Practical and Ethical Issues in Assessment
A number of issues relating to the use of psychological assessments in applied and research settings are raised in this chapter, beginning with a review of the different uses made of psychological assessments and the contexts in which they are applied. This is followed by an introduction to professional and ethical issues relevant to assessments, and this in turn by a discussion of some practical issues that arise in the use of assessments.
There are a variety of ways of characterizing the purposes of psychological assessments, but this discussion is organized around four categories of use: screening, placement and referral, instructional and treatment planning, and outcome evaluation.
Psychological assessments are widely used for the initial identification of individuals satisfying a particular criterion. In some cases the screening activities are employed as a first step in identifying individuals with exceptional competencies. For example, some school boards have screening procedures for the initial identification of candidates for gifted or enriched educational programs. More often, though, screening procedures are used for an initial identification of pathological or maladaptive conditions: