The Use of Psychological Tests by Australian Psychologists Who do Assessments for the Courts
Australian Psychological Society
Computing, Health and Science
Psychological tests form a central part of most forensic assessments. However, the tests used, and the manner in which they are used, have been criticised, especially in the United States. In a survey of 79 Australian psychologists who do evaluations for the courts, we tried to determine which psychological tests they use, how frequently they use them, and their reasons for using particular tests. Our survey reveals that the Wechsler Intelligence Scales, Rey Complex Figure Test, and Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) are used most frequently. Notably, 7 of the 10 most frequently used instruments were neuropsychological tests. Respondents most frequently take into account the “suitability to the situation” and the “psychometric properties of the test” when selecting a test. The study demonstrates that the tests used by forensic psychologists are generally well established in the clinical field, and that psychologists doing assessments for the courts must be competent users of neuropsychological tests.