A representation of Psyche, taken from the BPS logo
Psychological Testing

Principles for the use of published psychological tests in research

This guide encourages best practice by outlining factors that should be considered in the use of psychological tests in research

31 January 2016

The guide encourages people using tests in research to reflect on the impact their research may have on their participants, on perception of the research enterprise, on perceptions of the profession and on psychological testing.

In contrast to assessments in which psychological tests are used to make decisions regarding a test taker (e.g. job offer, diagnosis and treatment of psychological conditions, educational needs), the use of psychological tests in research tends to focus primarily on the collection of data for the development and evaluation of new tests, theories and models. That is, the information gathered from psychological tests used in research tends not to be used as a basis for decisions affecting those test takers participating in research. However, for ethical and scientific reasons, it is still in the interest of researchers to follow principles drawn from the standards developed by the British Psychological Society (BPS) for the competent use of psychological tests.

Download the guideline