Intelligence Tests On Ebay Cause Controversy

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

January 23, 2008

They're called Wechsler tests, and they're used for a variety of reasons. The most well known are the intelligence tests, used to determine the competence of criminal defendants as well as the placement of students.

The tests are only supposed to be given out by professionals

"You have to have a lot of training to give these tests properly and to interpret them properly," said Dr. Allison Anderson, a clinical psychologist at UVa.

But they are now starting to show up on the popular auction site ebay.

"It's ethically wrong no matter how the test is sold. It's ethically wrong to sell it if somebody who is not credentialed to sell it is selling it to somebody who is not credentialed to buy it," said Anderson.

The company that makes the test, Harcourt Assessment, is worried that selling the tests to non-professionals could lead to misuse with parents coaching their kids and lawyers coaching their clients. Anderson warns that buyers may not be getting what they're looking for.

"The majority that I've seen have not been current versions they're usually one or more versions back, they're not really that useful except as curiosities," said Anderson.

With some tests being sold for as much as $500, Anderson says you most likely will not be getting what you pay for.

"I think it would be very hard to get and edge from what you buy online," said Anderson.

Ebay says that there is nothing illegal about selling the tests, so they have denied requests asking them to take the tests off their site.

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