Cultural, Ethical and Legal Considerations in Psychological Testing

Topics: Psychometrics, Clinical psychology, Bias Pages: 5 (1400 words) Published: September 7, 2012
Cultural, Ethical and Legal Considerations in Psychological Testing

Cultural Considerations in Psychological Testing

Culture differs in every part of the world and in these differences; psychology addresses the people who take part in the idea of culture and its practices. In psychological testing, many issues are raised regarding how such tests are appropriate for different groups of people, underlying their traditions, races, and sex. It has always been a challenge for testing and assessment to consider culture and how one cannot apply certain knowledge of psychology to the whole world because of diversity; that is why cultural considerations play a big role in psychological testing.

Generally, many cases had been filed to Western courts regarding how apt the existing tests are to different groups of people. According to Armour-Thomas and Gopaul-McNicol (1998), tests are not culturally biased because of at least three categories or assumptions: tests are culturally fair and items do not favor a particular cultural group; the tasks assess the cognitive abilities underlying intellectual behavior for all groups; and the tests accurately predict performance for all groups. But there are counter propositions that these ideas differ from. Aiken (1971) states that there are three points to be considered, test fairness, race norming, and differential prediction. The use of tests with groups other than those on which they were standardized raises the issue of test fairness. Basically, there are different forms of biases that should be considered to have test fairness; these are bias in construct validity, content validity, item selection, and predictive or criterion-related validity (Whiting-Ford, 2003). Aiken (1917) explains that Race norming is comparing applicants’ test scores only with those of their own ethnic group. Most of the time, test interpreters do not consider this; that is why statistical results vary greatly between different ethnic groups. Lastly, differential prediction explains that in certain ethnic groups, there are specific cases applicable only to the same group and not of the other. This is seeing different ethnic groups that they have different needs/experiences than the other.

If the things stated on the latter were to be considered for testing, then there would be fewer instances of cultural biases in which affects the result of applied tests. Researchers should always consider the diversity of the environment they are working in. Across cultures, there are different practices, with similarities and differences that is why test fairness, race norming, and differential prediction should be considered before concluding pieces of information.


Graham, J.R. (1984). Psychological Testing. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice Hall Inc. Aiken, L.R. (1971). Psychological Testing and Assessment, Eighth Edition. Needham Heights, Massachusetts: Simon & Schuster Inc. Whiting, G. & Ford, D. (2003). Cultural Bias in Testing.Retrieved from:

Ethical Considerations in Psychological Testing

Like any other field that deals with people and for the people, psychology with its procedures follows certain ethics. Ethics is defined as the branch of knowledge that deals with moral principles. Psychological testing should also consider ethics to ensure the security of the both parties.

There are several ethical considerations while conducting psychological testing. Examples of these are: Competent use of standardized or clinical assessment techniques, Test security, Informed consent, Appropriate feedback to clients, andConfidentiality. The author of this paper finds it appropriate to focus on three points, mainly: Invasion of Privacy, Confidentiality, and Client’s Right to Information; since these three strong points encompasses the other two stated latter. The first point is Invasion of Privacy; this is not a taboo in...
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