Abnormal Psych Lec 4
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Reliability and validity in assessment
Definition: The consistency of measurement.
Giving a person once and then again at a future date, will you get the
It is dynamic; sometimes results will change over time.
IQ has a high test-retest reliability
A different version of the test is important so there are no practise
Internal consistency reliability
Make sure that all the items on the test are measuring the same thing.
Definition: Reliability is a necessary component of validity.
We want to sample to content of the disorder
To have a strong content validity, a test should measure every aspect of
When we develop a test we need to make sure it measures what we say
Ex: administering 2 different kind of tests that show patient is depressed
Aka convergent validity
Predictive validity: if a person fills out depression test and gets a certain
score, is the person actually depressed?
Psychological disorders are constructs, not tangible things.
Comparing scores of people with anxiety and without anxiety and
o Do this in order to demonstrate that there is a difference, and
that this measure is actually measuring this construct.
o Clinical interviews
Characteristics of clinical interviews
What questions do you feel would be important to ask a patient?
Defined by what paradigm the interviewer is working from.
Structured/semi structured interviews Structured interview follows a structure
Semi structured interview doesn’t systematically follow everything. Sort
of jump around as things come up.
These can almost be diagnostic.
Are patients necessarily telling the truth?
o Negative impression management: are they exaggerating? Are
o Embedded validity indexes in tests: lie scales.
Patients without insight
o Ex of masturbating patient: he didn’t believe he had any
Positive impression management: not willing to admit to any minor
faults or symptoms that may be present.
o Screening measures
Typically checklists of symptoms that a patient may or may not have
Someone could be elevated in certain measures for non-clinical measures
Screening measures are very subjective
o Personality inventories
Extensive measures that attempt to cover a wide range of clinical
Typically self-report measures
Contain clinical measures and validity measures
o Projective techniques
The notion that highly unstructured stimuli are necessary to bypass
defenses in order to reveal unconscious motives and conflicts.
Tests of personality that involve use of unstructured stimulus materials.
Use of such materials maximizes the role of internal factors such as
emotions and motives in perceptions
Psychoanalytical paradigm use this
Thematic apreption tests
Look at a picture and tell us a story
Psychoanalyst makes assumptions about the patient projecting their
story on the story they are telling o Specific psychological inventories
Hundreds of inventories of disorders, and even symptom