Commonly used tests

Details of commonly used psychological tests and scales.


You should know the personality dimensions you wish to assess and have some rationale for assessing them.

If you are interested in the dimensions of extraversion, neuroticism and/or psychoticism then the Eysenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) or its revised form (EPQ-R) is recommended. The short form of the EPQ-R (which is suitable for most student projects) is in the public domain and, therefore, is free - Eysenck, S., Eysenck, H., and  Barrett, P. (1985) A revised version of the psychoticism scale. Personality and Individual Differences, 6(1), 21–29.

A public domain version suitable for use with children is also available - Corulla, W. J. (1990) A revised version of the Psychoticism scale for children. Personality and Individual Differences, 11(1), 65–76.

If you are interested in agreeableness, conscientiousness and/or openness to experience in addition to extraversion and neuroticism then you will require a measure of the Five Factor Model of personality.

The trait-descriptive adjectives developed by Goldberg are in the public domain and are recommended for this purpose  - Goldberg, L. R. (1992) The Development of Markers for the Big-Five Factor Structure. Psychological Assessment, 4(1), 26–42.

 A shorter scale derived from the Goldberg adjectives is in Saucier, G. (1994) Mini-markers: a brief version of Goldberg's unipolar Big-Five markers. Journal of Personality Assessment, 63, 506-516.

There are also additional Five Factor Model test items at the International Personality Item Pool.

International Personality Item Pool

Another way to assess the Five-Factor Model is via a set of 80 adjective pairs - McCrae, R.R. and  Costa, P.T., Jr. (1985) Updating Norman's "Adequate Taxonomy": Intelligence and personality dimensions in natural language questionnaires. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 49, 710-721.

The NEO-PI-R and the NEO-FFI (by Costa and McCrae) are also available in the department but, in common with most of the personality tests held, are under copyright and a published booklet is needed for each subject. Costs may be high if you wish to use published tests such as these, so think carefully about your project.

If you wish to study individual differences in aggression, The Aggression Questionnaire is in the public domain and has good psychometric characteristics -  A.H. Buss, A. H. and Perry, M. (1992) The aggression questionnaire. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 6, 452-459.

For the trait of Sensation-Seeking, various forms of Zuckerman's sensation-seeking scale are in the public domain, but beware of old versions with outdated wording.  The latest (1994) version of this scale is available in Zuckerman., M. (1994) Behavioral expressions and biosocial bases of sensation seeking.  Cambridge University Press.



The main division in these tests is between those which must be individually administered and those which may be given to groups. Individually administered tests generally require more training than do group tests.

Of the individual tests, the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale IV (WAIS-IV)  is suitable for most adult samples.  For samples of children the Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-V (WISC-V) provides a similarly detailed assessment, and the WPPSI will test even younger children. These batteries require some investment of time for familiarisation and training, and they take up to two hours to administer. Short forms may be used to save time.

Group tests of intelligence take less time and less skill to administer. The Raven's Progressive Matrices series will give a measure of non-verbal intelligence for children (Coloured Progressive Matrices), average adults and older children (Standard Progressive Matrices) and brighter adults (Advanced Progressive Matrices).

The recently-added SPM-plus is designed to assess both the average and brighter range. The Mill Hill Vocabulary Scales are partners to the Raven tests and measure verbal IQ in children (Junior test) or adults (Senior test). The Cattell Culture Fair Test is also group-administered, and has various versions for testing non-verbal intelligence in different ability ranges.

Strongly recommended for verbal and non-verbal ability testing in average or bright adults is the Alice Heim test range; the AH4 is suitable for average ability samples, and the AH5 and AH6 tests are suitable for groups of higher than average ability.


Many tests of memory are not proprietary and may be devised by consulting a reference which describes the test. For this reason, the department stores few tests of memory. There are hundreds of memory tests assessing different aspects of memory in different modalities.

Your project supervisor will probably indicate which test is most appropriate for your study. For many purposes the Auditory Verbal Learning Test (AVLT) is useful, and may be found in: M.D. Lezak, Neuropsychological Assessment (Fifth Edition), Oxford University Press. This test is relatively brief and tests many aspects of memory. For a more extensive assessment of memory functions the department has the fourth edition of the Wechsler Memory Scale (WMS-IV).

Mood (non-clinical)

There are lots of different mood scales. If you wish to assess general non-clinical mood states you are recommended to use one of the more recent scales which assesses two or three dimensions. The UWIST Mood Adjective Checklist is convenient, comprehensive and free, and may be constructed by reading the appropriate reference carefully: G. Matthews, D.M. Jones  and  A.G. Chamberlain (1990)  Refining the measurement of mood: the UWIST Mood Adjective Checklist, British Journal of Psychology, 81, 17-42.

Health psychology and other clinical scales

The department has a number of clinical scales and students are welcome to inquire about their suitability. 

In addition to those scales listed individually students are encouraged to use the packages called   'A Mental Health Portfolio' and 'Measures in Health Psychology'.  These contain numerous tests, all of which may be copied as often as required and have some supporting literature, norms and scoring instructions. 

Tests  included assess

  • Anxiety  (such as the Fear Questionnaire, Mobility Inventory for Agoraphobia, Clinical Anxiety Scale, and the  Padua Inventory)
  • Depression - ( for example Inventory for Depressive Symptomatology, Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale)
  • Interpersonal difficulties - (Social Activities and Distress Scale, Inventory of Interpersonal Problems, Golombok Rust Inventory of Sexual Satisfaction)
  • Habit disorder - (Morgan-Russell Assessment Schedule, Body Shape Questionnaire, Short Alcohol Dependence Data Questionnaire)
  • Stress and Coping   (Hassles and Uplifts Scales, Significant Others Scale, Coping Responses Inventory, COPE)
  • Psychological adjustment to illness - (McGill Pain Questionnaire, Pain Coping Strategies Questionnaire,  Acceptance of Illness Scale)

Also included is the General Health Questionnaire-12.