National Survey of Canadian Psychologists’ Test Feedback Training and Practice: A Mixed Methods Study

  • Author / Creator
    Jacobson, Ryan M
  • In recent decades, researchers have conducted a number of test feedback (TFB) studies – that is, studies of providing psychological assessment and testing results to clients. This sequential explanatory mixed methods study replicated and extended an earlier inquiry into TFB training and practice of American psychologists, using a Canadian sample. The extent to which psychologists provide TFB to clients, and how effectively training programs are preparing them to do so were examined through a national survey of 399 Canadian psychologists. Quantitative results indicate Canadian psychologists provide TFB to clients most of the time, while identifying some room for improvement in terms of meeting professional ethical standards and guidelines. Specifically, 91% of respondents reported providing some form of TFB to clients frequently or more often; 77% indicated doing so almost always, while 5.5% reported providing TFB rarely or never. Verbal was the most commonly indicated TFB format. Approximately 1/4th of respondents indicated graduate training in psychological assessment did not prepare them to provide TFB to clients effectively, while 13% identified post-graduate training as ineffective in learning to provide TFB. Recently graduated psychologists were not more likely to provide TFB than earlier graduates, nor were they more likely to endorse graduate or post-graduate training as helpful in learning to provide feedback. Experience-based forms of instruction in graduate training (e.g., practicum) positively correlated with respondents’ providing TFB to clients, as did finding post-graduate training helpful. The qualitative phase explored the experiences and perspectives of six Canadian psychologists: three who regularly provided TFB to clients and three who did not. All respondents indicated learning through a self-instruction process and trail-and-error. This method of learning was related to respondent’s supervisor’s level of involvement/perceived skill, inadequate academic preparation/support, and the complexity of assessment and TFB. All three non-TFB respondents indicated conducting assessments primarily in forensic settings, and each shared their willingness and preference for providing TFB to clients whenever possible. These respondents identified a lack or opportunity/precedent as the primary reason for not delivering TFB to clients consistently. This rationale was related to a perceived discrepancy between the client and the test-taker, as well as practical, legal and conventional barriers to providing TFB to test takers. Consistent with mixed methods studies, the quantitative survey data and qualitative interview data were integrated to explain and shed light on the results as a whole, providing an enhanced understanding of the TFB training and practice of Canadian psychologists. Limitations of the study, and potential directions for future research are presented and discussed.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Educational Psychology
  • Specialization
    • Counselling Psychology
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Hanson, William (Educational Psychology)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Truscott, Derek (Educational Psychology)
    • Hanson, William (Educational Psychology)
    • Cormier, Damien (Educational Psychology)