Within the ethical issues of psychological testing, we have to take into consideration multiple aspects. For instance, we need to look at the competence of the psychologist, informed consent, the right to result, confidentiality, test security, divided loyalties, invasion of privacy, labeling and dehumanization. I have chosen to discuss informed consent and confidentiality. According to Leach (2007), “Ethics codes are designed to protect the public by prescribing behaviors professionals are expected to exhibit” (p. 71). Within the code of ethics, it may have many different emphases, and purposes that depend upon the culture, country, and interpretation.
When looking at informed consent, it is standard for the psychologist to receive this consent before testing and then again before giving the results to a third party. Also, the psychologist has to inform the client the reasons why the assessment is being administered within the language they can understand. In eight countries it is required that psychologists inform the client of the purpose of the assessment. Informed consent is essential in the aspect that you should know why and how you are being tested, for no one should have anything done to them without knowing why or the risks.
Confidentiality is still to this day an issue within the field of mental health. According to Martindale (2009), “It is generally acknowledged that users must be informed about the relative limits of confidentiality and legislation surrounding this, as a part of the process of generating informed consent” (p. 357). Some types of communication are considered privileged when discussed between a professional and an individual but cannot be discussed with a third party. When this confidentiality is breached there can be penalties. There are times when confidentiality conflicts with the professional’s duty to protect an individual, such as suicidal or homicidal ideations, or abuse. There are essential aspects of confidentiality due to being able to promote a trusting environment.
Leach, M. M., & Oakland, T. (2007). Ethics Standards Impacting Test Development and Use: A Review of 31 Ethics Codes Impacting Practices in 35 Countries. International Journal Of Testing, 7(1), 71-88.
Martindale, S. J., Chambers, E., & Thompson, A. R. (2009). Clinical psychology service users’ experiences of confidentiality and informed consent: A qualitative analysis. Psychology & Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 82(4), 355-368.
Reynolds, C. R., & Livingston, R. B. (2013). Mastering modern psychological testing: Theory & methods. Pearson Higher Ed. ISBN-10: 020548350X • ISBN-13: 9780205483501
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