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Objective tests are psychological tests which are different in nature from projective tests, which are based on Freudian Psychology (Psychoanalysis) and seek to expose the unconscious perceptions of people. Conversely, objective tests generally explore an individual's conscious thoughts and feelings. Objective tests tend to be more reliable and valid than projective tests.
An objective test is built by following a rigorous protocol which includes the following steps:
- Making decisions on nature, goal, target population, power.
- Creating a bank of questions.
- Estimating the validity of the questions, by means of statistical procedures and/or judgement of experts in the field.
- Designing a format of application (a clear, easy-to-answer questionnaire, or an interview, etc.).
- Detecting which questions are better in terms of discrimination, clarity, ease of response, upon application on a pilot sample.
- Applying a revised questionnaire or interview to a sample.
- Use appropriate statistical procedures to establish norms for the test.