with an emphasis on personality and cognitive assessment. The tutorial program and assessment are designed to assist students' understanding of the content covered in the lectures, and to give students an appreciation of the issues and difficulties surrounding test construction.


Academic unit:Faculty of Society & Design
Subject code:PSYC71-403
Subject title:Principles of Psychological Assessment
Subject level:Postgraduate
Semester/Year:May 2017
Credit points:10

Delivery & attendance

Delivery mode:


Workload items:
  • Lecture: x12 (Total hours: 24) - Weekly Lecture
  • Tutorial: x12 (Total hours: 12) - Weekly Tutorial


Prescribed resources:
  • Gregory, R. J. (2015). Psychological testing: History, principles, and applications. (7th ed.)., Sydney: Pearson
  • Australian Psychological Society APS Code of Ethics. Supplement to Guidelines for the use of psychological tests Guidelines for the use of psychological tests..
After enrolment, students can check the Books and Tools area in iLearn for the full Resource List.
[email protected] & Email:[email protected] is the online learning environment at Bond University and is used to provide access to subject materials, lecture recordings and detailed subject information regarding the subject curriculum, assessment and timing. Both iLearn and the Student Email facility are used to provide important subject notifications. Additionally, official correspondence from the University will be forwarded to students’ Bond email account and must be monitored by the student.

To access these services, log on to the Student Portal from the Bond University website as

Enrolment requirements

Requisites: ?


Restrictions: ? This subject is not available to
  • Study Abroad Students

This subject is not available as a general elective. To be eligible for enrolment, the subject must be specified in the students’ program structure.

Assurance of learning

Assurance of Learning means that universities take responsibility for creating, monitoring and updating curriculum, teaching and assessment so that students graduate with the knowledge, skills and attributes they need for employability and/or further study.

At Bond University, we carefully develop subject and program outcomes to ensure that student learning in each subject contributes to the whole student experience. Students are encouraged to carefully read and consider subject and program outcomes as combined elements.

Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs)

Program Learning Outcomes provide a broad and measurable set of standards that incorporate a range of knowledge and skills that will be achieved on completion of the program. If you are undertaking this subject as part of a degree program, you should refer to the relevant degree program outcomes and graduate attributes as they relate to this subject.

Find your program

Subject Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

On successful completion of this subject the learner will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the theoretical and empirical bases underpinning the construction, implementation, and interpretation of some of the most widely used cognitive and personality assessments
  2. Demonstrate practical skills in laboratory based and other psychological research.
  3. Respect and use critical and creative thinking, sceptical enquiry, and the scientific approach to solve problems related to behaviour and mental processes.
  4. Explain how the science and practice of psychology is influenced by social, historical, professional and cultural contexts, and evaluate psychologists' behaviour in relation to ethics and the "National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce".
  5. Write a standard research report using APA structure and formatting conventions.
  6. Understand and apply psychological principles to personal, social and organisational issues.


Assessment details

TypeTask%Timing*Outcomes assessed
Written Report Lab Report: Method section of a lab report Materials 15% Week 6 3, 5.
Written Report Test Development: Develop Your Own Scale 35% Week 9 2, 3, 5.
Paper-based Examination (Closed) Final Exam 50% Final Examination Period 1, 3, 4, 6.
  • * Assessment timing is indicative of the week that the assessment is due or begins (where conducted over multiple weeks), and is based on the standard University academic calendar
  • C = Students must reach a level of competency to successfully complete this assessment.

Assessment criteria

High Distinction 85-100 Outstanding or exemplary performance in the following areas: interpretative ability; intellectual initiative in response to questions; mastery of the skills required by the subject, general levels of knowledge and analytic ability or clear thinking.
Distinction 75-84 Usually awarded to students whose performance goes well beyond the minimum requirements set for tasks required in assessment, and who perform well in most of the above areas.
Credit 65-74 Usually awarded to students whose performance is considered to go beyond the minimum requirements for work set for assessment. Assessable work is typically characterised by a strong performance in some of the capacities listed above.
Pass 50-64 Usually awarded to students whose performance meets the requirements set for work provided for assessment.
Fail 0-49 Usually awarded to students whose performance is not considered to meet the minimum requirements set for particular tasks. The fail grade may be a result of insufficient preparation, of inattention to assignment guidelines or lack of academic ability. A frequent cause of failure is lack of attention to subject or assignment guidelines.

