Psychological Self-Help

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Discovery test measures the usual IQ, i.e. academic potential (it is
timed…38 questions in about 13 minutes). It claims to usually yield an
IQ within 5 points of a professional IQ test. Your general IQ score is
given to you free and a “complete intelligence profile” is offered for a
small fee. Goleman’s Emotional IQ test is simply ten multiple-choice
items asking how you would cope with specific problem situations.
After answering, you are told the “right” answers and invited to buy
Goleman’s book if you want more social-emotional smarts.
Cautions: you need to keep in mind the limitations of today’s
online testing. The personality/adjustment tests available now are
largely dependent on self-reports, which are subject to many errors—
you may unconsciously deny problems and disorders; you might
unwittingly exaggerate the severity of your symptoms; you may
consciously attempt to look especially good or bad; you may
misunderstand the test instructions or the questions. A good
diagnostician would use tests covering a wide range of aptitudes,
skills, emotions and behaviors, as well as other kinds of tests, like
performance or situational/behavioral tests, not just self-report tests.
Most importantly, keep in mind all the other information a therapist
would utilize in making a diagnosis and understanding the problem
situation. She or he would carefully consider all your strengths and
current symptoms as well as all your recent and long-term history,
including your family history, medical history, social history, school
and work history and so on. Diagnosticians often interview parents,
spouse, and others as well. They, of course, ask questions and attend
carefully to your comments and behavior during an interview before
making a tentative diagnosis. So, as of today, a few brief tests, such
as the ones online, are a small part of a careful diagnostic evaluation
of your problems. 
Researchers George Dudley and Bill Gordon at Behavioral Science
Research Press (http://www.bsrpinc.com/) have also voiced warnings
about current online testing. They say that many of the online testing
services are over-hyped and under-developed scientifically. Certainly,
invalid test results could be believed, quite influential, and very
harmful. This Web site provides several guidelines to help you
separate the highly competent test developers from the flim-flamming
"cyber-quacks." Before you change your life plans based on the results
of just one or two brief tests, investigate the quality of the tests and
the test makers. Also, seek collaborating evidence and the opinions of
others. 
However, the day is not far off, in my opinion, when a
comprehensive, sophisticated 3 or 4-hour battery of computer
interpreted psychological tests will be available online which will be
just as valid as 3 or 4-hour intake assessments done by experienced
psychiatrists/psychologists. A customized test battery individually
administered by a psychologist would cost you $500 to $1000. But
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