Publication Citation

4 (1) IUSTITIA 26 (1976)


Contemporary critics, concerned with the maintenance of personal privacy, have termed the use of personality tests a "white glove rack and screw" . Monroe H. Freedman, Dean of Hofstra University School of Law, while testifying before a congressional subcommittee, compared the use of psychological tests to the administration of truth serums and found both to be an affront to personal dignity.

Nevertheless, the 1960's witnessed a three-fold increase in the number of school counselors employed in most schools and a nation-wide survey of these counselors indicated that at least one-third of their time was spent in dealing with the personal problems of students. It was only to be expected that diagnostic aid would be sought more and more frequently in the form of structured forced-choice psychological inventories, especially in light of the intrinsic ease in administration and scoring of such tests. In 1973 in Morristown, Pennsylvania, the inevitable occurred: the inherent conflict between familial and individual privacy interests and the use of personality tests came to a head in the case of Merriken v. Cressman.