In psychology, the term "percentile rank" refers to the percentage of scores in a distribution that are lower than a given score. Percentile rank is often used as a way of comparing an individual's score on a test or measure to the scores of others in the same population.
For example, if an individual's score on a test is in the 85th percentile, it means that 85% of the scores in the distribution are lower than their score and 15% of the scores are higher. Percentile ranks can be useful for understanding how an individual's score compares to others and for identifying patterns or trends in a group's performance.
Examples of how percentile rank might be relevant in psychology include:
- A psychologist might use percentile ranks to compare an individual's test scores to norms or standards for their age or other relevant demographic factors.
- A researcher might use percentile ranks to compare the performance of different groups on a test or measure, such as to explore differences in ability or achievement.
- A therapist might use percentile ranks to help a client understand their performance on a test or measure and how it compares to others.
- A person might talk about their percentile rank on a test as a way of describing their relative standing or performance compared to others.