What is a psychometrician?

A psychometrician is someone who practices the science of psychological measurement, or psychometrics. Psychometrics is a particular field of science that helps in the development of tests, which allow for the measurement of knowledge, skills and attributes. In other words, psychometricians help in measuring what is in someone’s mind. Psychometricians can work in any area of testing. 

What do psychometricians do?

Typically, psychometricians focus on only a handful of areas of expertise. For example, some may work one-on-one by taking on meetings or working as project directors. This role is a more hands-on approach. On the opposite end, other psychometricians may work in the background by conducting research for examinations. This area of work is less focused on group work and more focused on independent research.

Some psychometricians work on both ends and not only interact with other colleagues but also take the research they have conducted and apply that information towards creating more effective testing.

For example, within the Goldman Center, psychometricians may oversee an examination process or conduct data analysis in order to help create an examination that better helps diagnose children with autism and other developmental disorders. These examinations allow for the measurement of skills and knowledge, which in turns shows us a person’s level of competence. There are several factors that psychometricians look at and analyze, in order to create stronger and more effective tests. 

Factors psychometricians measure in psychological testing include:

  • Validity 
  • Reliability
  • Fairness 

These tests may contain multiple-choice questions, essays, true or false statements or situational items. Typically the tests are in written form on paper or electronically on a computer. Psychometricians factor in the structure of an exam, the level and range of difficulty, amount of questions, the amount of testing time and scoring process. They then apply statistical research methods when helping develop and analyze these psychological tests.

Psychometricians and diagnostic assessments

When it comes to recognizing early signs of autism and developmental disorders, there is a large demand for diagnostic and therapeutic services. With these services comes a high demand of tests and assessments needed to define the level of skill a child has, which in turn helps in determining the level and type of services needed.

Here are a few core advantages that psychometricians provide when it comes to helping analyze and develop such tests:

  • Tests backed by a psychometrician have a higher validity, reliability, and fairness rate.
  • With more effective testing and treatment, there is more potential for gains in the developmental and learning process.
  • Insights help test children in a more efficient manner based on the effectiveness of the tests provided.
  • Tests can help in diagnosing children earlier on based on their level of skill.