What is Change and Measurement in psychology

Change in psychology refers to the concept of how individuals or groups of individuals transform over time. This transformation can occur in a variety of areas, such as behavior, attitudes, emotions, and cognition. Change is an essential concept in psychology, as it helps to understand how individuals develop and grow over time and how they respond to various internal and external factors.

Measurement in psychology is the process of quantifying variables that are relevant to the study of human behavior and mental processes. Psychologists use various measurement techniques, such as questionnaires, standardized tests, physiological measures, behavioral observations, and interviews, to collect data. The data collected through measurement techniques is used to analyze and draw conclusions about psychological phenomena. Measurement is essential in psychology because it provides objective and reliable information about behavior and mental processes, which can be used to develop theories and inform interventions.


There are several key characteristics of change and measurement in psychology.

Characteristics of change in psychology:

  1. It is a dynamic process. Change is a continuous process that occurs over time and is influenced by a variety of factors, such as biological, environmental, and social factors.

  2. It is multidimensional: change can occur in various areas such as behavior, emotions, attitudes, and cognition and can be influenced by various factors.

  3. It is individualized: change can occur differently for each individual, depending on their unique experiences, personalities, and circumstances.

  4. It is influenced by both internal and external factors. Change can be influenced by internal factors such as genetics, personality traits, and cognitive processes as well as external factors such as social and environmental factors.

Characteristics of measurement in psychology:

  1. It involves quantification: measurement in psychology involves assigning numerical values to psychological phenomena, which can be analyzed statistically.

  2. It requires reliability and validity: the measures used in psychology must be reliable, meaning they produce consistent results, and valid, meaning they measure what they are intended to measure.

  3. It can be influenced by various factors. In psychology, measurement can be influenced by factors such as bias, participant characteristics, and measurement error.

  4. It can provide objective and reliable information. When used correctly, measurement in psychology can provide objective and reliable information about psychological phenomena that can be used to develop theories and inform interventions.


An example of change in psychology is the process of cognitive development in children. As children grow and develop, their thinking and reasoning skills undergo significant changes. For example, a child may begin to understand the concept of object permanence, which means that objects continue to exist even when they are out of sight. This change in thinking is a result of the child's cognitive development and occurs over time.

An example of measurement in psychology is the use of questionnaires to measure anxiety levels in individuals. A psychologist may administer a standardized anxiety questionnaire to a group of participants and assign numerical scores to their responses. The scores can then be analyzed statistically to determine the level of anxiety in the group. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire must be assessed to ensure that the results are accurate and meaningful. This information can be used to understand the prevalence of anxiety in the population and to develop interventions to reduce anxiety symptoms.



  1. Lerner, R. M., Easterbrooks, M. A., & Mistry, J. (2017). Handbook of Psychology, Developmental Psychology (Vol. 6). John Wiley & Sons

  2. Baltes, P. B., Lindenberger, U., & Staudinger, U. M. (2006). Life span theory in developmental psychology Handbook of child psychology, pp. 569–664.


  1. Cohen, R. J., Swerdlik, M. E., & Sturman, E. D. (2018). Psychological testing and assessment: an introduction to tests and measurement McGraw-Hill Education.

  2. Anastasi, A., & Urbina, S. (1997). Psychological testing (7th ed.). Prentice Hall.

  3. American Psychological Association (2014) Standards for educational and psychological testing American Educational Research Association


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