Class Notes (1,100,000)
CA (630,000)
UTSC (30,000)
Psychology (8,000)
PSYB32H3 (600)
Lecture

lec notes


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB32H3
Professor
Konstantine Zakzanis

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Chapter 4 Clinical Assessment Procedures
- all clinical assessment procedures are more or less formal ways of finding out what is wrong with a
person, what may have caused a problem or problems, and what steps may be taken to improve the
individuals condition
Reliability and Validity in Assessment
Reliability
- in a general sense, reliability refers to consistency of measurement; there are several types of reliability
inter-rater reliability the relationship between the judgments that at least 2 raters make independently
about a phenomenon
test-rest reliability the relationship between the scores that a person achieves when he/she takes the
same test twice
I.O.W. it measures the extent to which people being observed twice or taking the same test twice
score in generally the same way
alternate-form reliability the relationship between scores achieved by people when they complete 2
versions of a test that are judged to be equivalent
I.O.W. this refers to the extent to which scores on the 2 forms of the test are consistent
internal consistency reliability the degree to which different items of an assessment are related to
one another
- in each of these types of reliability, a correlation a measure of how closely 2 variables are related is
calculated between raters or sets of items
- the higher the correlation, the better the reliability
Validity
- validity is generally related to whether a measure fulfills its intended purpose
- validity is related to reliability: unreliable measures will not have good validity
- because an unreliable measure does not yield consistent results, an unreliable measure will not relate
very strongly to other measures
content validity the extent to which a measure adequately samples the domain of interest
- for example an interview used to make an axis I diagnosis has excellent content validity because it
contains questions about all the symptoms that are involved in axis I diagnoses
criterion validity the extent to which a measure is associated in an expected way with some other
measure (the criterion)
- sometimes these relationships may be concurrent (both variables are measured at the same point in
time, and the resulting validity is sometimes referred to as concurrent validity)
- for example, there is a measure of the distorted thoughts believed to play an important role in
depression
- criterion validity for this test could be established by showing that the test is actually related to
depression; that is, depressed people score higher on the test than do non-depressed people
- alternatively, criterion validity can be assessed by evaluating the measure’s ability to predict some other
variable that is measured in the future; this kind of criterion validity is often called predictive validity
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- for example, IQ tests were originally developed to predict future school performance; similarly a
measure of distorted thinking could be used to predict the development of episodes of depression in the
future
construct validity the extent to which scores or ratings on an assessment instrument relate to other
variables or behaviors according to some theory or hypothesis
- construct validity is relevant when we want to interpret a test as a measure of some characteristic or
construct that isn’t simply defined
- a construct is an inferred attribute, such as anxiousness or distorted cognition, that a test is trying to
measure
- consider an anxiety-proneness questionnaire as an example; the construct validity question is whether
the variation we observe between people on a self-report test of anxiety proneness is really due to
individual differences in anxiety proneness
- just because we called our test a of measure anxiety-proneness and the items seem to be about the
tendency to become anxious, it is not certain that the test is a valid measure of anxiety proneness
- another example; people diagnosed as having an anxiety disorder and people without such a diagnosis
could be compared on their scores on the self-report measure of anxiety-proneness
- the self-report measure would achieve some construct validity if the people with anxiety disorders
scored higher than a control group
- when the self-report measure is associated with the observational one, its construct validity is increased
- if the measure has construct validity, we would expect scores of patients with anxiety disorders to
become lower after a course of a therapy that is effective in reducing anxiety
Psychological Assessment
- psychological assessment techniques are designed to determine cognitive, emotional, personality, and
behavioral factors in psychopathological functioning
Clinical Interviews
- we interpret the term interview as any interpersonal encounter, conversational in style, in which one
person, the interviewer, uses language as the principal means of finding out about another, the
interviewee
Characteristics of Clinical Interviews
clinical interview a conversation between a clinician and a patient that is aimed at determining
diagnosis, history causes for problems, and possible treatment options
- the paradigm within which an interviewer operates influences the type of information sought, how it is
obtained, and how it is interpreted
- clinicians recognize the importance of establishing a relationship with the client; the interviewer must
obtain the trust of the person so then the person can open up to them more easily
- most clinicians empathize with their clients in an effort to draw them out, to encourage them to elaborate
on their concerns, and to examine different facets of a problem
- it is important to look at situational factors of the interview that may exert strong influences on what the
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patient says or does; for example, if a teen is askedhow long have you been smoking weed?; they
would likely be honest to a young, informally dressed psychologist rather than a 60 year old psychologist
in a business suit
- interviews vary in the degree to which they are structured
- exactly how information is collected is left largely up to the particular interviewer and depends, too, on
the responsiveness and responses of the interviewee
- to the extent that an interview is structured, the interviewer must rely on intuition and general experience
- thus, reliability for initial clinical interviews is probably low; that is, 2 interviewers may well reach different
conclusions about the same patient
- both reliability and validity may indeed by low for a single clinical interview that is conducted in an
unstructured fashion; but clinicians usually do more than 1 interview with a given patient, and hence a
self-corrective process is probably at work
Structured Interviews
structured interview an interview in which the questions are set out in a prescribed fashion for the
interviewer; assists professionals in making diagnostic decisions based upon standardized criteria
- the Structured Clinical Interview Diagnosis (SCID) is a branching interview; that is, the clients response
to one question determines the next question that is asked
- it also contains detailed instructions to the interviewer concerning when and how to probe in detail and
when to go on to questions bearing on another diagnosis
- most symptoms are rated on a 3-point scale of severity, with instructions in the interview schedule for
directly translating the symptom ratings into diagnoses
- the use of structured interviews is a major factor in the improvement of diagnostic reliability
- with adequate training of clinicians, inter-rater reliability for structured interviews is generally good
Psychological Tests
psychological tests standardized procedures designed to measure a person’s performance on a
particular task or to assess his/her personality
- if the results of a diagnostic interview are inconclusive, psychological tests can provide information that
can be used in a supplementary way to arrive at a diagnosis
- psychological tests further structure the process of assessment
- the same test is administered to many people at different times, and the responses are analyzed to
indicate how certain kinds of people tend to respond
standardization the process of constructing an assessment procedure that has norms and meets the
various psychometric criteria for reliability and validity
- there are 3 types of psychogical tests: self-report personality inventories, projective personality tests,
and tests of intelligence
Personality Inventories
personality inventory a self-report questionnaire by which an examinee indicates whether statements
assessing habitual tendencies apply to him/her
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) a lengthy personality inventory by which
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