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Part 2: Psychological Assessment— Legal issues in psychological testing overview

psychological testingBrent, I think it’s a great idea to sort out this idea of psychological testing. While those tests are not needed for most secular jobs, many mission agencies use assessments initially for two reasons. First, because they want to understand their personnel vocationally, and second, because their personnel will be under so much stress in many fields. In addition, other organizations don’t need to worry so much about member care when someone has a problem, and are less likely to provide people with a resource such as counseling at Link Care.

That raises an important distinction between types of tests. Vocational or personality testing doesn’t usually raise legal issues. In this area would fit the Strengths Finder, the Myers Briggs, (what are a couple more, Brent?), whether you are Spring, Summer or Fall (no, sorry, that’s for coordinating your wardrobe). This information is not particularly damaging or confidential—some organizations even encourage people to include their top 5 strengths in their email signature or post it in the office.

Psychological testing can raise a number of issues, including discrimination under the ADA and under GINA.

Testing is also related to the privilege of a religious organization to choose its own ministers, the importance of having good job descriptions that include the necessary qualifications, the mission’s responsibility to care wisely for its people, adequate disciplinary or member care measures, and so on.

Sounds like we have lots to talk about. First, why don’t you define the whole realm of testing a bit better for us? 

More articles in this series: Part 1, Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6Part 7

Disclaimer: not official legal or psychological advice or opinion

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