Psychological Assessment

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What is psychological assessment?

Psychological assessment is a process of testing that uses a combination of techniques to assist in arriving at some hypotheses about a person and their behaviour, personality and capabilities which is used to make effective decisions such as those in the selection process. Psychological assessment is also referred to as psychological testing, or performing a psychological battery on a person.

The South African Context

Psychological assessment has developed considerably compared to the past during period the apartheid era. This is mainly due to the introduction of Employment Equity and Affirmative Action in South Africa which brought about an immense amount of changes especially in that of procedures taken in the workplace. Changes had to be made to incorporate the diversity that is experienced in South Africa, aswell as incorporating new legislation. Various factors in South African workplaces ranging from unemployment and equity considerations to rapid occupational change driven by technological inputs, have placed greater emphasis on effective selection and development of human resources. This leads to greater demands on psychological assessment in the organizational setting with respect to ensuring responsible, ethical and equitable assessment. (Paterson; 2005:pg12)

Post-apartheid psychological assessors started to realize that the selection process was indeed unfair and not equitable; they became aware of new assessment measures that could be incorporated into the South African workforce because it dealt with Multi-cultural tests, these tests helped measure performance of the current state and also helped for future selection processors. Another reason as to why psychological assessment needed to be re-evaluated is because of the new legislation and the changing labour market after 1994, therefore responsible and valid test measures needed to be developed. “Responsible assessment can benefit selection and...
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