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Chapter 4 - Psychological Assessment in West Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 July 2022

Sumaya Laher
University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg
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The field of psychological assessment has seen consistent growth for almost a century with significant expansion of the literature centered largely around research in Western Europe and North America. Comparatively, there has not been as much progress in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and this is typical of what pertains in many other non-Western countries. The measurement of constructs and development of psychological tests in SSA therefore have largely been based on Eurocentric theories and philosophies. This is partly because in SSA, scientific psychology is modeled on Western theories. There has not been enough research in SSA to develop relevant indigenous African theories. Therefore, assessment is still closely tied to Western theories which inform development of tests and measurements. In this chapter we trace the history of psychological assessment in Anglophone West Africa. We discuss the trajectory of the psychological assessment, the need for the development of indigenous psychological assessment in order to wean itself from its Eurocentric roots, and finally the challenges and the prospects in West Africa.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2022

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