PSY 301


PROFESSOR :            Dr. Kirk M. Lunnen

CLASS TIME :           8:10-9:10 MWF

ROOM :                      HSC 166

OFFICE :                     HSC 135; ex7203

OFFICE HOURS :      MWF 9:30-11:30, or by appointment

E-MAIL :           



Cohen, R. J. & Swerdlik, M. E. (2002). Psychological Testing and Assessment. (5th    Edition). Boston: McGraw Hill.


Gould, S. J. (1996). The Mismeasure of Man. New York : W. W. Norton & Company.




COURSE DESCRIPTION :  The course provides a survey of key areas of relevance in psychological assessment across a variety of settings.   As an introduction to psychological assessment, the course tackles the fundamental goals and principles of psychological assessment in both applied and theoretical contexts. 


COURSE OBJECTIVES :  The primary goals of this course are to provide a basic understanding of current and historical psychological assessment practices and increase students’ basic research, writing, and critical thinking skills.  Upon completion of the course the student should:


-           Demonstrate mastery of the fundamental principles and assumptions of psychological assessment

-           Gain an understanding of methods used to develop, evaluate, and utilize psychometrically sophisticated assessment tools

-           Learn to critically analyze the theories, research results, and techniques used in psychological assessment

-           Become versant in fundamental issues (and controversies) in the history of human psychological assessment and quantification





Proportion of Grade

Date Due

Exam 1


17 Feb

Exam 2


21 Mar

Exam 3


23 Apr



8 May




Lab Assignments/Activities


As scheduled

Group Project


25 Apr


            Grading:  The course will use the following scale


                        GRADE           PERCENTAGE              

                        A                     93 to 100                    

                        A-                    90 to 92                      

                        B+                   87 to 89                      

                        B                      83 to 86                      

                        B-                    80 to 82                      

                        C+                   77 to 79                      

                        C                     73 to 76                      

                        C-                    70 to 72                      

                        D+                   67 to 69                      

                        D                     63 to 66                      

                        D-                    60 to 62                      

                        F                      0 to 59                             


            Examinations (45%):   There will be three midterm examinations and one final examination.   The midterms will consist of both objective and subjective items (including short answer and essay questions) covering material from the text and lecture covered since the previous midterm.   The Final will be comprehensive and will likewise include both objective and subjective items.  If you have a conflict with an exam you must notify me at least 24 hours in advance.   If an exam is missed, and I am not notified in advance, you will receive a zero for that exam.  Make-up exams will only be given for the following reasons:   (1) sickness—you must provide a note from the health center (or other healthcare provider) verifying your illness, (2) a family emergency/crisis/death—must be verified by the Dean of Student Affairs.


                Quizzes (10%):   During each class period you may be given a short quiz pertaining to the assigned reading material for the lecture that day.   The purpose of these quizzes is (a) to enhance your level of preparation for classroom discussion and (b) increase preparation for the midterms.   Quizzes missed due to unexcused absence will be given a zero (see exam policy listed above).  


                Lab Activities (25%):   The course will include 14 laboratory sessions.   These sessions will include various application assignments, assessment exercises, mini-experiments, and computer work.   Active (and enthusiastic) participation is expected from all students.   Each student will be required to keep a laboratory notebook/portfolio.   Unexcused lab absences will result a zero for any lab assignment(s) relevant to that day’s lab.  Make-up will only be considered for the following reasons:   (1) sickness—you must provide a note from a healthcare provider verifying your illness, (2) a family emergency/crisis/death—must be verified by the Dean of Student Affairs.


            Group Project:  Instrument Design Assignment/Presentation (20%):   Much of this class will focus on issues related to test construction.   This assignment will give each student the opportunity to enter the exciting world of psychometrics.  Groups of 2-3 students will develop a new instrument to measure a construct of their own choosing.  The project will entail item selection/creation as well as psychometric evaluation.   The completed project will include the production of a test manual written in APA format as well as a 20-30 minute oral presentation.   All team members must participate in all aspects of the assignment.


            Academic Integrity:   Honesty is an essential part of your collegiate experience.   Individual students are responsible for doing their own work and for not taking credit for the effort and ideas of others in any way.   This includes plagiarism and/or cheating in any form.   This obligation is based on mutual trust and is expected of every student.  Cheating on any of the class requirements listed above will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary actions.  See below:

Central to the purpose and pursuit of any academic community is academic integrity. All members of the Westminster community are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty and integrity, in keeping with the philosophy and purposes of the College.

