History of Assessment and Ethical Issues – Psychology

Words: 645
Topic: Sociology

In psychology, assessment is regarded as a critical process as it helps clinical psychologists acquire valuable information in diagnoses, selection of treatment options, and therapeutic change quantification. Personal assessment has become a very common practice in a wide range of subjects.

Personality assessment involves the study of the characteristics which constitute the social, behavioral, emotional, and cognitive functioning. Objective personality assessment has so far received a lot of attention from scholars and the major methods used include the MMPI (Minnesota Multichoice Personality Inventory) and the CPI (California Psychological Inventory) (Goldstein & Hersen, 2000).

Some of the common tests that fall under personality assessment include interest inventories, projective personality tests, and objective personality testing (Neukrug &Fawcett, 2010). In one way or another, all these tests are used to test the personality of individuals towards something.

The first objective personality assessment was initiated in 1917 and it involved the use of questionnaires during the World War I screening (Goldstein & Hersen, 2000). The initial personality assessment acted as a platform for the establishment of the current objective personality assessment. For example, questionnaires are still being used to collect data and information for analytical purposes. So far, numerous breakthroughs have been achieved through the development of the psychological assessment.

The initial tests have been adopted as models for the current objective personality assessment tests. As noted by Fawcett and Neukrug (2010), instruments of assessment have been developed whereby computers can now be used to analyze complex studies. Diagnoses and assessments can now be carried out by clinical psychologists to aid in propelling the psychology field forward. As a result of the earlier assessments, laws and ethics have been designed to assist psychologists while administering tests to their clients (Neukrug &Fawcett 2010).

However, the application of personality assessment tests on subjects raises a lot of ethical issues. Researchers have to put into consideration these ethical issues while undertaking research. The APA Code of Ethics is applied by psychologists to make sure that they work within a certain limit. The APA Code of Ethics acts as a guideline that aids researchers on how they should respond to certain situations (Neukrug &Fawcett 2010).

The code ensures that professionalism is practiced on the subjects under study so that they are not abused or their human rights violated. According to the APA (2010) critical decisions made by psychologists are based on the Ethics Code. This prevents them from violating any laws or ethical considerations which may lead to the ultimate sanction from the psychology field. Other than assisting the psychologists, the APA Code of Ethics assist the subjects under study to file a suit of professional misconduct and lack of competence in respect to practicing.

Researchers are supposed to ‘know there are times when it is appropriate to test and times when it is not’. In reference to the APA Code of Ethics, this item implies that psychologists carry their researches under certain circumstances. For example, if the test may lead to numerous complications then the researcher may find it appropriate not to undertake the risks. According to APA (2010) it is inappropriate to carry out tests without informed consent from the participants.

This has been supported by Fawcett and Neukrug (2010) who note that testing is by itself a violation of an individual’s privacy. Therefore the item is aligned to the APA Code of Ethics as it observes some of the ethical considerations highlighted in the Code of Ethics.

On the other hand, knowing and taking into account the implications of such code of ethics on a client as indicated in the APA Code of Ethics ensure that reasonable steps are taken by psychologists to evade the ensuing consequences (APA, 2010). For example, the APA Code of Ethics requires that a psychologist or a researcher should be able to foresee any implications that may arise and find means of averting the consequences.

Reference List

APA. (2010). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct American Psychological Association.

Goldstein, G., & Hersen, M. (2000). Handbook of psychological assessment. Amsterdam: Pergamon.

Neukrug, E., & Fawcett, R. (2010). Essentials of Testing and Assessment: A Practical Guide for Counselors, Social Workers, and Psychologists. (2nd ed.) Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.