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PSY3010 Assessment of Behaviour

Semester 1, 2019 On-campus Ipswich
Short Description: Assessment of Behaviour
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences
School or Department : School of Psychology and Counselling
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 090701 - Psychology
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Suzanne Czech


Pre-requisite: PSY2100


Assessment of behaviour is central to research in the behavioural sciences and to the practice of psychology. Students could not pursue post-graduate studies, or enter professional practice, without knowledge of the principles underlying psychological assessment, as well as the major techniques of developing, evaluating, and using psychological measures.


The course begins with coverage of the basic principles of psychological testing: ethical practice in testing, theories relevant to psychological testing, test reliability and validity, norms, and how each of these aspects inform the evaluation and use of psychological tests. Students then apply these foundational principles to various aspects in which testing is conducted e.g. intelligence, personality, vocational aptitude and interests, clinical and neuropsychological functioning, and the unique aspects associated with testing in a legal context. Students can expect to learn about some of the major tests currently in use, and how these test results are communicated in written reports.


On completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of the principles of psychological assessment, including major theories, statistical foundations, methods of test construction and analysis, and test bias;
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the professional, ethical, and legal issues affecting psychological assessment in the practice setting;
  3. locate and understand information to evaluate the reliability, validity, and construction methods, of psychological tests and related measures;
  4. interpret the results of some common psychological tests and measures;
  5. understand the theoretical and empirical bases of psychological tests used to assess the main domains of cognition and personality
  6. understand the application of psychological tests in a variety of domains of psychological practice (e.g., forensic and organisational contexts)


Description Weighting(%)
1. Ethical practice in the use of psychological tests 15.00
2. Nature, functions, classifications, uses and issues concerning psychological tests 10.00
3. Theories and principles underlying test construction and application including consideration of reliability, validity, norms, item analysis and the interpretation of test scores 25.00
4. Background to uses and administration of an array of particular tests. Test types included will be individual and group tests of intelligence, abilities and aptitudes, personality tests, and tests for specific areas of functioning 25.00
5. Issues in interpretation and reporting of test results in practice settings 25.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Cohen, R, Swerdlik, M & Sturman, E 2018, Psychological Testing and Assessment: an introduction to tests and measurement, 9th edn, McGraw-Hill, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Assessments 75.00
Lectures 26.00
Private Study 55.00
Tutorials 13.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
On-Line Quiz 1 10 10 20 Mar 2019 (see note 1)
On-Line Quiz 2 10 10 10 Apr 2019 (see note 2)
On-Line Quiz 3 10 10 01 May 2019 (see note 3)
Assignment 1 100 45 16 May 2019
2HR Restricted Examination 50 25 End S1 (see note 4)

  1. Online Quiz Format: multiple choice questions and/or short-answer questions. Timing: differs for each quiz and will be advised prior to release. External (and International students) will be expected to work to Australian Eastern Standard Time.
  2. Online Quiz Format: multiple choice questions and/or short-answer questions. Timing: differs for each quiz and will be advised prior to release. External (and International students) will be expected to work to Australian Eastern Standard Time.
  3. Online Quiz Format: multiple choice questions and/or short-answer questions. Timing: differs for each quiz and will be advised prior to release. External (and International students) will be expected to work to Australian Eastern Standard Time.
  4. Examination dates will be available during the semester. Please refer to the examination timetable when published.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the student's responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course. Note that the Conceded Pass is not available in this course due to APAC accreditation standard 2.1.9.

    Supplementary assessment may be offered where a student has undertaken all of the required summative assessment items but failed to achieve a passing Final Grade by 5% or less of the total weighted Marks.

    To be awarded a passing grade for a supplementary assessment item (if applicable), a student must achieve at least 50% of the available marks for the supplementary assessment item as per the Assessment Procedure (point 4.4.2).

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the weighted aggregate of the marks (or grades) obtained for each of the summative assessment items.

  6. Examination information:
    Candidates are allowed access only to specific materials during a Restricted Examination. The only materials that candidates may use in the restricted examination for this course are: writing materials (non-electronic and free from material which could give the student an unfair advantage in the examination). Students whose first language is not English, may take an appropriate unmarked non-electronic translation dictionary (but not technical dictionary) into the examination. Dictionaries with any handwritten notes will not be permitted. Translation dictionaries will be subject to perusal and may be removed from the candidate's possession until appropriate disciplinary action is completed if found to contain material that could give the candidate an unfair advantage.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must submit the assignment to the USQ. Students may be required to provide a copy of assignments submitted for assessment purposes. Such copies should be despatched to the USQ within 24 hours of receipt of a request to do so.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within five days if required by the Course Examiner.

  3. The Course Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation and a temporary grade IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up) may be awarded.

  5. As there are resources cited in the Study Materials that are available on the World Wide Web, and an online discussion group that will be used throughout the course, as well as online tutorials, assignment submission and online knowledge testing - students undertaking this course will require regular access to email and reliable Internet access to UConnect to enable them to participate effectively in the course. You should consider the above information carefully when deciding whether or not to take this course. Reliable access to the internet is a requirement of this course as the course contains electronic assessment and submission elements. In order to avoid internet issues, on-campus students should attempt the Quiz in the student computer laboratories and upload their assignments into the elctronic submission system using the same computer laboratories. External students who knowingly do not have reliable access to the internet should actively seek alternative internet access (e.g., Internet cafes, local libraries, or work places) for assessment submission and electronic assessment attempts. External students are able to use the on-campus student computer laboratories once access has been enabled. To be granted access, external students need to contact ICT and ask to have a student account enabled so that they can work on-campus.

  6. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.