The Psychology Corner

The Psychology Corner: Insights into psychology and psychological tests

The Psychology Corner on Mental Health @ Home includes the what is… series and a collection of (mostly) scientifically-validated psychological tests.

The weekly What Is… Insights Into Psychology series explores the meaning of a wide range of terms that come from the field of psychology, psychiatry, and other related areas.

Here’s an alphabetized list of terms covered so far, with the following tags to make things easier to pick out:

  • (cognitive bias/heuristic)
  • (diagnosis)
  • (personality trait)
  • (therapy & therapy tools)
A-C terms

Psychological tests collection from Mental Health @ Home

A good question can get you thinking about yourself in ways that never might have crossed your mind before. A psychological test can promote self-reflection and may help you gain insights into your mental health patterns over time. This page includes a range of tests related to mental health that will hopefully help get you thinking.

How to use & interpret psychological tests

Psychometric tests are used for a wide variety of purposes, including research or clinical. What sets scientifically developed tests apart from a quiz you take on a random internet site is validation, which ensures that the test actually measures what it’s supposed to. There’s more on that in this post on psychological testing.

This page consists mostly of scientifically validated scales, with a few exceptions. That means they’re not designed for ease of use, and may not calculate scores for you. However, for personal use, scores are far less relevant than the cues they can provide for self-reflection.

Psychological tests can’t diagnose you

Psychological tests capture a snapshot of a particular aspect of you at a given point in time. Diagnosis of an illness requires far more context and nuance, but the snapshot can serve as a jumping off point. The key is to be open with your treatment provider. The better they can understand what you’re going through, the more accurate an assessment they can make.

Screening tests are intended to cast a wide net and capture people who might have a condition. They put you in a general ballpark, but they can’t, nor are they intended to, get any more specific than that.

Other places to find mental health tests

As mentioned early, being really user-friendly isn’t what the tests listed here are necessarily aiming for. Here are a few places you can go to find tests that are designed with you, the user, in mind:

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Psychological tests

  • Chronotype: Circadian Energy Scale (CIRENS): measures whether you’re a morning or a night person
  • Grit: Grit Scale – researcher Angela Duckworth defines grit as the “combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal”
  • Identity: Aspects of Identity Questionnaire (AIQ-IV): looks at personal, relational, social, and collective identity orientations.
  • Obsessions & compulsions: Obsessive Compulsive Inventory short form (OCI-R)
  • Resilience: ER-89 Ego Resiliency Scale: this looks at longer-term trait resilience as opposed to state resilience at the present time
  • Scrupulosity: Penn Inventory of Scrupulosity (PIOS): measures psychological discomfort arising from the belief that one is sinful
  • Sleeprelated thoughts: Anxiety and Preoccupation about Sleep Questionnaire (APSQ) looks at problematic thoughts that may be interfering with sleep
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Tests Related to Psychiatric Diagnoses


Social anxiety

  • BFNE: Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale
  • LSAS: Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale
  • SAQ-A30: Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults
  • SCS-R: Self-Consciousness Scale: measures private and public self-consciousness and social anxiety
  • Shyness Scale: shyness is a personality trait, not an illness (read more on social anxiety disorder vs shyness here), although there may be some minor areas of overlap with social anxiety
  • SIAS; Social Interaction Anxiety Scale
  • SPIN: Social Phobia Inventory
  • SPS: Social Phobia Scale
  • Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ): a 50-item screening test
  • Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ-10): a brief screening test
  • Empathy Quotient (EQ-40): measures ability to understand what others are feeling
  • Systemizing Quotient (SQ): drive to understand underlying rules governing a system
Borderline personality disorder
  • BEST: Borderline Evaluation of Severity over Time: 15-item scale with three sections: thoughts/feelings, negative behaviours, and positive behaviours
  • BSL-23 and BSL-95: Borderline Symptom List short and long versions
  • DBT-WCCL: DBT Ways of Coping Checklist: looks at strategies that you’re used recently to cope with stressful situations
  • Reasons for Living Scale (short form and long form): this tool developed by Marsha Linehan isn’t actually specific to BPD; it looks at things that might stop you from acting on thoughts of suicide
  • CUDOS: Clinically Useful Depression Outcome Scale: questions are a close match to the DSM-5 symptoms of depression
  • DASS: Depression Anxiety Stress Scales: measures both depression and anxiety
  • HAM-D: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
  • PHQ-9: Patient Health Questionnaire: this screening test is part of the PRIME-MD screening tool that was developed by Pfizer
  • QIDS-SR: Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomatology Self-Report
  • Postpartum:
    • Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
    • Postnatal Risk Questionnaire (PNRQ)
PTSD & dissociation

