When carrying out psychological tests, I-O practitioners are under obligation to observe the rights of their respondents or patients. The patients have rights such the right to informed consent, anonymity and privacy. These rights pertain to individual information revealed to a psychologist. Psychologists must always handle this information carefully because it is confidential.
Privacy refers to personal details that are sensitive. When psychologists interview and assess patients, they have access to this sensitive information. Since the patient has to reveal the sensitive information, there are rules that oblige a psychologist to keep this information private and confidential. If the psychologist reveals this information to a third party, it is a breach of the law.
This is where the psychologist is allowed to use a patient’s information for statistics and other official duties. However, the patient or respondent’s identity has to be kept under cover. The psychologist is allowed to use the patient’s psychological results or assessment details to make public conclusions or research. However, the psychologist is not allowed to reveal that these details were obtained from a certain person. This would be against the law.
This involves the asking for permission from respondents on whether to use their psychological information for research purposes. Informed consent is where the patient is consulted before their information is used for a different purpose. The respondent has to be informed of the implications if using their information before they give their consent. Psychologists who trick respondents into giving uninformed consent are breaching the law.
Therefore, the respondent or patient information given to psychologists is treated as confidential and private information. Patient personal details must be kept private always. If used for other psychological purposes, the owner of the information must have given an informed consent. The patient identity must also be kept anonymous if the patient information is to be used in psychological research.
Kurpius, R., & Stanford, M. E. (2006). Testing and measurement: A user-friendly guide. New york: Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Schultz, K. S., & Whitney, D. J. (2005). Measurement theory in action: Case studies and exercises. New York: Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.