Test Misuse

Test ethics cover both the creation and use of tests. For this Discussion, you concentrate on the implications of test misuse. These can relate to test use with diverse groups, licensure issues, adverse impact, or test security, to name a few.

Some important basic ethical principles regarding testing are as follows:

· The construction of tests needs to be done using appropriate psychometric procedures, so that the test will provide valid measurement.

· When tests are used, they need to be properly selected. The test should be valid for the purpose used and should not be outdated. The selection should take into account the purpose of the testing and should also take the examinee’s language, culture, and disabilities into account.

· The test needs to be administered according to proper protocol in order to maintain standardization.

· The test needs to be interpreted and reported fairly, and the report needs to be stored properly. The responsible psychology professional should prevent misinterpretation and should prevent reporting that results in incorrect decisions or that causes the client unnecessary emotional harm. He or she should also protect the client’s confidentiality.

· Test givers must maintain the security of test materials. Many tests, such as the Wechsler intelligence tests or the MMPI, have been developed over a period of decades. Public familiarity with these tests would destroy their usefulness. Test publishers generally have standards controlling who can buy and use their tests.

· A test has an “adverse impact” when it results in substantially different employment decisions (e.g., hiring, promotion, termination) for one group vs. another group. This adverse impact is unlawful if there is no justification for it. For instance, some jobs might have tests of physical strength that result in fewer women being hired. The employer would need to demonstrate that physical strength is a legitimate job requirement.

To prepare for this Discussion, think of potential negative effects of tests not being administered, stored, or interpreted according to ethical principles. Consider the effects on both the individuals being tested and, potentially, the population at large.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post two potential effects of test misuse on individuals being tested and on the population at large. Support your answer with references to the APA Code of Ethics and other relevant standards

 

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