Quality assurance

For the purposes of quality assurance, Bond University conducts an evaluation process to measure and document student assessment as evidence of the extent to which program and subject learning outcomes are achieved. Some examples of student work will be retained for potential research and quality auditing purposes only. Any student work used will be treated confidentially and no student grades will be affected.

Study information

Submission procedures

Students must check the [email protected] subject site for detailed assessment information and submission procedures.

Policy on late submission and extensions

A late penalty will be applied to all overdue assessment tasks unless an extension is granted by the subject coordinator. Extensions are only approved under exceptional circumstances. Applications for extensions need to be requested in writing, prior to the date of submission, with supporting documentation to the lecturer. Unless you submit both paper and Safe assign copy of assignment by the due date, late penalties will apply. The standard penalty will be 10% of marks awarded to that assessment per day late with no assessment to be accepted seven days after the due date. Where a student is granted an extension, the penalty of 10% per day late starts from the new due date, including weekends. NB Both assignments are due on the day of tutorial. Over length assignments (greater than 10% of that specified) will receive a five mark penalty. Any discrepancies between the paper and Safe assign version will be marked as 0.

Policy on plagiarism

University’s Academic Integrity Policy defines plagiarism as the act of misrepresenting as one’s own original work: another’s ideas, interpretations, words, or creative works; and/or one’s own previous ideas, interpretations, words, or creative work without acknowledging that it was used previously (i.e., self-plagiarism). The University considers the act of plagiarising to be a breach of the Student Conduct Code and, therefore, subject to the Discipline Regulations which provide for a range of penalties including the reduction of marks or grades, fines and suspension from the University.

Bond University utilises Originality Reporting software to inform academic integrity.

Feedback on assessment

Feedback on assessment will be provided to students within two weeks of the assessment submission due date, as per the Assessment Policy.

Accessibility and Inclusion Support

If you have a disability, illness, injury or health condition that impacts your capacity to complete studies, exams or assessment tasks, it is important you let us know your special requirements, early in the semester. Students will need to make an application for support and submit it with recent, comprehensive documentation at an appointment with a Disability Officer. Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Office at the earliest possible time, to meet staff and learn about the services available to meet your specific needs. Please note that late notification or failure to disclose your disability can be to your disadvantage as the University cannot guarantee support under such circumstances.

Additional subject information

At postgraduate level this subject assumes prior knowledge of basic statistics using SPSS, including data entry, recoding data, calculating composites, calculating descriptives (M, SD, etc), correlation coefficients, and t-tests.

Subject curriculum

Introduction, overview, and the history of psychological testing. Gregory (2015) Ch 1-2. The nature, use and history of psychological testing.

The use of norms in test interpretation. Gregory (2015). Ch 3A. Crucial components in evaluating test norms and standardisation are described.

Reliability of psychological tests. Gregory (2015). Ch 3B. Approaches to measuring reliability and the importance of standard error of measurement.

Validity of psychological tests. Gregory (2015). Ch 4. This lecture covers how to know if a test measures what it purports to measure. Approaches to gather validity evidence are demonstrated.

Intelligence and achievement. Gregory (2015). Ch 5. Brief description of theories of intelligence. Review of the most widely used individually administered measures of intelligence and achievement.

Group tests and controversies. Gregory (2015). Ch6. Group administered measures of intelligence and achievement. Controversies in testing described.

Assessing special populations. Gregory (2015) Ch 7. Assessments in early childhood, people with disabilities, and evaluation of adaptive behaviours.

Assessment of personality and behavioural assessment Gregory (2015). Ch 8. Development of personality assessments, behavioural assessments, and application to psychopathology.

Personality measures within the normal spectrum. Gregory (2015). Ch9. Most widely used non-clinical personality measures.

Neuropsychological testing. Gregory (2015). Ch 10. The main domains covered in neuropsychological testing, with illustration of tests widely used.

Organisational and career assessment Gregory (2015). Ch 11. Application of psychological testing to personnel selection and career interests.

Ethical considerations in psychological assessment. APS Code of Ethics. Supplement to Guidelines for the use of psychological tests Guidelines for the use of psychological tests. National Practice Standards for the Mental Health Workforce.

Approved on: Mar 18, 2017. Edition: 3.1