Solved by verified expert:Legal and Ethical Considerations
Ethical and legal considerations are important in the field of psychology. This certainly holds true for the area of psychological assessment. Understanding the ethical codes and federal and state laws that apply to psychological testing and assessment is essential to the psychology profession, because these codes and laws protect both you and your clients.
To prepare for this Discussion, select one of the case studies in the document “Week 3 Case Studies” from this week’s Learning Resources and consider the ethical and/or legal considerations related to psychological assessment it presents.
Post by Day 4 a description of the ethical and/or legal consideration(s) evidenced in your selected case study. Explain the implications of each and describe how one might address each consideration. Note any ethical standards and federal and/or state laws involved.
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PSYC 8340: Cognitive Assessment
Week 3 Case Studies
Case Study 1
In a midsize, urban community, Dr. Larry Smithen is a psychologist in a thriving private
practice. He specializes in adult cognitive assessment. He recently received a request
to assess a 13-year-old for possible acceptance to a federally funded gifted and
talented school program (Dr. Smithen ad his practice colleagues are major contributors
to the school’s performing arts program). He has accepted, figuring that a 13-year-old is
almost an adult. He gives the WAIS-IV but omits some of the subtests. He reports
verbal and performance IQ scores but does not indicate that he omitted some subtests.
He does not include the profile/summary sheet with his report.
Case Study 2
Dr. Sheila Itest is a school psychologist who sees several students each day for
testing. She has recently acquired computer software that will allow her to generate a
computerized report. Dr. Itest is thrilled because the software proves to be accurate and
reliable, and it saves her a great deal of time. Many of her colleagues also use and like
the software. Since Dr. Itest began using the computer software, she uses the
computer-generated report from one test as her sole report and does not integrate the
test results with any other data obtained during the assessment process.
Case Study 3
Mr. and Mrs. Alexandrov emigrated from Russia with their four children 15 years ago.
Tatiana, their 17-year-old daughter, is a junior in high school. She has begun to have
trouble in school, and her grades are slipping. She is typically a straight “A” student. Mr.
and Mrs. Alexandrov ask their neighbor, a psychologist, for help. Tatiana is scheduled
to take an achievement test in a few weeks, and the Alexandrovs want their neighbor to
give Tatiana the test so that she can practice. They are concerned that if Tatiana does
not do well, she will not get into her advanced placement classes senior year.
Case Study 4
Bill Murston worked for the FBI as an accountant. He had to take time off work
because he was having respiratory problems that were related to his alcoholism. As a
result of his problems, Bill missed a considerable amount of work. In response to an
official request for information regarding his continued absences, Bill’s psychologist
revealed that Bill had a drinking problem (despite Bill’s objection in revealing the
information). Bill was fired from his job.
Case Study 5
Chase Knotting was a patient who had been seen in 2003 by Dr. David Miller, a
psychiatrist. In 2008, Chase was about to remarry, and his fiancée’s father asked a
psychologist friend, Dr. Saul Leventhal, to write Dr. Miller to find out about his soon-tobe son-in-law. Dr. Leventhal wrote to Miller stating specifically that he was requesting
© 2012 Laureate Education, Inc.
information in order to advise and apprise a concerned future father-in-law. Dr. Miller’s
response letter indicated that Chase had been diagnosed as a “manic-depressive with
psychotic features.” Dr. Miller went on to write that his advice to the bride-to-be was to
“run as fast and as far as she could away from this man . . . of course, if he didn’t marry
her, he would marry some other poor girl and make her life hell.”
Case Study 6
Toni Merde, the director of a Department of Social Services in a North Carolina county,
has requested the court authorize the sterilization of a minor, who, according to a
psychological report, has a full-scale IQ score under 40.
Case Study 7
Mark Perry is a doctoral student in clinical psychology. He is currently doing his
practicum at a community mental health agency. Periodically, the social workers at the
agency ask him to “interpret” psychological tests they have given to clients. They know
Mark has had courses in assessment and trust his judgment. The social workers also
say this enables him to “practice” his interpretation skills.
Readings for This Week
Sattler, J. M. (2018). Assessment of children: Cognitive foundations and applications
(6th ed.). La Mesa, CA: Jerome M. Sattler, Publisher, Inc..
o Chapter 3, “Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues” (pp. 59-89)
American Psychological Association (2012). Ethical principles of psychologists and code
of conduct: Including 2010 amendments. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from
© 2012 Laureate Education, Inc.
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