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Test Misuse Responses

Respond by Day 5 to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Ask a probing question.
  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
  • Offer and support an opinion.
  • Validate an idea with your own experience.
  • Make a suggestion.
  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.
  • APA format if citing

Classmate 1 (Samantha):

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 Test misuse is a problem that has far-reaching consequences. As psychological practitioners, we are tasked with ensuring ethical testing practices. This includes administering tests that are appropriate for the test taker, valid, and reliable (American Psychological Association, 2016). When tests are misused, it creates a situation that is useless at best an, at worst, damaging to an individual.

One example of test misuse is having the test administered by an untrained person. Having an appropriate proctor is necessary for several reasons. Firstly, many psychological and intelligence tests require an interactive testing session. The Rorschach test is an example of this. The test giver is presenting information, asking questions, and interpreting the information given by the test taker. They are assessing different factors that may skew the results or render the test invalid (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997). They are also ensuring that the test is measuring what it is intended to measure and that the instrument is appropriate for the situation (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997). An untrained person wouldn’t be able to adequately administer this type of test and provide accurate and valid interpretations. This could have far reaching consequences for the test taker. They may be given a diagnosis that isn’t appropriate or denied a service because of the outcome.

A second example is that of cultural competency. While some tests are valid in one population, they may not be as appropriate in others. For instance, a test that is taken on a computer may be appropriate for a 21-year old, but may not be appropriate for a 2 year old or a 93 year old. Likewise, a test that is administered in English wouldn’t yield accurate results if given to a person who speaks and writes in Spanish. Principle E of the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (2016) states “Psychologists are aware of and respect cultural, individual, and role differences, including those based on age, gender, gender identity, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, language, and socioeconomic status, and consider these factors when working with members of such groups.” The last portion of that statement is key. It’s not enough for professionals to be aware, we must also take these differences seriously when testing individuals. Testing instruments should be reviewed often to ensure that they are as free from cultural bias as possible. (However, Anastasi and Urbina (1997) point out that taking out all cultural differentials from a test lowers it validity and could render the test useless in measuring what it is intended to measure.) Another important consideration is what population sample the results are viewed against (Allmark, 2004). If the population sample consists mainly of Caucasian males, it would not be appropriate to use that population sample to assess a Native American female, for instance. While there may not be a population sample that exactly aligns with the test taker’s profile, the onus is on the administrator to ensure the results are scored fairly and competently.

There are many things to consider when administering, interpreting, and making recommendations following a test. Psychological professionals must maintain a fair, competent, unbiased standard when testing individuals. This helps to ensure that the tests are reliable, valid, and appropriate for the test takers, as well as providing accurate assessment data.”

Classmate 2: (Oriaku)

Test Misuse

It is imperative to utilize best practice and protect the integrity of any construct. According to Anastasi & Urbina (1997), the concern has been identified in the psychological arena centered around ethics. When administering a test, procedures should be established before facilitating due to the sensitivity of performance and time. According to the American Psychological Association (1999), the responsibilities of test administration, scoring, and interpreting, should have training coupled with support established. When procedures are simplified, they should be monitored and if errors occur it should be documented and corrected (APA, 1999).

Precaution is always needed when collaborating with others about scores, test takers, and interpretation (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997). In administering the test, one of the key elements is confidentiality and protecting the personal information of the test taker. If the examinee has a disability or some form of accommodation, there are standards that are put in place as a best practice to protect the process. In the forms of written communication about results or interpretation is extremely delicate when sharing information via phone, fax, email, and face to face. Data integrity is best practice in order to maintain security and preventing modification of results during all communication (APA, 1999).

The intentions to construct an assessment can be positive and there are times that the misuse has been evident. The test is to provide a safeguard against favoritism and discrimination (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997). Test have been misused with minorities more than anyone else, however, if they are properly used unfairness and discrimination will not be present (Anastasi & Urbina, 1997). The professional that is facilitating assessments will need to present a form of commitment to training and development. In order to select, administer, and interpret test coupled with the process of achieving effectiveness one must be knowledgeable (APA, 1999). In administering the Test For Adult Basic Education (TABE) the facilitator is required to be certified. My organization is required to provide this particular test two times a week due to the training classes have made it a prerequisite before enrolling in a specific course. For example, if someone desired to enroll in the business administration certification class, the requirement is for the individual to sit for the exam, score a certain grade level which is sixth grade and above. In order for me to be able to administer the TABE test, I had to go through training to ensure best practice, all rights are honored, and the data is protected appropriately.”

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