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Prof Deon de Bruin
19 August 2019 @ 17:3018:00Faculty of Economics and Management Sciences
Measurement in Industrial Psychology: Advances in theory and practice
In this paper I address the challenges that psychological testing and measurement in the multicultural South African context present to psychologists. In this respect, I examine gains and losses that have been made in psychological measurement over the last 20 years. The psychological measurement landscape in South Africa is characterised by several challenges, inter alia (a) a disproportionate focus on Eurocentric theories and approaches to psychological measurement, (b) testing in a language that for most people is not their first language, (c) inequality with respect to socio-economic status and access to resources and (d) the high cost of testing. I discuss where psychological measurement has failed (and continues to fail) to meet the needs of applied and research psychologists, and also discuss where and how psychological measurement contributes positively in facilitating growth and well-being. The merits of advancing indigenous conceptions of individual differences are weighed against the merits of taking advantage of established Eurocentric conceptions. Examples of recent psychological test development projects that contribute toward an inclusive psychology are presented and discussed critically. Finally, I discuss guidelines for the development of psychological tests in complex, multicultural and multilingual contexts.
Deon de Bruin is a professor of Industrial Psychology at Stellenbosch University. He holds a DLitt et Phil in Psychology from the University of Johannesburg. His research focuses on psychological measurement and assessment in multicultural and multilingual contexts, with an emphasis on applications in personality and career psychology. He previously worked at the University of Johannesburg, where he held the positions of director of the Institute for Child and Adult Guidance and head of the Centre for Work Performance. He is registered as a counselling psychologist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.