Social Science Survey Instruments For Dissertations


Measurement tools are instruments used by researchers and practitioners to aid in the assessment or evaluation of subjects, clients or patients. The instruments are used to measure or collect data on a variety of variables ranging from physical functioning to psychosocial wellbeing. Types of measurement tools include scales, indexes, surveys, interviews, and informal observations.

This guide will:

  • Walk you through the process for finding measurement tools.
  • Demonstrate examples of commonly asked questions (scenarios).
  • Highlight resources that can answer questions about measurement tools.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is an instructional guide. It may not help you find your specific test nor is it a direct link to the full-text of tests.


This guide will provide you with strategies to:

  • Find a specific test
  • Find a test for a variable
  • Find a test review

Assumptions About You

This guide assumes you have:

  • Basic knowledge of the research terminology (e.g., variable, reliability, validity).
  • General ability to read research articles.
  • Some experience with database and web searching.
  • Connection to UW online restricted resources. See Connect from Off-Campus to UW-Restricted Resources.

How To Proceed

Use the Table of Contents to the left as your guide. You may begin at any point. However, we recommend you start at "Paths to Information," proceed to "Scenarios," view the "Resource Table," then complete the "Summary" overview.

The Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print database, from the Buros Institute, contains the most recent descriptive information and critical reviews of new and revised tests from the Buros Institute's Yearbooks. The database covers more than 4,000 commercially-available tests in categories such as personality, developmental, behavioral assessment, neuropsychological, achievement, intelligence and aptitude, educational, speech & hearing, and sensory motor.  

MMY with TiP offers test reviews that are written by experts and contain descriptions of tests and commentary on their psychometric adequacy (Cone & Foster, 2006, pg. 170). ETS does not include reviews but still offers information on a test’s purpose, individuals for whom it is appropriate, and administration times. Use MMY with TiP, and ETS, to 1) obtain contact information and 2) read descriptive information on the measure of interest. You will need to either purchase the test from a publisher or contact author(s) to obtain the test along with copyright permissions to use it in your research.

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