Recommendations

In an effort to summarize the essence of good ethical practice in psychological assessment, we offer this set of suggestions:

• Clients to be tested (or their parents or legal guardians) must be given full informed consent about the nature of the evaluation, payment for services, access to results, and other relevant data prior to initiating the evaluation.

• Psychologists should be aware of and adhere to published professional standards and guidelines relevant to the nature of the particular type of assessment they are conducting.

• Different types of technical data on tests exist—including reliability and validity data—and psychologists should be sufficiently familiar with such data for any instrument they use so that they can justify and explain the appropriateness of the selection.

• Those administering psychological tests are responsible for assuring that the tests are administered and scored according to standardized instructions.

• Test users should be aware of potential test bias or client characteristics that might reduce the validity of the instrument for that client and context. When validity is threatened, the psychologists should specifically address the issue in their reports.

• No psychologist is competent to administer and interpret all psychological tests. It is important to be cautiously self-critical and to agree to undertake only those evaluations that fall within one's training and sphere of competence.

• The validity and confidence of test results relies to some degree on test security. Psychologists should use reasonable caution in protecting the security of test items and materials.

• Automated testing services create a hazard to the extent that they may generate data that are inaccurate for certain clients or that are misinterpreted by improperly trained individuals. Psychologists operating or making use of such services should take steps to minimize such risks.

• Clients have a right to feedback and a right to have confidentiality of data protected to the extent agreed upon at the outset of the evaluation or in subsequent authorized releases.

• Test users should be aware of the ethical issues that can develop in specific settings and should consult with other professionals when ethical dilemmas arise.

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