Measuring Cognitive Traits

Measuring Cognitive Traits

Psychological testing and psychological assessment tests are often confuse. However, in the strict sense, any assessment technique is called a test only when its procedure for administration, interpretation and scoring are standardized. There is a standardization sample, and there is evidence for its reliability and validity. Many so-called tests can more appropriately be called as assessment devices, because they do not meet the minimum requirements of the test.

Measuring Cognitive Traits

Measurement in behavioral sciences is most of the time not pure. It contains some uncontrolled factors which produce gross errors. Apart from social logical and educational measurement, such errors run into psychological measurements too. Hence, such sources of errors in measurement create problems, which adversely affect the scientific value of measurement.

Psychometric assessment test are however not free from errors. Although measurements are ideally expect to be precise, unambiguous and scientific. This goal is not always reach because of the various sources of errors encounter. The following are some important and possible sources of errors in psychometric assessment.


Sometimes the behavior, style, and looks of the person, who is measuring the phenomena, distort the process of measurement. His behavior, style, and looks may encourage or discourage certain types of replies from the respondent that affects the accuracy of the measurement. At the data analysis step due to incorrect coding, faulty tabulation and inappropriate statistical analysis done by the measure or the researcher, errors make it into the measurement.

Test instrument:

Errors may also introduce in the measurement due to poor psychometric qualities of the test and defective measuring instruments. Psychological tests having poor reliability and validity may result in measurement errors. Organizations must be cooperative enough to invest enough capitals to keep the test instruments well-furnished and productive. This will ultimately lead to gain on the part of the organization, because the recruitment and further selection of competent and productive employees, will eventually flourish the company’s popularity and productivity.


One important source of error in measurement is the respondent himself. Sometimes respondent is found reluctant to express his true feelings or it may be that sometimes due to lack of knowledge, the person may not express himself clearly. In either case the measurement loses its accuracy.


Situational factors also contribute to errors in measurement. Any situation that puts unnecessary strain on the respondent tends to introduce errors in measurement. Interview is one example of such a situation. Apart from this, if the person feels that the situation does not protect anonymity, it also introduces errors in measurement.

However, most psychological measures are generally incomplete. Hence, the measurement of any psychological or education of variable is also incomplete. For example, if in any organization, an investigator is examining the attitude towards fixed shifts of work. He is require to create a scale in which a number of samples of behavior expressing. Such an attitude need to incorporate. However any attempt to measure such an attitude would be partial and incomplete. In such a situation, measurement will be dubious and tend to create a misleading index of the same.