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NCJ Number: 202306 Find in a Library
Title: Pre-employment Psychological Evaluations
Journal: Law and Order  Volume:51  Issue:9  Dated:September 2003  Pages:85-87
Author(s): Arnold Holzman; Mark Kirschner
Date Published: September 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Test/Measurement
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reviews the factors that should be evaluated in the pre-employment psychological evaluation of applicants for law enforcement positions.
Abstract: Due to the nature of law enforcement work, psychological evaluation plays a distinctive role by identifying potential officers who may not adjust successfully in a law enforcement career. A thorough psychological evaluation must address the areas of emotional functioning, behavioral predispositions, cognitive skills, and psychosocial support system. The psychological evaluation is typically performed following a conditional offer of employment, after the candidate has successfully passed several rounds of selection that may include initial application, interview, review of employment and education history, background check, and lie-detector analysis. The areas of personality, mental condition, cognitive abilities, and behavior that should be evaluated in psychological screening are psychopathology, substance use, self-management skills, team functioning, the impact of prior experience, social influences, and intellectual abilities. All psychological assessment instruments used in the pre-employment evaluation must have proven their reliability (consistency in yielding the same results when administered at different times); validity (accurate measurement of what it intends to measure); and utility (usefulness and incremental value of the test results within the context of the entire selection battery). The instruments should have been standardized on officer candidates, and they should meet all the general requirements necessary for psychological tests. The psychologist evaluator must be familiar with the tests and how to interpret them within the context of their use in pre-employment testing for law enforcement officers.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Police management; Police personnel selection; Psychological evaluation
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