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Posted: May 4th, 2023

Part A: Review of the Case

Spence case analysis 3

In this case study, you will analyze a testing scenario using your knowledge of testing and ethics.

Part A: Review the Case

A college counselor for a large university helps students select careers matched to their personalities. She uses computer-administered personality tests as the primary source of information. The counselor uses the assessment with all students who seek counseling. Qualitative interviews are not part of the assessment process.

Part B: Case Analysis

1. Write a page paper – Describe your immediate reaction to the scenario. What are the details you immediately noticed? What questions did the scenario raise about testing?

2. Identify and explain 3 factors that impact performance on objective tests.

3. Identify and discuss 3 reliability and validity concerns with the scenario.

4. Identify and explain at least 3 ethical concerns as per the APA Ethical Codes and how you would resolve the concerns.

Integrate 5 academic sources on psychological assessment to support your position.

Part A: Review of the Case

The case study presents a scenario where a college counselor utilizes computer-administered personality tests to assist students in selecting careers. The counselor does not use qualitative interviews as part of the assessment process.

Part B: Case Analysis

Immediate Reaction and Questions Raised
My initial reaction to the scenario is that the college counselor may not be taking a comprehensive approach to career counseling. The exclusive reliance on computer-administered personality tests raises questions about the effectiveness and limitations of objective tests in assessing complex psychological constructs like personality. It also raises concerns about the counselor’s competency in interpreting test results and applying them to students’ career choices.

Factors that Impact Objective Test Performance
Three factors that impact objective test performance are test anxiety, test familiarity, and test motivation. Test anxiety refers to the emotional response, including fear and apprehension, that some individuals experience when taking tests, which can negatively impact performance. Test familiarity refers to the degree to which individuals have encountered similar tests, which can impact their ability to comprehend and respond to test items. Test motivation refers to the extent to which individuals are motivated to perform well on the test, which can impact their engagement and effort.

Reliability and Validity Concerns
Three reliability and validity concerns with the scenario are:

a) Test-retest reliability: The consistency of scores over time is essential in assessing reliability. Without test-retest reliability, it is challenging to ensure that the assessment tool is measuring what it claims to measure.

b) Content validity: The extent to which the test measures the construct of interest is critical in establishing content validity. There is a concern that the computer-administered personality tests may not capture the nuances and complexities of personality, leading to issues with content validity.

c) Criterion validity: Criterion validity refers to the extent to which the test scores are related to external criteria, such as job performance. Without criterion validity, it is challenging to determine whether the test scores predict success in a particular career field.

Ethical Concerns and Resolutions
Three ethical concerns as per the APA Ethical Codes are:

a) Competence: The counselor must have the necessary training and experience to use the assessment tool effectively. In this scenario, there is a concern about the counselor’s competence in interpreting test results and applying them to students’ career choices. To resolve this, the counselor could seek additional training or consultation to improve her competency in using the assessment tool.

b) Informed consent: The counselor must obtain informed consent from students before administering the assessment tool. This includes providing information about the purpose of the assessment, how the information will be used, and the limits of confidentiality. To resolve this, the counselor could provide students with information about the assessment tool and obtain written consent before administering the test.

c) Confidentiality: The counselor must protect the confidentiality of students’ assessment results. To resolve this, the counselor could ensure that the results are stored securely and only shared with authorized individuals.

Academic Sources

American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, & National Council on Measurement in Education. (2014). Standards for educational and psychological testing. American Educational Research Association.

Hogan, R. (2007). Personality and the fate of organizations. Psychology Press.

Hunsley, J., & Mash, E. J. (2007). Evidence-based assessment. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 1-23.

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