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Industrial-Organizational Psychology

Tools and tips for IO-Psych graduate students


Survey instruments and tests are used to measure traits and characteristics of research participants.  Self-esteem, intelligence, and  creativity are a few examples of traits measured with instruments.

If you have begun your literature review, you may run across specific instruments that other researchers have used.  Remember that there are usually a number of tests and instruments available to measure the same thing.


PsycTESTS is a great starting point for locating tests and instruments, since it is produced by the APA and contains many freely available, non-commercial instruments and surveys.

Use the Advanced Search to access many useful limiters for focusing your search.  These include:

  1. Age Group
  2. Population Group
  3. Fee (to exclude tests that require a fee)
  4. Instrument Type (checklist, rating scale, task, test, etc.)

You can also check the Full Text limiter to only see instruments that are fully available in PsycTESTS.

Human Subjects Research

If using human subjects, remember to consult the guidelines and fill out any necessary forms on the Institutional Review Board website.

Two of the most important IRB documents are linked below:

Mental Measurements Yearbook

Found in the library's Reference Collection on the main floor, Mental Measurements Yearbook (R 016.15 B93) is a multi-volume set that provides brief evaluations of the reliability and validity of many commercially available tests.  Test publishers are also listed.

MMY is a good source to consult if you identify an interesting instrument from reading a scholarly study, but it's not available in PsycTESTS and you want to learn more about it, including a review and how to obtain it.  Start by searching the test's name in Test Reviews Online, which will tell you which volume of the MMY contains a review of that test.  Then use the index of that volume to find the page number where the test's review appears.  Remember that it typically costs money to order instruments and answer sheets from commercial test publishers.

Another useful source from the same publisher (Buros Center for Testing) is called Tests in Print (R 016.3712 T28).  It is a comprehensive listing of all commercially available tests that are in print, and includes info like purpose, population, scoring, and price.

Finding Tests in Journal Databases