Inventories, surveys, questionnaires and scales, whatever you call them, "tests are absolutely essential to psychological research," says Linda Beebe, senior director of PsycINFO in APA's Office of Publications and Databases.
But tracking down unpublished tests has been like searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack—until now. Last September, APA launched PsycTESTS®, a comprehensive database of psychological tests and measures.
Psychologists have developed thousands of tests, scales and surveys to measure everything from personality and intelligence to spirituality and addiction. But only a fraction of those assessments have been commercially published and sold in bulk. "Librarians report that finding measurement instruments is the single most frequent request from graduate students," says APA Publisher Gary R. VandenBos, PhD. "PsycTESTS is an exciting tool to respond to this need, for all levels of researchers."
For the past three years, the PsycINFO® team has been scouring peer-reviewed journals and emailing authors to collect as many tests as possible. The work has paid off. The database contains information about some 3,000 tests, including about 2,100 downloadable copies of the tests themselves.
Previously, Beebe says, the only place to search for non-commercial tests was the database of the Educational Testing Service, which administers the SAT and other standardized tests. However, that database contains only 1,200 entries, most of which are focused on education rather than psychological assessment. PsycTESTS is the first centralized collection of psychology-specific tests.
All of the assessments in PsycTESTS have been reported at conferences or in peer-reviewed journals, dissertations, technical reports or books, Beebe says. To help psychologists and students find the tests they need, the database also contains information about tests sold commercially.
The database was offered to institutions beginning in September 2011, and the initial feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, VandenBos says. PsycTESTS is now available to individual APA members in the PsycNET® package. Users can also purchase day passes to search the PsycTESTS database for 24 hours.
PsycTESTS continues to grow, and new tests are added monthly. Psychologists who have developed their own assessments are encouraged to submit them to the database.
For more information about the database, including a video tutorial about how to submit your own tests, visit PsycTESTS.