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Ben Roethlisberger to undergo array of psychological testing

A common reaction to the recent spate of stories about Ben Roethlisberger has been to ask, “What was he thinking?”

That’s what the NFL wants to know, and the league has ordered Roethlisberger to undergo a battery of psychological tests to find out.

Michael A. Fuoco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette offers some details on the type of testing Roethlisberger will undergo to assess his personality traits, cognitive abilities and neuropsychological fitness, with a goal of determining whether Roethlisberger has “some underlying psychological, behavioral or neuropsychological disorder.”

How effective can this testing be in evaluating Roethlisberger and getting him to change his behavior? One psychologist who isn’t involved in Roethlisberger’s case but has been involved in evaluation of other professional athletes says that depends mostly on how much Roethlisberger wants to change his behavior.

“If you close your mind to it, you are not going to have any ability to make changes,” Dr. John F. Murray tells the Post-Gazette. “The client has to make a commitment.”

In other words, this psychological testing can be effective -- if Roethlisberger wants it to be.