I just read this nice statement at the begging of the following article by Robert J. Ivnik, Ph.D., ABPP Professor of Psychology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN.
The only professional services that are uniquely psychology's are testing-based assessments. Every other service that psychology offers can be obtained from other professions. In light of testing's central importance to our profession, and considering the number of years that psychologists have been practicing, we assure that our tests are scientifically sound and have been validated for the purposes to which they are put (e.g., research proves that our tests make accurate predictions). Correct? After all, in today's health care environment would any profession knowingly expose its core service to potential attack?
Although testing-based assessments are psychology's defining feature, they may also be our profession's Achilles' heel. Unfortunately, the manner in which many tests have been developed, standardized, normed, and validated may be most kindly described as ‘‘varied'' when it comes to scientific rigor. The science behind some of psychology's older and commercially successful tests tends to be stronger when some of the profit accrued by their sale is devoted to improving the tests. Lacking similar financial resources, many other tests have simply not been developed or validated very well.
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