A survey of psychological test use patterns among forensic psychologists

J Pers Assess. 2006 Aug;87(1):84-94. doi: 10.1207/s15327752jpa8701_07.


Clinical psychologists are frequently called on to testify in court regarding mental health issues in civil or criminal cases. One of the legal criteria by which admissibility of testimony is determined includes whether the testimony is based on methods that have gained "general acceptance" in their field. In this study, we sought to evaluate the psychological tests used in forensic assessments by members of the American Psychology-Law Society Division of the American Psychological Association, and by diplomates in the American Board of Forensic Psychology. We present test results from this survey, based on 152 respondents, for forensic evaluations conducted with adults using multiscale inventories, single-scale tests, unstructured personality tests, cognitive and/or intellectual tests, neuropsychological tests, risk assessment and psychopathy instruments, sex offender risk assessment instruments, competency or sanity-related instruments, and instruments used to evaluate malingering. In addition, we provide findings for psychological testing involving child-related forensic issues.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Data Collection
  • Female
  • Forensic Psychiatry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insanity Defense
  • Male
  • Malingering / diagnosis*
  • Malingering / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychology, Clinical / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Societies, Scientific
  • United States