Using psychological tests - Interpretation, scoring and feedback

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Interpretation, reporting and feedback

Nowadays, computer systems can do a credible job of interpreting and reporting on psychological tests. However, only a registered professional can decide whether a specific report is appropriate for the purpose of the assessment, whether it is comprehensive enough, whether the report incorporates all relevant information, whether it is clear enough for the intended recipient or whether further elucidation is required. Often there are also several options in terms of computer-generated reports, and the decision on which particular report should be used is in our judgment one that needs to be made with professional discretion. Sometimes input from multiple reports needs to be combined. Feedback is a professional interaction that may also involve giving professional advice. In the case of a person who was assessed for selection or development in the context of a particular role, the feedback given to the management would not necessarily be the same as the feedback given to the respondent. These distinction require professional judgment.


Thus, in our view, in the context of the current South African regulations, the giving of feedback on psychological tests requires a registered psychology professional. A professional may in fact decide that the computer-generated report is adequate as feedback for the purpose at hand and that no further interaction is required. In that case, the professional concerned must take personal professional responsibility for this decision and its consequences.