Psychology group on Sereno: ‘No one passes or fails a psych assessment’

By: - Reporter / @JLeonenINQ
/ 04:47 PM March 02, 2018

No candidate applying for the position of Chief Justice can “pass” or “fail” a psychological assessment, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) said on Friday.

The PAP made the remark in light of the legislative hearings which highlighted the alleged psychological condition of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno. The association clarified that it is not supporting or opposing any position in the impeachment complaint now facing Sereno.


“Statements that the Chief Justice “failed” the psychological evaluation are misleading, as no one “passes” or “fails” a psychological assessment,” the PAP said in a statement.

“Instead, a psychologist recommends a person to a position after the assessment indicates that he/she possesses the characteristics that fit the demands of the given position,” it stressed.


In releasing the statement, PAP said it is condemning “the unethical practice of using confidential psychological information for purposes of discrediting or damaging a person’s character.”

“Even if psychological test results become public documents, this does not grant permission for anybody to use it for any purpose other than its original intent,” the PAP said.

Moreover, psychological assessments, the PAP said, were “often conducted for a specific purpose, and should only be used for that purpose.”

“To use a psychological assessment conducted in 2012 (which was for the purpose of Chief Justice Sereno’s appointment) for the current legislative proceedings is a misuse of those results,” the PAP said.

Meanwhile, the PAP said that the purpose of a psychological assessment, among others, is to help understand a person’s functioning in making informed decisions.

The group however noted that while psychological tests are developed and applied using scientific methods, “they are not perfectly accurate.”

“Actual behaviors and performance are more valid than what psychological assessments may predict,” it said.


The PAP also said that using only one or two methods in psychological assessments, such as interviews, observations, standardized norm-referenced tests, and relevant information tools, would be inadequate.

“Good practices entail the application of all these methods, and using only one or two of these methods is inadequate,” the association said..

“If a psychologist bases his/her assessment on only one of these methods, or from second-hand reports, then conclusions about “mental disturbance” based on alleged symptoms that indicate such a condition are misleading, if not inaccurate,” it added.              /muf.

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TAGS: psychological assessment, Psychology, SC, Sereno
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