Reference Work Entry

Handbook of Clinical Psychology Competencies

pp 343-365


  • Paul G. MichaelAffiliated withPacific University
  • , Susan T. LiAffiliated withPacific University


Clinical psychologists must develop a specific set of competencies in the area of psychometrics and measurement theory in order to be successful professionals. The competency models put forth by professional organizations within psychology have provided the framework for identifying the broader foundational and functional competencies that pertain to the field of psychometrics, specifically assessment, and research and evaluation. As producers and consumers of research, clinical psychologists must have a firm understanding of measurement development and the ability to interpret and summarize information obtained from various types of assessment tools. Thus, the main focus of this chapter is to describe the application of psychometric concepts in clinical endeavors. Central to this discussion are psychometric concepts such as, scales of measurement, reliability and validity of psychological instruments, and approaches to test theory. Both basic and expert competencies in psychometrics are reviewed and discussed in the context of training professional psychologists at different levels of readiness (e.g., practicum, internship, licensure, etc.). However, it is noted that there are certainly areas in which there may be a difference of opinion as to what constitutes the core body of knowledge in psychometrics. Further, there is less consensus and literature on the definition of expert or master as compared to the articulation of basic competencies. Nonetheless, what is evident is the need to increase efforts to integrate psychology and new innovations occurring in the field of psychometrics. Additionally, as we prepare and train the next generation consideration should be given to developing ways to increase the number of psychologists entering the field of quantitative psychology.