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Psychology - Psychological tests: Home

A guide to finding psychological tests.

During your research you may find you would like to use psychological tests or measures. These are instruments that allow researchers to measure a particular variable such as memory, intelligence or personality. The UK's Institute of Work Psychology defines a test as: 

"A brief sample of someone's behaviour, obtained under standard conditions, and scored according to a fixed set of rules that provide a numeric score or classification." (Myors & Carstairs, 2001). 

Tests usually fall into two types: 

  • Published - meaning commercially available for purchase through a test supplier, and
  • Unpublished - meaning they are not commercially available but are often found within journals, books or articles. 

Many tests (especially commercially available ones) require you to be professionally trained and accredited in order to use them. I.e. many of the commercial suppliers will only supply tests to clinical professionals. It can be challenging to find the full text of tests, instruments, and measures. This guides provides a starting point to finding these types of resources.

Where to start...

If you'd like to know more about psychological testing generally, Professional Bodies are a good place to start. 

  • Published / Commercial tests are usually sold via the test publisher's website. 
  • Usage of these tests may be restricted to licensed psychologists.
  • Not sure where to start? Search Google for the publisher (if known) and test name / type.

Alternatively, check the websites of these providers:

Buros Institute of Mental Measurements makes a lot of its material available on its website free-of-charge or for a small fee.

ETS Test Collection is a not for profit Educational Testing Service.

Pearson Assessment provide many products adapted to UK needs. The focus is on Psychology, Allied Health and Education. Each test is classified with a Qualification Code. Before you can purchase material from them, you have to be registered. Your level of qualification governs the tests they will sell to you.

Many tests and questionnaires can be found in books, journal articles and databases. It may be possible for you to use them or adapt them for your own work, with the permission of the author.

  • One way to try and find these resources is to combine a topic search with descriptors i.e. describing the type of test.

Examples of descriptors include "Test-Construction", "Measurement", "Questionnaires", "Personality-Measures", etc.


  • Another is to specifically search the subject field to try and locate these resources.

For example if you wanted to find a questionnaire on body-image in a database you could perform the following search:

"body image" in SU Subjects and "test construction" in SU Subjects.

Using databases to find tests and measures

You may be able to find psychological tests and measures using databases such as PsycINFO and CINAHL Plus.

The following tabs provide step by step instructions on how to do so on each database. You should be aware that full tests are not available for all records. 

The database has a field called "Tests and Measures", selecting this option lets you search for tests and measurements used in a document.

  • Not all documents will provide access to the full test documentation.
  • If the full text of the test is included, APA PsycInfo records it as an "Appended" item.

From the search page, select the multi-field search option.

Click on the "Select field" menu and scroll down to TM "Tests and measures".

  • In the "Tests and measures" search box Type Appended (to find the full text documents) 
  • Add a keyword search in the box below (leave it searching all fields)
  • Then click on search.

When you browse through the abstract you will find that it includes details of any tests or measures included in the document.

For in depth guidance on searching Ovid explore the Searching Ovid LibGuide.

CINAHL allows you to search for tests and measures in several ways. They use the terminology "research instruments" to describe these types of resources. 

  • To find a research instrument itself:

Search by Publication Type, and type Research Instrument into the search box. You can then undertake a search on your topic, using Subject Terms or keyword searches, and combine the two results sets with AND. 

Alternatively, undertake your Subject Term/keyword search, and then refine the results using the Source Type refine option ( Click on ‘Show More’ to display the ‘Research Instruments’ tick box).

  • To find work that uses a specific research instrument:

Search using the Instrumentation Field. Enter the specific name of the research instrument into the search box and select ‘Instrumentation’ from the drop-down list. Click Search.

  • To find material about research instruments:

Untick the “Suggest Subject Terms” box, enter the specific name of the research instrument and click search.

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University of Exeter LibGuide is licensed under CC BY 4.0