The science of Psychometric Assessment is quite a new one. It goes back to the mid-1880s, and evolved within the Cavendish Physics Laboratory, Cambridge. England, via the well-known psychologist James McKeen Cattell. Cattell, of course, is most famous for his work on intelligence testing, his IQ test evolving to be used for many internationally renowned societies, and other entities. It is worth pondering on whether he perceived the development of online psychometric assessment. Charles Babbage’s Analytical Engine was described only around 50 years before Cattell set-up his work, so in the 1880s, the concept of gaining big data about human capabilities must have seemed like a Mary Shelley novel.

Doing an online psychometric assessment is also a relatively new venture for people. These assessments, however, appear to be popular, and the knowledge sought via self-administered online psychometric assessment must, in many ways, be regarded as intriguing, sparking further interest, plus the fervent desire to discover more. This is not to be feared. We are not dealing with a scenario like that of Doctor Moreau, with the development of greater skills being subject to matters which are unnatural, or extreme. Indeed, for an analysis of personality, emotional intelligence and potential, there are no wrong answers, only ones which can be improved upon. This can make psychometrics an exciting science to participate in.

The above is also the crux of what doing an online assessment is about. There are, in effect, two broad categories of assessments, no matter what the results focus that each assessment has.

Online Psychometric Assessment Category

The first category consists of those psychometric tests which are not supervised in person in any way whilst they are being completed by an assessment participant. The online psychometric assessment will have validity to it, of course, and reliability, but the administration of the online psychometric assessment will be more prone to variation and be more subject to diverse interpretation. These assessments rely heavily on clearly written instructions and should, in professional terms, favour the kind of subject areas where there are no right or wrong answers to be sought, and the assessments are preferably completed with an open time limit. That said, the results will also tend to be categorised, with no interpretation based on circumstances around the individual just before, or during, the assessment process.

It is also important to analyse the validity and reliability figures for assessments, especially if proctored online with no obvious professional assistance (or advice in person) during the history of that assessment. The highly validated and reliable assessments have accreditation by professional psychological institutions, and the generators of the assessments usually favour British Psychological Society acclamation (for example) more than any other.

Online Assessment

As such, the second broad type of online assessment is conducted with a professional assessor present, even though the assessment itself is generated, often as a link, and the online assessment proceeds quietly. Appropriate guidance can occur, though these kinds of sessions have an introduction which (ideally) covers all the possible ramifications of going through each assessment. The results gained from these sessions, therefore, are likely to have more validity, so can be more relied upon. They are also far more likely to have a respected institution give them accreditation, which is favourable for organisations that want to utilize the psychometric assessments within a forward-thinking and adaptive strategy for growth, then foster the best that their staff are capable of. This can be justified, and clearly the results gained will have more weight to them, when an official body has recognised and approved the assessment results’ value and accuracy.

This is also where big data is to be used in a way that not only Victorians, but even people from the first years of the 21st century, could only dream of – or read about in fantastical stories. With the onset of quantum computing, which is set to revolutionise information storage and utilization capacity across the world, for sure the scope for gaining data and turning it into progressive and effective information, which can improve the development of humanity, is immense. This is also an exciting prospect as the 21st century unfolds, and it is likely to be vital for people as they adapt rapidly to the changes that all technological innovation and associated developments bring.

Understanding the data

Of course, this goes along with the adage that it is better to understand than to know. Understanding the data, and making sense of it, is going to be far more useful than just knowing that the increase in data is there. This may seem obvious, but it can be forgotten, or just glazed over for effect. Superficially, it can be part of the fun of doing an online psychometric assessment, the proverbial feeling of ‘no strings attached’ keeping people interested, without them overthinking about what they have done, or how the result may affect their careers. Ultimately, however, the ramifications of a more digitalized society, with ever more advanced AI and jobs changing radically within short time frames, means that people will be better off if they can understand and utilize identified and verified skills, plus improve their innate abilities.

Online Psychometric Assessment Tool

For this identification, each online psychometric assessment will be noted, rightly, as a tool, something useful that enables more to be achieved than humans can achieve on their own. It is likely that a large array of online psychometric assessments will be developed as the skills-set of workers diversifies and enlarges during the 21st century. As we considered earlier (about Cattell and his ideas concerning big data and the development of communication, many forms of which now include everyday means of communication that only geniuses like Nikola Tesla envisaged) and for sure, the way forward will see even greater, more radical, changes, vastly more than occurred in the half-century between Babbage’s Analytical Engine and Cattell’s laboratory being set-up.

The development of psychometrics will, of course, be part of the increased knowledge within the larger intellectual realm of psychology, and reflect knowledge production and advancement in general, this being of the like that humans have never seen before. Cattell developed one of the early IQ tests, following-on from such notable IQ tests as the Stanford-Binet – as it became known – and the testing of intelligence has become a well-known phenomenon on the internet. This means that an online psychometric assessment or two can change people’s lives in a short time – in this instance, to give an example, the opportunity of joining a society being opened-up when a society’s IQ entrance level has been surpassed whilst doing an accepted assessment.

Aspects to Intelligence

There are many other well-known aspects to intelligence, for example, Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence, which has associated tests that can be useful in evaluating learning styles and preferences. Teacher training courses can include such an online psychometric assessment to help teachers understand themselves and the pupils they are teaching, this knowledge and experience growing to increase the tools available for teachers that help understand and formulate the best approach to learning.

Emotional Intelligence too (made especially popular via the books written by Daniel Goleman) has many an online psychometric assessment for it. Some knowledge and appreciation of EQ is useful in orientating individuals and groups in many scenarios, this aspect to psychometrics growing in importance according to academics, many of them citing the greater importance of EQ compared with IQ in improving study performance – for example.

Furthermore, all the above is related to identifying potential and for increasing interest in developing that potential. Many psychologists adhere, earnestly, to the idea of self-actualization and this may indeed become essential for survival as technology takes over many aspects of work that people currently aspire to.

Therefore, it is hoped that this article continues and enhances interest in taking an online psychometric assessment or two. An online psychometric assessment can open-up many avenues towards self-actualization, broaden horizons, and promote adaptation, invention, and innovation. In the future, being able to command new and greater skills will be essential, as the work environment gains in complexity. Proving oneself the person to be chosen from an ever-growing population will be a challenge, yet it can also be an enjoyable and rewarding experience, leading to avenues of development on this earth, and maybe beyond it, that will one day become legendary. As such, an online psychometric assessment can be truly inspirational.