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How mental health issues impact psychometric testing

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Do mental health issues affect psychometric test scores?

First, it’s crucial to understand that the psychometric instruments we provide are not intended to be used as diagnostic tools for mental health conditions.

However, mental illnesses can indeed sway the scores obtained in areas such as anxiety, depression, and cheerfulness.

For instance, particularly high or low scores may suggest a clinical issue, but they are not diagnostic. Conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia may not be reflected in an individual’s psychometric profile at all.

In addition, the nature of certain disorders, such as bipolar disorder, can mean that an individual’s test results vary significantly from one day to the next.

We have seen instances where an individual’s psychometric results did not align with their subsequent behaviour, later attributed to an undiagnosed mental health issue.

While psychometric tests are valuable for gaining insights into personality traits and cognitive abilities, they are are broad-bandwidth instruments and not equipped to diagnose mental health conditions.

The impact of mental health on psychometric scores

Watch the video to understand how mental health issues can affect the results of psychometric testing, and understand why psychometric tests can't diagnose mental illness.

If you know of anyone who would benefit from this video, please share it with them.

Understanding psych test results and mental illness

Hi, Andrew from SACS.

We’re often asked the question about how psych test results are affected by mental illness.

Our psychometric test are not diagnostic

So the instruments that we offer are not designed to be diagnostic instruments for mental health issues.

And so that’s the first thing to be considered.

Mental illness can affect psychometric test scores

Certain mental illnesses will affect the scores that people get.

So we have measures of anxiety and depression, and cheerfulness.

So if you get extreme enough responses on any of those, it may indicate, doesn’t necessarily, but it may indicate a clinical issue, but let’s say a person has obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder, or some form of schizophrenia, they may not show up at all in the person’s results.

Psychometric test results may vary because of mental health

And not only that, if they’ve got a temporal kind of a disorder like bipolar disorder, the results that they get on day A may, in fact, be markedly different from what you get on day B.

So if a person does have a mental illness issue, these instruments will not diagnose that.

And we have had situations where a person’s had a certain set of psych results and then behave very differently, but subsequently it’s been shown that they do have a mental illness issue.

So bear in mind, these are broad bandwidth instruments.

They are not diagnostic of mental illness.

Want to give psychometric testing a try?

Learn more about our psychometric testing services or contact us today.

Discover Our Psychometric Testing Tools

Increase the accuracy of your recruitment decisions by up to 40% using psychometric assessments.

Psychometric testing predicts work outcomes, including:

  • Likelihood of success & failure at work
  • Counterproductive work behaviours
  • Occupational health and safety issues
  • Attitudes towards diversity

All of our psychometric assessments are based on research and backed by science.

See how SACS psychometric testing can enhance your hiring process and your existing workforce.

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Originally posted: May 22, 2024

Andrew Marty

Managing Director at SACS Consulting

Andrew is a qualified psychologist who has over 25 years of human resource management consulting experience, including extensive senior executive search and selection experience.

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