Psychological Testing and Assessment

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Some of the Criticisms of Projective Personality Tests


Criticism Rebuttal

Poor interrater reliability Good interrater reliability has been demonstrated for well-developed scoring systems when raters are properly trained.

Poor test-retest reliability (low stability)

Good stability has been demonstrated for constructs expected to be stable, but low stability has been found for changeable characteristics.

Flawed or inexistent norms Norms have been a problem in the past but have been updated.

Unsupported research for many interpretations

This varies according to the interpretive category, but many interpretations do have good research support.

Subjective interpretations This varies according to the test, scoring, or interpretive system and how the test is used (formally vs. impressionistically).

Possibility of faking results, contrary to claims

Many research studies indicate that faking is difficult.

Poor predictions of external behavior

Projectives are more concerned with the internal structure and images that are not expected to necessarily correspond to external behavior.

Generally poor validity A number of mean-analyses indicate that validity is comparable to commonly used objective personality tests.

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