Wednesday, October 7, 2015
What is a Psychometrician?
I've always been asked by that question whenever people find out I'm a registered professional Psychometrician.
The Philippine professional regulation commission just released a board exam for Psychometrician license last 2014 and I took the test this year as part of the second batch.
I would always wish people didn't ask me what a Psychometrician is. People don't ask what a doctor is, what a psychologist is, what a counselor is or what a psychiatrist is.
It's sad because you realize that your profession isn't really that well known. On another hand it's better than having a stigma in your profession like how people don't want others to know they visit a psychologist or psychiatrist because they know people will just label them as being crazy.
Come to think of it, I guess it's the opportunities like this we psychometricians can get to build our name. And making sure people understand it correctly.
For most cases, I use the analogy of a nurse & a doctor. That we psychometricians are the nurse to a psychologist. The assistant.
I know. Shame on me. Why am I dumb downing the profession? Some people would say "oh okay, I get it" then we move on to another discussion. While some would respond, "I don't get it". Now we get deeper into talking about it. But then I ask myself the same question, "What is a Psychometrician?"
Of course I've read through the documents when I was studying for the board exam but seems like it the documents are a bit misleading. It is because of those documents that I started believing that we are the assistants of psychologists because there's a part that gives us certain limitations that we cannot practice our profession without a registered psychologist. Much like a somebody with a student driver's license won't give you enough driving privileges unless you have somebody with you that has a qualified driver's license.
But as more people asked me what a Psychometrician is, turns out I am a psychologist myself but we are specializing in psychometrics. Those people who are In charge of making sure that tests measure what it intends to measure and are reliable. People who make sure you don't misinterpret them too.
From this day on after I publish this post I will do away with my automatic simple response of comparing psychometricians to a nurse:Doctor analogy. Because turns out we are psychologists ourselves too. I can call myself a psychologist because I maiored in psychology.
I don't know why I'm dumb downing being a registered psychometrician just because because being a registered psychologist is of "higher" position here.
(Qualifications to take psychometric board exam is a bachelor degree in psychology while qualifications to take psychology board exam is a master's degree in psychology)
Hey I'm taking my masters too!
(Just not in Psychology)
And I really really worked myself hard to pass the damn board exam that even my forme psychology professor who's a well known professor here and internationally told me that I should be proud of myself because it's difficult to pass that exam.
Maybe I'm just not practicing what a traditional Psychometrician is. I'm not working in a clinic administering and interpreting psychological tests nor am I in a guidance counselor office explaining the achievement or personality test results to students. But I'm applying the principles and my knowledge on psychometrics in the academe through research and proper student assessments.
Next time a person asks me what is a Psychometrician I'll explain exactly what it is and not how the PRC board explain our roles to be.
I'll still make it simple but more accurate than the nurse and doctor analogy.
Psychometricians are responsible in making sure that tests are valid and reliable. They are responsible to make sure that tests measure what they intend to measure and that people don't misinterpret it.
Because in a society that relies a lot of their decisions on test results and in a society that label people based on these results, it is important that those tests really measure and represent what their supposed to be.
Or else you'll end up being a fish who believes he's dumb just because he could learn to climb a tree.
--- that's true and from now on I'm not just going to be proud of passing the board exam, but I will also be proud that I am a Psychometrician.