Saturday, May 31, 2014

Issues in Psychological Testing Worksheet

1.         What are at least two ethical issues associated with psychological testing?  What impact do these issues have on the field of psychological testing?
          Psychological testing is a means of use for psychologists as assessment tools for measuring and observing clients’ or patient’s behavior for arriving at a diagnosis and as guides for treatment purposes. Since the introduction of psychological testing and throughout the varying changes involved in psychological testing, numerous ethical issues have arisen in regard to the uses and methods of such testing. Hogan (2007), “ethics deals with what one should or should not do, according to principles or norms of conduct” (p. 584). Consent and confidentiality are two particular ethical issues associated with psychological testing. In regard to informed consent, it is a significant aspect of psychological testing. Clients or patients have to consent to psychological testing voluntarily; therefore, psychologists are responsible for informing a particular individual or individuals in regard to the purpose and nature of a particular psychological test.
          Psychologists are responsible for providing such information in a language and form that an individual can understand. In regard to children, and individuals with limited capacity, legal guardians, caregivers or parents must provide consent. Informed consent is an ongoing agreement; therefore, clients or patients can withdraw consent at any particular point of time when psychological testing is occurring. In regard to confidentiality, it is another significant aspect of psychological testing. Psychological testing results must be kept confidential by psychologist and treated as confidential information (Hogan, 2007). Releasing the results of tests can occur but only to other qualified professionals with the client’s or patient’s consent. Of course, psychologists cannot refer to psychological testing results outside the purpose and context for which they obtained such results (Hogan, 2007).
          Also, in regard to confidentiality, psychologists have to maintain psychological testing results in a manner that is secure and as for disposal; psychologists have to dispose of testing results in a manner that does not expose confidential information (Hogan, 2007). Both of these ethical issues are of significance when performing psychological testing. Without policies or codes to adhere to, psychological testing becomes ineffective and untrustworthy and loses its scientific credibility. 
2.         What are at least two legal issues associated with psychological testing?  How do these issues affect the field of psychological testing?
          Discrimination and to ensure that appropriate accommodations are occurring in regard to accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are two legal issues associated with psychological testing. In regard to psychological testing, using discrimination is a means of infringing on the rights of individuals that have a particular gender identity, sexual or religious preference, or may be of a particular race in regard to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1991 (Hogan, 2007). Therefore, federal law prohibits psychologists from using discrimination processes in regard to the selection processes of individuals or the application of psychological testing. Such discrimination processes can result in unfair advantages for particular individuals and can adversely affect them, as well as the results of such tests. In regard to the ADA, psychologists, that is, for testing purposes must ensure that appropriate accommodations are met or made available for clients or patients who cannot abide by normal testing standards or environment (Hogan, 2007).
          Also, psychologists must provide alternatives measures in regard to testing for individuals with physical disabilities, and visual and hearing impairments. However, in making such accommodations for individuals, psychologist must ensure that such accommodations do not produce unfair advantages for such individuals in regard to other clients or patients. Legal issues can have a detrimental effect on psychological testing when psychologists do not adhere to set laws to protect individuals who undergo psychological testing. Negating such laws can put psychologists in jeopardy in regard to facing legal actions opposed against them, and clients and patients can suffer the consequences when psychologists violate their client’s or patient’s rights. Negating such laws can also make the results received from psychological testing invalid and adversely hinder the validity and reliability of a psychological test.  
3.         Which court case do you feel has had the largest impact on the field of psychological testing?  Why?
          The court case or cases I believe had the most effect on the field of psychological testing were the combined cases of Crawford v. Honig, PASE v. Hannon, and Larry P. v. Riles (Hogan, 2007). These cases brought important issues to the forefront in regard to testing. First, it is of significant importance to know the differences between diagnoses of learning disabilities and mental disorders, and testing may be able to distinguish between the two (Hogan, 2007). Second, these cases acknowledged the importance treatment after diagnosis. Third, these cases had an effect on the importance of understanding intelligence and what determines intelligence. Hogan (2007), “finally, the methods used to analyze item bias in these cases—very much an armchair analysis—seem primitive by today’s standards” (p. 613). 
          Furthermore, the attention these court cases brought to such significant issues as intelligence and the processes used for testing intelligence, diagnosis, and bias helped influence the development of psychological testing in accordance with a set of accepted standards or rules. Also, helped the development of psychological testing used in other means, that is, for other assessing behavior, personality, and mental competency. These court cases also had an effect on the validity and reliability of testing; therefore helping psychological testing establishing credibility.

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