Psychological Testing is a field in psychological studies also referred to as psychological assessment. It is a process through which individuals in the profession of psychology try to evaluate and understand a person and his mental behavior in depth. In addition, this testing allows for the determination of one’s personality, individuality and their IQ and the mental components. In this study one gains the ability decipher a person's strengths and their weaknesses.
1.What are at least two ethical issues associated with psychological testing? What impact do these issues have on the field of psychological testing?
One of the core ethical issues is confidentiality. This is code of conduct is required to be implemented by any licensed and operating psychologist. It entails the psychologist not disclosing your test results to none other person rather than you. It calls for a person privacy to be respected and maintained at any times. Confidentiality calls for discretion and limits the area in which the psychologist is bound not to discuss any issues regarding your tests. It also requires for a patient's records, revelations or any information shared to or by the patient to be treated with discretion.
The other major ethical issue is informed consent. This ethical issue calls for, the right of the test patient to be given an appropriate, clear and easy to understand explanation on why the test is being carried out. In the case where the test is being considered for young minor with mental disabilities, it requires that the consent be sought from the parents and in the presence of the minor. In the case of adult test subjects, it requires that one should understand all the implications that are bound to the test (Meyer, 2001).
Both of the issues impact negatively in psychological testing since, without them, the area will be highly seen as a risky assessment. It will imply that the privacy of the patient cannot be assured thus making people shy away from it. It will in turn frustrate the profession and those seeking to study it.
2. What are at least two legal issues associated with psychological testing? How do these issues affect the field of psychological testing?
One of the greatest legal hurdle that psychologist have to make do with is the American with disabilities Act of 1990 that was enacted by the congress. The act calls for due diligence to be maintained when conducting test to people with varying disabilities such as; hearing, visually impaired and physically impaired. To bridge equality structural facilities should be put in place, to ensure the disabled have free access during tests. At all times, there should be strict equality between both groups of people (impaired and non-impaired).
Another major legal issue is found under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), 1996. This law allowed for the privacy clause to come into effect in 2003. It calls for the psychologist to treat a patient's health records with due privacy and confidentiality. It also requires the psychologist to issue the client with all information regarding his health records in a timely manner and at the most appropriate time. The act also safeguards one’s health records in conformity with the national standards.
Both of these acts are of primary importance to the study of psychology. They are fundamental in that they bridge the equality gap that exists in society when one seeks to undertake the psychological test whether in seeking employment or health services. Also, they entrench the need for privacy of one’s health details.
3. Which court case do you feel has had the largest impact on the field of psychological testing? Why?
In 1989, a court case was filed in the state of California by a security guard who wanted to be employed at Target 113 stores in California. The plaintiff argued that the psychological testing was infringing on his privacy in that the test probed his inner thoughts and his sexual preferences and deep feeling. In upholding the plaintiff plea, the judge noted that the questions asked did not have any relevance to the job sought. Another case that had relevance to psychological testing was the Crawford v. Honig case of 1994. The case represents two minors who were described as learning disabled yet they wanted to take an IQ test to ascertain on the same. However since they were of, African-American, origin they were barred from taking the test due to a 1986 act modification that barred IQ testing on black Americans (Murphy, 1991).
These two cases outline the flaws that are seen in the psychological field varying from; privacy invasion, race discriminations, disability discrimination. I believe that these two suits changed how psychological testing is conducted now. They both brought to light a new order that required for all patients seeking psychological testing to be treated in the same equal measure. They also called for professionalism in the field of psychology testing. For physicians to be well equipped with all relevant knowledge on the field.
Meyer, Gregory J. "Psychological testing and psychological assessment: A review of evidence and issues." American psychologist 56.2 (2001): 128.
Murphy, Kevin R., and Charles O. Davidshofer. Psychological testing. New York: Prentice-Hall, 1991.