Psychological Assessment in Forensic Settings [WLOs: 1, 2] [CLOs: 1, 3]

Prior to beginning work on this discussion forum, read the following resources:

For this discussion, you are to explore issues related to context when psychological testing is utilized in forensic settings. Refer to the list below to determine your assigned role and the reason your client was referred for an evaluation.

Students: If your last name begins with

  • A through G: Take the role of a psychological evaluator, evaluating an individual whose legal counsel is claiming the defendant has an intellectual disability and should be exempt from the death penalty.
  • H through M: Take the role of a psychological evaluator, evaluating the parents and children involved in a child custody dispute to provide expert evidence used to determine what is in the best interest of the children.
  • N through S: Take the role of a psychological evaluator, evaluating an individual accused of a crime whose legal counsel claims the mental disorder defense applies to their client (previously referred to as the “not guilty by reason of insanity” defense).
  • T through Z: Take the role of a psychological evaluator, evaluating an individual accused of a crime whose legal counsel claims the client is not competent to stand trial because a mental disease prevents them from effectively assisting counsel.

Review the literature on at least four psychological tests you would utilize based on the reason for referral. Research up-to-date information about the tests you selected by visiting the test publishers’ websites and at least one peer-reviewed journal article published within the last 15 years. Review the resource from the University of Arizona Global Campus Library, Scholarly, Peer-Reviewed, and Other Credible Sources, for guidance on identifying a peer reviewed journal article.  

To successfully complete this discussion, your initial post must include the following:

  • Indicate the names and most current versions of the four tests you selected and briefly summarize what each test measures.
  • Explain the rationale for your choices based on research investigating the psychometric properties of the tests (for example, reliability and validity).
  • Explain what modifications you would make (if any) to your choice of tests if you learned your client was not a native English speaker.
  • Discuss the importance of considering the context of psychological assessment when interpreting findings for forensic purposes.
  • Briefly summarize at least one major consideration in the assessment of malingering, exaggerating, or faking of psychological illness or disability for secondary gain (e.g., to claim disability or to avoid legal or other consequences). Following your summary,
    • For students with the last names beginning with H through M, explain how you would identify faking good or the underreporting of socially undesirable characteristics or symptoms.
    • For students with the last names beginning with A through G, N through S, or T through Z, explain how you would identify malingering, faking bad or the underreporting of socially desirable characteristics or symptoms.
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