The Association for Psychological Science published a review by Tess Neal, Christopher Slobogin, Michael Saks, David Faigman, and Kurt Geisinger on the psychological assessment tools used by forensic psychologists. The study found 67% are generally accepted in the field and only about 40% have generally favorable reviews of their psychometric and technical properties.
The study also found that legal challenges to the admission of this evidence are infrequent. Legal challenges occurred in only 5.1% of cases in the sample. When challenges were raised, they succeeded about a third of the time. Challenges to the most scientifically suspect tools are almost nonexistent.
Attorneys should take a look at the article and consider what testing instruments are being used by state and defense experts who are performing psychological testing in their cases. The study is available here. On p. 149-150, there is information about 30 psychological tests used in forensic settings and how this study rated them for general acceptance and quality.
The study contains recommendations for attorneys, including information on how to research the validity of a psychological test. The American Psychological Association (APA) website has basic information about testing and assessment information available here. The APA recommends the Buros Center for Testing, which is web-based service that is available for a small fee and contains reviews of over 3,500 commercially available tests, including information about the test’s purpose, appropriate populations, score ranges, publication date, admission time, and critical reviews, including reviews of the technical quality of the tests written by independent experts. Of course, attorneys should consult with their own expert in assessing what instruments may be most appropriate in a particular case.
A news article on this study is linked here.