Assessment Tips

Political | Types seeks to provide you with quality resources for learning more about your personality and political orientations. These resources include various assessment tools: surveys, scales, "tests," and so on. Before you fill out any of these assessments, we encourage you to consider the following questions and guidelines to ensure your results are useful for you.

if you decide to complete one of the assessments on this site, please be aware that by doing so that you are waiving your right to receive any further interpretation from Political | Types beyond the written materials provided.

What are the site user's rights and obligations? The American Psychological Association has outlined rights and obligations for you as a user of assessments. Please familiarize yourself with these rights and obligations before completing assessments on this site. The statement of your rights and obligations is here.

One of your more important rights is to have your results interpreted by a qualified professional. Although Political | Types provides you written feedback on your results, we do not offer you face-to-face or phone interpretations (even though we are qualified to do so in some cases). Thus, if you decide to complete one of the assessments on this site, please be aware that by doing so that you are waiving your right to receive any further interpretation from Political | Types beyond the written materials provided. We will work to address questions as time allows. Thus, if you have a question, please feel free to post it to the appropriate forum.

What are the rights and obligations of Political | Types? Some of our key obligations--and how we address these--are listed below.


Our Obligation What We Do
Provide assessments that meet professional standards. Select assessments whose validity and reliability have been examined.
Provide you with references to this information. (See discussion below on Reliability and Validity.)
Inform user of the assessment's purpose. Provide you this information in a brief introduction to the assessment.
Inform user of how results will be used. All assessment results are used for two purposes only: research and resources. Your individual results are for your personal development endeavors. Your individual results also will be added to a database with other responses to be used for further research on the assessment(s).
Inform user of confidentiality. At no time are you asked to provide information that would identify you personally (such as e-mail address, phone number, and so on). We do record IP addresses, but only to examine possible cases of multiple instances of someone taking an assessment (when allowed). Thus, we seek to provide you with both confidentiality and anonymity.
Provide oral or written explanation of your results within a reasonable time period. After submitting your results for scoring, you will immediately receive a written report with scores and discussion of your scores. You also will be directed to a section with more information about the topic of interest.


We also suggest you learn more about assessments, such as what constitutes validity and reliability. Here is a short discussion of these topics. We also suggest you check the links page for links to other sites that cover assessment issues.

How valid is the assessment? This question is the most important question to ask about an assessment. A valid assessment measures what it is supposed to measure. Thus, when you answer a valid assessment, you know your results are useful in addressing the issues that led you to take the assessment.

Assume, for example, that you wanted to learn more about your political orientation and thus selected an assessment on a website that was labeled "Political Orientation Survey". What if the "Survey" only contained various math problems such as addition and subtraction problems. Would you say this survey was valid? No. It doesn't appear to measure political orientation.

please keep in mind that no assessment is perfect

Determining the validity of an assessment often takes years of study involving numerous studies. When possible, Political | Types will provide you with information about the validity of an assessment. Even with this information, however, please keep in mind that no assessment is perfect and that numerous things can influence any one individual's results. We recommend you think about any of your assessment results as one piece of a puzzle. Other pieces of the puzzle include reading more about the topic of the assessment, talking with trusted friends about the results, and -- most importantly -- remembering that you ultimately decide who you are (not the assessment).

How reliable is the assessment? A useful assessment will be reliable in that the assessment provides consistent results. For example, assume you weigh yourself on a scale and find you weigh 120 pounds. Two hours later you weigh yourself again and find you weigh 168 pounds. Is the scale reliable? No, it doesn't provide consistent results.

What if you weighed yourself three times over the course of the day and obtained the following results : 121, 120, 119. Would the scale be reliable? Yes. Would it be valid? Maybe not. What if you "really" weighed 180 pounds. The scale would be reliable (consistent) but inaccurate -- and thus not valid.

A valid scale--by definition--must also be reliable. Thus, researchers who develop assessments also study reliability. When possible, Political | Types will give you information about an assessment's reliability.


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