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Personality Measurement and the Ethics of Assessment

Messick, Samuel J.
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Bulletin
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Ethics, Evaluators, Personality Assessment, Policy Formation, Psychological Testing, Testing Problems


Recent controversies about the adequacy of psychological testing may not only indicate poor public relations between psychologists and society, but may also derive from value conflicts within psychology itself about the proper role of assessment. Current concern among testers to institute further self-regulation to conform with recent pressures from social critics may be a mistaken emphasis; a more important concern is the development of policies to guide practice in those cases where alternative uses of tests are in conflict. Since policy-making in areas of value conflict may produce an undesirable impact on the atmosphere of the regulated domain, some provision should also be made for the continuing reappraisal of policy decisions.

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