Some psychological tests are also self-reports. This time, however, the distinction is that the term applies to inventories of items that have been given to large numbers of people and carefully polished. They are also subjected to statistical analysis so that when they are given to an individual, the researcher or clinician has a much better idea of what the results mean.
There are two general types of psychological tests: those that assess one or another type of ability and those that assess personality. Ability tests come in two varieties: intelligence tests assess your intellectual/cognitive functioning and achievement tests assess the progress you've made in acquiring academic or other skills. Clinicians often include intelligence tests in diagnosis; researchers use them the same way that they use self-reports as noted earlier. Achievement tests assess progress during grade school, and some are intended to predict success in college or other advanced training. Personality tests assess relatively stable personality characteristics, using various forms of self-reports. They also are used in diagnosing and researching mental and behavioral disorders. Popular personality tests are discussed in Chapter 15.