Academic dishonesty is a profound violation of this expected code of behavior. It can take several forms, including, but not limited to, plagiarism, cheating, misrepresentation of facts or experimental results, purposely altering the work of another (without that person’s permission) or engaging in any activity which attempts to alter or harm another’s academic standing.

Academic dishonesty in any of these forms will not be tolerated. Students who engage in academic dishonesty face penalties such as failure in the course involved or expulsion from the College. All instances of academic dishonesty will be reported to the Dean of the College.

                                                                        Westminster College Online Student Handbook





Lecture Topics


20 Jan

Introduction, Course Overview


22 Jan

Introduction to Psychological Testing & Assessment

Cohen 1

24 Jan

Historical, Cultural, and Legal/Ethical Aspects of Assessment

Cohen 2

27 Jan

Polygeny and Craniometry

Gould 1 & 2

29 Jan

Brief statistical review

Cohen 3

31 Jan

Norms, Correlation, and Inference

Cohen 4

3 Feb

Masters of Craniometry

Gould 3

5 Feb


Cohen 5

7 Feb


Cohen 6

10 Feb

Test Development:  Scale Construction

Cohen 7

12 Feb

Test Development:  Item Analysis

Cohen 7

14 Feb

Measuring Bodies:  Case studies in “Apishness”

Gould 4

17 Feb

Exam 1


19 Feb

Intelligence and Its Measurement

Cohen 8

21 Feb

The Question of Intelligence


24 Feb

Tests of Intelligence

Cohen 9

26 Feb

Educational Assessment

Cohen 10

28 Feb

Hereditarian Theory of IQ

Gould 5 (pp. 176-221)

3 Mar

Hereditarian Theory of IQ (cont.)

Gould 5 (pp. 222-263)

5 Mar

Overview of Personality Assessment

Cohen 11

7 Mar

Objective Personality Assessment

Cohen 12

17 Mar

Projective Personality Assessment

Cohen 12

19 Mar

Behavioral Personality Assessment

Cohen 12

21 Mar

Exam 2


24 Mar

Clinical Assessment Issues

Cohen 13

26 Mar

Clinical Assessment Issues

Cohen 13

28 Mar

Factor Analysis and the Reification of Intelligence

Gould 6 (pp. 264-302)

31 Mar

Factor Analysis and the Reification of Intelligence

Gould 6 (pp. 303-350)

2 Apr

Neuropsychological Assessment Issues

Cohen 14

4 Apr

Neuropsychological Assessment Issues

Cohen 14

7 Apr

Psychophysiological Assessment


9 Apr

Disability Assessment

Cohen 15

11 Apr

Assessment in Business

Cohen 16

14 Apr

Computerized Psychological Assessment

Cohen 17

16 Apr

A Positive Conclusion and Epilogue

Gould 7

23 Apr

Exam 3


25 Apr

Group Project Presentations


28 Apr

Group Project Presentations


30 Apr

Group Project Presentations


2 May

Group Project Presentations


5 May

Open Date/Exam Review


8 May

Final Exam ( 11:30-2:00 )






Lab #




22/23 Jan

Assessment vs. Psuedo-assessement:   adventures in Online testing


29/30 Jan

Psychometric Playground activities: The Outcome Questionnaire 45.2; Introduction to Group Project


5/6 Feb

“Role up your sleeves and get to work . . .”--Group Project foundation


12/13 Feb

Investigations in reliability & item analysis


19/20 Feb

Investigations in validity & Online test critique


26/27 Feb

“Put on your hardhat . . .”--Group Project test construction


5/6 Mar

Exploration of Intelligence testing


19/20 Mar

Let’s play . . . PSYCHOLOGIST! Or adventures in objective assessment


26/27 Mar

Projective assessment in action!


2/3 Apr

Clinical Assessment:   mental status and beyond . . .


9/10 Apr

Neuropsychological/Psychophysiological Assessment


16/17 Apr

Group project: Reliability and Validity evaluations


23/24 Apr

Group project: Final instrument adjustments, Report and Presentation Preparation


30 Apr, 1 May

Assessment Fun!