Ethical and Legal Standards in Personality Assessment

The decisions you make based on the data you gather from a personality assessment might have a significant impact on an individual’s future. As a psychologist, you have a strong influence on the lives of individuals. Therefore, maintaining the integrity of the personality assessments themselves provides enough reason to take seriously the ethical and legal standards governing the personality assessment process. The damage that can result from failing to adhere to ethical and legal standards of psychology reaches many levels. It can result in a waste of resources and dangerous decisions based on inaccurate assessment results. Those dangerous decisions can potentially cause emotional and physical harm to the individual undergoing assessment. Finally, it can pose a danger to those who interact with the individual you are assessing if you are unable to accurately predict the behavior of that individual.

For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources including the Ethical Vignettes and the Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct website. Select a vignette from among those provided.

Then, consider the ethical and/or legal violations in the vignette you selected. Based on your state of residence, think about what state/federal law and ethical standard the psychologist violated. Note that you may need to consult the ethics codes that govern psychological practice in your locale if you reside outside of the United States.

Finally, reflect on any discrepancies between the ethical and legal violations involved, if any, and how a psychologist might have avoided those violations.

With these thoughts in mind:

Write an explanation of the ethical and legal violations you detected in the vignette you selected Support your explanation with a specific citation(s) referencing the ethical and/or legal standards that were violated. Finally, explain any discrepancies between the ethical and legal violations involved. Be sure to identify the vignette you selected by referencing it in the title of your post.


Retrieved from

Goldfinger, K., & Pomerantz, A. M. (2014). Psychological assessment and report writing. (2nd ed.) Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

oChapter 14, “Ethics of Assessment and Report Writing,” (pp. 190–205)

Standards for education and training in psychological assessment position of the Society for Personality Assessment: An official statement of the Board of Trustees of the Society for Personality Assessment (2006). Journal of Personality Assessment, 87(3), 355–357.
Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Weiner, I.B., & Greene, R.L. (2008). Handbook of personality assessment (1st ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley.
Handbook of Personality Assessment by Weiner, I. B., & Greene, R. L. Copyright 2008 by JOHN WILEY & SONS – BOOKS. Reprinted by permission of JOHN WILEY & SONS – BOOKS via the Copyright Clearance Center.

oChapter 4, “Ethical Considerations in Personality Assessment,” (pp. 77–95)

Document: Ethical Vignettes (PDF)

Note: You will use this document with this week’s Discussion.

Laureate Education, Inc. (Executive Producer). (2012). Family case study [Interactive media]. Baltimore, MD: Author.



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