An employee of a certain company responsible for fueling company vehicles was given a credit card for the purpose of paying bills after fueling the vehicles. One night after all the company’s vehicles were all packed, the employee decided to fuel his friends’ cars and pay using the company’s credit card. The employer had asked him why he acted unprofessionally but the employee found nothing wrong with using the credit card to pay bills that did not belong to the company.
When the employer consulted other professionals about his employee’s case, he was advised to do a psychology test on his employee. In Kenote town, a policeman was reported to have shot and killed seven people in a restaurant after he was insulted by a group of people in the restaurant, among them his friends. When the employer was questioned about his mental status and whether he had undergone any psychological testing, the employer said that the policeman looked intelligent and had other required qualifications, so there was no need for a psychological test.
Organizations undergo various problems due to lack of psychological testing as well as practicing it. In some cases, workers feel it is infringing their privacy. The management of an organization should be very kin on the type of people they employ. Determining the people’s ability, intelligence or attainment requires a standard procedure which is the tests’ procedures. Different organizations perform different duties or have different objectives therefore will have some different specific areas of assessment.
Psychological Tests These are tests obtained from a prepared standardized procedure used to assess the mental status of a person as compared to the normal mental status in order to determine a person’s intelligence and ability. This is mostly done through asking questions then assessing the responses. The importance of psychological tests is that they provide a means of measuring the abilities and characteristics of an individual (Armstrong, 2006). These tests are used by managers to determine the employee competence and morale and for reliable management training.
Some professional ethics do not accept these kind of tests and view them as invasive to human rights while some of them go against the labor laws that protect employees from being used for experiments. When conducting some of these tests, the employee acts as a laboratory animal since the tests are done on him (O’Donohue and Ferguson 2003). There are five types of psychological tests. Intelligence psychological tests, personality psychological tests, aptitude psychological tests, ability psychological tests, and attainment psychological tests (Armstrong, 2006).
Intelligence tests are use to determine the general thinking and reasoning of an individual and personality tests are used to predict the behavior of a person in the role that he/she will be given or is given at the time. The use of psychological tests A good psychological test is one with sensitivity, reliability, standardization and validity characteristics. When selecting a test to use, these characteristics should be considered, for the outcome of the assessment to be of quality (Armstrong, 2006). There are basic standards for psychological tests use which are based on a formal psychometric assessment.
This formal psychometric assessment should have an administrative and scoring manual with the scoring characteristics and points, it should show evidence of being reliable, should be valid for the purpose to which it is being conducted and to the people it is being conducted on, and should have a reference group data (Toplis et al. , 2004). The use of psychological tests requires that the test protocols be used by only professionals, ‘the psychologists’ or if one would like to use them, then he/she must be certified to have the capability of using the tests and then authorized to do so (Toplis et al. 2004).
This is based on the acquisition of the psychological tests. The tests are acquired on permission from the authors, copy right holders and distributors. It is therefore unethical to copy write or photocopy the psychological tests standards be it the psychometric assessments or the psychometric questionnaires. On the psychological tests’ security, the storage should be done according to the administrative, scoring and interpretation requirements. Assessment too should be done according to the same procedure as storage.
There are access and storage policies that protect the tests such as not interfering with the ethical purpose of testing, and policies on what range of errors are accepted in the scoring and interpretation of the tests, in order to maintain the validity (Toplis et al. , 2004). The period to which a record should be kept is decided by a psychologist based on certain factors. The factors are such as the clients’ requests, acting professionally to abide by professional accountability and legislative factors.
Psychological Tests Confidentiality and tests Results Professional ethics indicate that it is the responsibility of a psychologist to inform the people being tested or the people to undergo a certain psychological test, of the terms and conditions regarding confidentiality of the testing situation. It is also their responsibility to control the access to the psychological test protocols. It is always the psychologist contracted by a manager in most cases to conduct a test on an employee. The psychologist has all the responsibility to keep the results or release them based on the terms and conditions agreed upon by the employer (Toplis et al. 2004).
In case of a government facility, the release of reports are according to legislative acts on information. Governments have different systems in different facilities so the information release will also depend on the type of facility and the system while considering the legislation on the freedom of information. The systems have different application procedures for release of information. Psychological testing and Labor law. Labor law requires employers to adhere to good labor market practice rule.
In psychological testing, there are no legislations that apply to the personality tests, though there are areas that the test can be considered invalid. An example of a case where a psychological test can be considered invalid is when it has exclusionary effects on women. This can be treated a sex discrimination case. Psychological testing is considered as a matter of employee privacy and there are rules to be followed before an employer or a manager decides on psychological testing on an employee (International Labor, 1993).
According to the International Labor Office report (1993) the initial step is for an employer to negotiate with a local trade union on the psychological test the employer intends to conduct on his/her employees. The trade union and the employer must come to an agreement, failure to which the trade union must give the reasons for refusal in writing and submit proposals of terminating negotiations within ten days. Fresh negotiations can only be done on the trade union’s proposal and if no agreement is made then the employer cannot impose the psychological test until review by the national trade union (International Labor, 1993).
Conclusion Employers/managers need psychological testing to determine the ability and the competency of those that they want to employ or those that they have employed. Some of the psychological tests are not accepted by the trade unions and are considered as infringing the privacy of the employee. The employers have to abide by the labor law requirements and trade union rules to make sure they are not in problems. The managers themselves cannot conduct the tests, they have to look for professionals in that field as that is what is ethically considered right. All these are discussed in this paper.