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Chapter 21

2080B Chapter 21.docx

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Psychology 2080A/B

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Ethics and the future of psychological testing Test and Measurement – Chapter 21 Issues shaping the field of testing Professional issues  Theoretical concerns: o If a test is totally unreliable, it has no meaning o The test is also presumed to have stable entity, that what you are actually testing for is stable testers assume that people poses stable characteristics, and stable response tendencies (traits) that hold up across situations and exist independently of the environment o Studies have shown that even the best tests do not show this o Most of the tests in this book believe that you can test for human characteristics independently of the context of which these characteristic occur o Conclude that people do have a core of stability but they continually change o Psychological tests are based on theories of human functioning, the validity of these theories and their underlying assumptions is far from proven  The adequacy of tests o Tests need to be used in the right way- if they are not you cant depend on the results o The U.S supreme court or Congress may end up telling us whether the use of a test is justified  Actuarial versus Clinical Prediction o Meehl’s earlier work proved that trained professionals could not surpass predictions based on statistical formulas o The question remains, can a computer give as good or better results that a trained practitioner when interpreting a psychological tests results Moral Issues  Human Rights o There is a right to not be tested- but to the government there is exceptions, and there are also exceptions that the person does not need free and informed consent o People also have the right to know how they did on a test o People obviously need to protect the secure tests, but they cant hide behind the copyright especially if the test produces bias o People also have the right to know who will have access to their info o With the increasing use of the internet this is hard o Testers have an obligation to protect human rights, and people taking the tests should know theirs  Labeling o Labeling can be damaging depending on what it is o For example AIDS or schizophrenia- this can cause people to be stigmatized and even make people not help them o When you label someone psychologically disturbed, you can also make people think that they are responsible for there disease, and others may feel this way as well o Labels that make people feel not responsible, may increase the right that the person so labeled will feel passive o Person should have the right not to be labeled  Invasion of privacy o Dahlstrom said that it is not bad to find out about a person, invasion of privacy is when this information is used inappropriately o Psychologists must inform subjects of the limits of confidentiality o Ethical code by the APA says that any source of information given by the tests taker can only be communicated with that persons consent  Divided loyalties o This is the often conflicting commitments of the psychologist who uses tests o Question is who is the client? The individual or the institution that ordered the test o Ex. The psychologists work for a firm that is to find out who will break under pressure, but then has loyalties to who is taking the test to protect there rights and welfare o This is being resolved by the psychologists must inform the person of the limited confidentiality, then tell the institution limited information “like this person will not break down under stress” all irrelevant information is confidential o The person also has a right to know the results so they are given to them or to someone who can explain them to the person  Responsibilities for test users and test constructors o Even the right tests can be misused o APA says that the person administering the test must only give the test if the validity has been defined for that particular population o Test users must know what the test is used for and what the results are used for- TETS TAKERS RESPONSIBILITY o When interpreting results the test constructor must take into account characteristics for the person being assessed (language etc.) o The responsibility for the ethical use of the test rests on
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