Some of the ethical issues associated with psychological testing include informed consent and confidentiality. Maruish (2002) contends that “an issue that is consistently included in discussions of ethics in managed behavioral healthcare settings is that of informed consent”.
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Psychologists must seek for informed consent from their clients to therapy by use of language clearly understood by the participant. Maruish (2002) points out that informed consent is where one undergoing psychological testing, without undue influence whatsoever, is provided with valid information regarding the procedures to be undertaken. The individual’s consent must be documented properly.
Another ethical issue is confidentiality. An individual’s direct permission must be sought to disclose any information regarding any psychological test undertaken (Hogan, 2007). Psychologists must refrain from divulging information about patients or to others who are not qualified to use that information. Confidentiality entails potential misuse of tests, test data, and test reports.
Their impact on the field of psychology
Informed consent is a legal issue. Not obtaining informed consent may increase the psychologist’s liability from damages that may occur from law suits that may be filed against him by the patient. (Maruish, 2002) asserts that informed consent is a continuous process and requires on going solicitations.
Psychologists find themselves hindered from administering alternative tests on patients strongly deemed necessary for which authorization has been denied. However, this makes psychologists responsible for actions they take including divulging of patient information and testing patients without consent (Maruish, 2002). Therefore, patient information without consent can not be obtained by employers and other third parties.
Two Legal Issues Associated With Psychological Testing
Kaplan and Saccuzzo (2008) pointed out that several legal cases have plagued the field of psychological testing. One of the legal cases Include the famous 1896 case of Plessy v.Fergusson at the end of the 19th century where the Supreme Court ruled that schools should remain segregated but the quality of the schools should remain the same. “….the famous separate but-equal-ruling” (Kaplan et al., 2008).
The second case along the line of psychological testing includes the case of Brown V. Board of education in 1954 according to (Kaplan et al., 2008).
How They Affect the Field of Psychological Testing
These legal cases led to several laws being enacted and written concerning psychological testing. In addition, some methods used for psychological testing were permanently discontinued. These include tests such as the use of IQ testing to place African American children in EMNR classes as is determined by (Kaplan et al., 2008).
Court case with the impact on the field of psychology
The court case with the profound impact on the field of psychology was that of Hobson V. Hansen. The case concerned the placement of children once they arrive at school. It contested the standard the use of group standardized tests to place students in different learning tracks (Kaplan et al., 2008).
The above case was used to examine the validity of psychological testing. The court ruled out that the use of psychological testing to place children in EMR was discriminatory had no basis on the intellectual abilities of the child. That ruled, the use of psychological testing for job placements was annulled since it was deemed discriminatory. The ruling is applicable until today (Kaplan et al., 2008).
Hogan, P. T. (2007). Psychology Testing: A Practical Introduction, 2e
ISBN: 9780471738077. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Maruish, M. E. (2002), Psychological testing in the age of managed behavioral healthcare. Ethical issues associated with psychological testing. Web.
Kaplan,R. M. & Saccuzzo, D. P. 2008). Psychological Testing: Principles, Applications, and Issues. Web.