Ethical issues in Psychological Testing

There are basically two types of ethical issues in Psychological testing.

1. Issues in test administration: Ethics, bias, cultural fairness
2. Factors influencing test performance- Examiner, situational variables and test-takers perspective


Issues in Test Administration: Ethics

  1. Qualification of  the test user.
  2. If the test owner is selling the test to any institution , should be ensured about  the qualification of the test users from institute.
  3. Personal training should be given to test administration of projective tests like Rorshach.
  4. Publisher of the test should be responsible for standardization of the test as well as if all the material is provided or not.
  5. Security issues related to the test should be well maintained.
  6. Consent of the subject is important, especially for situational test.
  7. Confidentially should be well maintained for the test.
  8. Single administration is preferred in test administration.
  9. Issue of Xeroxing should be carefully handled.
  10. Test taker should get rough nature of the test.
  11. Scoring of the test should be done as per the manual.

Issues in Test Administration: Bias

Test administrator or taker should not be biased about

  • Gender
  • Religion,
  • Race,
  • Nationality,
  • Class,
  • Caste
  • Socio-cultural factors.
  • Appearance

Cultural factors –

—Genuine differences could be there but biases should not be there.

Construct bias- construct has different meaning in different groups.

Predictive bias-

Administrative Bias

Scorer/ Interpreter Bias

Issues in Test Administration: Fairness

Comparison of two cultural groups .

Try to avoid cultural differences

To cover most cultures .

Minimum use of language .

Use of a tools that will be applicable /accessible in most cultures.

Ex. SPM, Woodeno & Harris Test, Cattell Culture Fair Intelligence test (CFIT),etc.

Factors influencing Test performance


—Age ,gender, ethnicity, training- are imp .

2.Situational variables

—Characteristics of test ,relax, non-threatening  situation except test which demands stress .

3.Test-taker’s perspective

—Stress, Anxiety, mental disordered person


Anastasi, A. & Urbina, S. (2009). Psychological testing. N.D.: Pearson Education.
Asch, S. E. (1955). Opinions and social pressure. Scientific American, 193, 31- 35.
Kaplan R.M.& Saccuzzo D.P.(2005) Psychological Testing,Principles ,Applications and Issues.Sixth Ed. Cengage Learning India, Pvt Ltd.

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