Tests Related to Avoidance & Coping Behaviours

  • ASQ: Avoidance Strategy Questionnaire: looks at how you would respond to an unwelcome request from your partner
  • FABQ: Fear-Avoidance Beliefs Questionnaire: the focus is on avoidance related to pain
  • MEAQ: Multidimensional Experiential Avoidance Questionnaire: broken down into several scales — behavioural avoidance, distress aversion, procrastination, distraction & suppression, repression & denial, and distress endurance
  • SAFE: Subtle Avoidance Frequency Examination: this scale looks at avoidance behaviours in social situations

Cognition, Thinking Styles

  • Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire (ATQ): measures the frequency and degree of belief of automatic negative thoughts about the self
  • Clance Imposter Phenomenon Scale: measures imposter syndrome
  • Cognitive Flexibility Scale (CFS)
  • IQ test: the Open-Source Psychometrics Project has a full scale IQ test (i.e. covers each of the distinct scales that make up a full IQ test)
  • Need for Cognition Scale: measures the tendency to pursue and enjoy thinking
  • Rational Experiential Inventory (REI): measures intuitive and logical thinking styles
  • Ruminative Responses Scale: rumination is a common thinking pattern in depression


  • Emotional intelligence:
  • Emotional regulation: Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale (DERS)


  • Attachment: Measure of Attachment Qualities (MAQ) is a short 14-item scale on attachment styles
  • Cooperativeness/competitiveness: Cooperative/Competitive Strategy Scale (CCSS)
  • Comparison
  • Disagreement: Tolerance For Disagreement Scale (TFD)
  • Loneliness: Loneliness Assessment Scale (UPLAS): click on “run a demo” to take the test
  • Reactivity: Interpersonal Reactivity Index
  • Rejection: Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire (RSQ): asks about situations that might typically come up for a college student


General personality tests

  • 16PF Questionnaire: Cattell’s 16 Personality Factors, which has 164 items
  • Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI): a 57-item test that measures the domains of introversion/extroversion and stability/neuroticism.
  • IPIP-NEO: a free test based on the International Personality Item Pool, it’s available in a short a 120-item version and a full-length 300-item online test.  The IPIP-NEO breaks down the neuroticism score into six facets: anxiety, anger, depression, self-consciousness, immoderation, and vulnerability.
  • Synthetic Aperture Personality Assessment (SAPA): a 250-item test that covers domains including temperament, abilities, and interests. The results include scores on 27 narrow personality traits as well as the “Big Five.”
The big five theory of personality
Big Five personality traitsAnna Tunikova for and Wikipedia

Specific personality traits

  • Dark triad: a group of personality traits (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism) that are associated with antisocial behaviour. Related tests include:
    • Short Dark Triad Scale
    • Mach-IV test for Machiavellianism
    • Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI-16): measures subclinical narcissism, which doesn’t meet the threshold for narcissistic personality disorder
  • Histrionic traits: Brief Histrionic Personality Inventory (BHPS)
  • Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5): measures a number of personality traits that could potentially be related to personality disorders

Self-Criticism & Self-Esteem

  • Self-compassion:
  • Self-criticism:
    • Forms of Self-Criticizing/Attacking and Self-Reassuring Scale (FSCRS): looks at how you react when things go wrong for you
    • Functions of Self-Criticizing/Attacking Scale (FSCS): looks at why you self-criticize
  • Self-esteem:
    • Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale (RSES)
    • State Self-Esteem Scale (SSES)
  • Self-worth: Contingencies of Self-Worth Scale – measures how much self-worth is dependent on various factors; some of the questions are specifically about school, but many of them are more general
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