Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

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Unit Overview


This unit is devoted primarily to psychometrics: the scientific discipline that describes the theory, the principles, and the appropriate application of measurement in psychology. In more specific terms, the unit will focus on an understanding of test score reliability and test validity. Furthermore, methods that can be used to evaluate the reliability and validity of measures often used to quantify psychological attributes such as cognitive abilities, personality, and attitudes, for example, will be taught. Specific data analytic techniques used to evaluate test scores will include coefficient alpha and omega, factor analysis, item response theory, and multiple regression, for example. In addition to psychometrics, this unit will have some focus upon psychological assessment: the scientific discipline devoted to the principles of test administration, scoring, and interpretation.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Psychology; Psychological and Behavioural Sciences major sequences
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) acquire key knowledge of the principles underlying psychometric measurement, testing and assessment—this requires an understanding of scaling, psychometric functions, item characteristics, reliability and validity.; (2) be aware of best practice in assessment, including an awareness of the potential impact of cultural differences, and ethical issues associated with psychological testing; (3) become familiar with the analysis of individual differences and statistics in common with those used in test construction— correlation, regression and factor analysis.; and (4) identify and explain pertinent multi-cultural considerations, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, in the development and evaluation of psychological tests.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) mid-semester test; (2) end-of-semester lab test; and (3) examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Gilles Gignac
Unit rules
Successful completion of
three Unit(s) PSYC1101 Psychology: Mind and Brain
and Unit(s) PSYC1102 Psychology: Behaviour in Context
and Unit(s) PSYC2203 Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Psychology
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
labs: 1 to 2 hours some weeks
Enrolled students can access unit material via LMS (Learning Management System).

Students are exposed to topics in psychology units that may cause some discomfort or distress in certain individuals (e.g. depression, suicide, trauma, eating disorders). They are required to demonstrate skills across a variety of different formats and contexts (e.g. written assessments, participation in practical work, contribution to group discussions, oral presentations, examinations), and so it is important to carefully consider whether they are able to cope with the demands of studying psychology and whether there is anything that would impact upon their ability to complete the requirements of the unit. Refer to individual unit outlines for more detailed unit information.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.