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Tests and Measures: Overall Process: Find Tests & measures

Introduction

Finding tests and measurements can be a challenging process. You may or may not need to do all of the steps below, nor do you have to do them in the order listed. These are recommended steps you could take. Be sure to read the search tips below!

Search Tips

  1. Be careful when using the Internet to find tests. Many free versions are altered or shortened -- they are not the original tests that researchers are expected to use. 
  2. Some tests have abbreviations, popular names, and “official” or spelled-out names. For instance, one well-known test is referred to as the “MBTI,” “Myers-Briggs,” or the “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.” Try all these names in your searches.
  3. Pay attention to all clues you find regarding the test, its author, and its publisher. Note the corporation or university where the author works; the names of every author who was involved in the development of the test; and the names, dates, and alternative versions of the test.
  4. “Truncate” (*) your keyword searches so that library database will find all forms of the root word. For instance, assess* will find books and articles that have “assessment” or “assessing” in the title. 
  5. If you are finding too few results in your search, try related words. For instance, if you’d like to measure problem-solving ability in 16 to 21-year olds, try "adolescents" or "high school." Or, look for broader terms (such as "intelligence" instead of “problem solving ability”).

Finding tests on a particular topic using databases

Do you have a general topic (like, personality) but don’t know the name of a specific test you'd like to use?

Step 1:

conduct a literature review. Books and articles which explain how to test the specific persons, phenomena, or variables that interest you will give you a sense of which tests are most typically used by other researchers. Search for research conducted on your topic in a subject specific database. If you don't know where to begin, try PscyINFO

Add words such as "measurement," "testing methods," "evaluation," and "diagnosis to your search. You can also search by the name of the test. Under "Search options" find the "Tests & measures" field. Type in the name of the test. This will bring up research articles that utilize this instrument.

Step 2:

take the name of the test you'd like to find and search for it in databases like PsycTESTS or Mental Measurements Yearbook (other Psychology databases)

Step 3:

Find the original (primary) source where the test was first published. This will give you context of how the the test was created, first used, validity, and possibly some insight into its strengths and weaknesses. Look for the citation to the orginal source. It may look something like this:

Go to the "Journal" locator on the library homepage and type in the name of the journal title. In this case International Journal of Eating Disorders. Then look for the volume and issue. If this doesn't take you to the full text, then you can request the article via Interlibrary Loan.

If you can't find the original source, the citation information may be incorrect (it happens - a lot more than you think). Perform a literature search (in PsycINFO, for example) on the name of the test to see what other studies have utilized that same test. Look at the citation that references the test to see if there are additional clues that could point you to the original source.