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.


Insights Into Psychology Series

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/disorder)
  • (therapy & therapy tools)
A-C terms
D-G
H-L
M-P
T-Z

Psychological Tests

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.

This page consists mostly of scientifically validated scales, with a few exceptions. That means they’re not necessarily 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

Here are a few places you can go to find tests that are designed with you, the user, in mind:

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Test Topics


Psychiatric Diagnoses

The Internalized Stigma of Mental Illness Inventory (ISMI) measures self-stigma related to mental illness.

Addictions
Anxiety

Social anxiety

  • Brief Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale (BFNE)
  • Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale (LSAS)
  • Social Anxiety Questionnaire for Adults (SAQ-A30)
  • Self-Consciousness Scale (SCS-R): measures private and public self-consciousness and social anxiety
  • Shyness Scale: measures shyness as a personality trait
  • Social Interaction Anxiety Scale (SIAS)
  • Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN)
  • Social Phobia Scale (SPS)
Autism
  • Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ): a 50-item screening test
  • Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ-10): brief screening test
  • Empathy Quotient (EQ-40): measures ability to understand what others are feeling
  • Systemizing Quotient (SQ): measures drive to understand underlying rules governing a system
Borderline personality disorder
  • Borderline Evaluation of Severity over Time (BEST): 15-item scale with sections on thoughts/feelings, negative behaviours, and positive behaviours
  • Borderline Symptom List (BSL-23 & BSL-95): comes in short/long versions
  • DBT Ways of Coping Checklist (DBT-WCCL): looks at strategies that you’re used recently to cope with stressful situations
  • Reasons for Living Scale (short form and long form): not only for BPD; it looks at things that might stop you from acting on suicidal thoughts
Depression
  • Clinically Useful Depression Outcome Scale (CUDOS): questions are a close match to the DSM-5 symptoms of depression
  • Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS): measures both depression and anxiety
  • Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D)
  • Patient Health Questionnaire: commonly used screening test PHQ-9)
  • Quick Inventory of Depression Symptomatology Self-Report QIDS-SR)
  • Seasonal Pattern Assessment Questionnaire (SPAQ): this isn’t scored, and filling it out won’t give you new information, but going through it can help you to reflect on how your illness varies throughout the year
  • Postpartum:
    • Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)
    • Postnatal Risk Questionnaire (PNRQ)
OCD
  • Obsessive Compulsive Inventory short form (OCI-R)
  • Penn Inventory of Scrupulosity (PIOS): measures psychological discomfort arising from the belief that one is sinful
PTSD & dissociation

Avoidance & Coping Behaviours

Avoidance:

Coping:


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

Beliefs related to control:


Emotions

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

Interpersonal

  • Attachment: Measure of Attachment Qualities (MAQ): 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

Personality

The big five theory of personality
Big Five personality traitsAnna Tunikova for peats.de and Wikipedia

Specific traits & characteristics

  • 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
  • Grit: Grit Scale – researcher Angela Duckworth defines grit as the “combination of passion and perseverance for a singularly important goal”
  • Histrionic: Brief Histrionic Personality Inventory (BHPS)
  • Introversion/extraversion: Multidimensional Introversion–Extraversion Scale
  • Resilience: ER-89 Ego Resiliency Scale: looks at longer-term trait resilience rather than state resilience at the present time

Attitudes Towards the Self

  • Aspects of Identity Questionnaire (AIQ-IV): looks at personal, relational, social, and collective identity orientations
  • Young Schema Questionnaire (YSQ-L3): This a bit complicated. The YSL measures 18 early maladaptive schemas (you can find the schema list here). Only the older L3 version is available free, and you’ll have to manually score and analyze it. Note that, for example, after question #9 is the notation “*ed“. That means the block of questions from #1-9 relate to schema ed, which is emotional deprivation. Then after question #26 is the notation “*ab“, which means questions #10-26 relate to the ab, which is abandonment/instability.
  • 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)
psi symbol for psychology