The Trouble With Creating a New Psychological Test

When we were told that we’d have to create our own psychological test, I already knew it would be difficult. Considering the amount of psychological tests already in existence, how many revisions of each of those exist and the sheer amount of slight differences on various tests testing the same construct just indicates the enormous amount of tests that have already been published and the struggle this project would be.

Simply coming up with a construct and researching already established tests on these constructs seemed never-ending. As I kept pushing off this assignment more and more I came up with the perfect construct to study in university students: procrastination. I never used to be a procrastinator but something about college and university and the amount of work required has turned me into someone who somehow manages to wait for the last minute for everything. And then I thought I couldn’t be alone and there must be other people like me in this class.

As I researched procrastination and scholarly articles depicting different tests, I saw that there was General Procrastination Scale that seemed to be the basis of all the other revisions or subsequent tests on procrastination. There were also many other tests related to the general idea of being a procrastinator in various aspects of life. I thought for my project I wanted to look at academic procrastination and how this construct would apply to an educational setting. There have been many articles published on the various aspects of academic procrastination such as its causes, its relation to personality traits and its association with self-efficacy, to name a few. I thought trying to evaluate a specific aspect of academic procrastination would be too difficult so I focused on a general test to establish a baseline of a student’s academic procrastination.

The next step was to come up with the test items. This didn’t start off as a difficult task as I simply imagined the types of activities I tend to do when I procrastination, such as getting distracted when studying or cramming the night before an exam. However, the difficult part was establishing test items that solely related to academic procrastination and wouldn’t focus or test any other aspects.

Finally it was time to do the testing. I added demographic questions such as gender and age to see if I could identify any patterns related to procrastinator later on when analyzing the responses. The problem with the testing wasn’t finding people to respond but it was mostly to find males to take my questionnaire. As psychology is a predominantly female area of study I knew this would be a problem from the beginning. I also thought that it would mostly be males who would be higher procrastinators so I was really struggling to recruit as many males as I could in my questionnaire so I could be able to make a fair comparison the responses I got from the females.

As I begin to analyze my responses and attempt to do correlational tests, I can appreciate the amount of time it takes for one to come up with a construct and create a psychological test and two to analyze the responses and come to conclusions.

This project really demonstrated the complexity of creating a new psychological test. It probably doesn’t even come close to the amount of years and revisions it must take to establish a new psychological test that could be used in psychological settings. It gave me a certain respect to the people who do take the time and come up with these tests because it is with these that we discover some of the most profound truths about ourselves. Psychological tests can also help us learn valuable information such as how big of procrastinators we are so we could hopefully develop interesting ways to over it.

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