Socialand Ethical Considerations in Assessment

Apsychological assessment refers to an effort by a psychologist tounderstand the details of another person, using the tools andtechniques of psychology to explain why they behave the way they do,as well as predicting their likely behavior in the future. However,social, cultural, and ethical issues are important when conducting apsychological assessment because they affect the validity of theresults (Hersen &amp Hilsenroth, 2004). Psychologists are supposedto have a multi-cultural understanding so that they can provideappropriate psychological services.

Understandingof social and cultural issues is crucial to a person carrying out theassessment to enable them consider values’ diversity, interactionalstyles, and know the expectation of their clients. Different peoplehave different values which are likely to influence the expectedresults. For example, in a face-to-face interview, some people willbehave in a particular way because their culture dictates so.Therefore, the assessors should acknowledge their clients’ culturalbackground so that they can link correctly the clients’ behaviorwith the expected results (Neukrug &amp Fawcett, 2014).

Also,culture is an important parameter in understanding the psychologicalassessment process. For example, psychologists should have a clearknowledge of their values and cultural experiences to avoid anyprejudices and biases in the assessment process. Furthermore, ethicalissues cannot be underestimated when assessing a person since humansare naturally and intricately complicated. Assessment is supposed toaid the process of understanding other people, but if ethical issuesare not considered while carelessness and lack of knowledge areemployed in the process, countless harm can be encountered (Neukrug &ampFawcett, 2014). In turn, these problems can have negativeconsequences on the well-being of the person being assessed as wellas the assessor. Moreover, unethical issues can tarnish thereputation of both the assessor and the people who are beingassessed. Therefore, due to the negative results associated withunethical behavior, the assessor should always uphold ethics in theprocess.

Someof the ethical issues in the psychological assessment are informedconsent, confidentiality, competence, and the relationship with thevulnerable individuals. The people being assessed should have aprecise explanation of what psychological assessment is, the benefitsassociated with it, and the risks associated with it. Therefore,informed consent helps participants in making wise decisions ofwhether to participate in the process or not (Carducci, 2006).Confidentiality is an ethical issue whereby assessors are required tokeep the information they collect from participants away from anyunauthorized person. However, some information may be revealed tounauthorized persons, especially the government agents under somecircumstances. Furthermore, participants in psychological assessmentare entitled to know the competence of the assessor. Assessor’scompetence is through training, experience, or supervised practical.Besides, psychologists are ethically required to act in the bestinterest while assessing vulnerable individuals. This implies thatthey should be humane and never take advantage of the less fortunateindividuals (Carducci, 2006). The impact that these considerationshave in the assessment process is that they make the process aresponsible discipline that can resolve different problems of thehuman conditions since human beings like to be treated with dignityand ethical judgment to achieve a better life.

Socialor cultural background of a client can have an impact on theassessment process. For example, some people may be discriminatedagainst by the assessors depending on their culture. Therefore,culture can bring about prejudice and bias during a particularassessment. In turn, the results of the process are likely to beinvalid (Hersen &amp Hilsenroth, 2004).


Carducci,B. J. (2006). ThePsychology of Personality.Oxford: Blackwell.

Hersen,M., &amp Hilsenroth, M. J. (2004). PersonalityAssessment.Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Neukrug,E., &amp Fawcett, R. C. (2014). Essentialsof testing and assessment: A practical guide to counselors, socialworkers, and psychologists.London: Cengage Learning.