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PSYC 2130
Krista Phillips

LECTURE 2 OUTLINE PSY2130 Personality Assessment Personality assessments are used in research as well as the clinical field. Personality assessment is a very big industry. Provide expert evaluations of character of another person. Will be covering widely used tests, mainly clinical Personality assessment and career choice  In clinical setting, personality tests play a large role in vocational choice and suitability (used in job interviews) given to large groups of people o Air traffic control: are you a hyper-vigilant person?  this is what you want from air traffic controllers.  Employers may be interested in if you work best independently or in groups  Personality factors differ among people and are strong predictors of success in a given occupation  Knowing people character structure is very important to placing them in a career Personality assessment and clinical research  Any theoretical construct has to be measurable  Theories are only as good as the ability to measure them  I.e. even if you have the greatest idea about self-esteem, if it cannot be measured, you cannot make inferences: o Significant differences between people or low and high esteem, its interaction with other factors  Thus personality measurement is very important in personality research  In clinical settings, psychologist like to use psychological tests because it a time honored traditions and sets us apart from other professionals while other occupations don‟t use these (social workers etc).  Every good psychological report should have some information about the personality of the patient  Referral questions ask psychologist to assess a domain of the patient‟s abilities (i.e. do cognitive test on memory), and provide a psych report  You should still provide an answer as to why a certain individual has a severe reaction to a minimal trauma – thus need to include personality report (even if the referral question does not ask for it)  Candidacy for psychotherapy a way of saying if this patient is a good candidate for psychotherapy. o Someone who is rigid might not be a good candidate; someone who is tangential is also not a good candidate. Psychological assessments in legal settings  Custody battles over children, if a psychiatrist judges that the mother is narcissistic, etc  Psychologists are called upon in this and other settings to evaluate other people, and have significant consequences o Psychologists are called upon to make “expert judgments” in clinical setting these are almost never meaningless exercises.  Psychologists administer different personality tests!  Behaviourist will not employ a projective test like Rorschach (measuring unconscious motivations) o This is nonsense to the behaviourist  What list of personality tests you get from a psychologist depends on their background and the paradigm they subscribe to – most people do not know this the personality check-up depends on theoretical background of the therapist administering it (extremely large variability among clinicians)  Freudian, behaviourist, cognitive  determines how they assess another human being  This is NOT the same for medical science- there is high consistency between the tests administered by physicians  Theoretical and practical importance  Psychometric vs. rational approaches  Influence of theoretical orientation  Levels of structure The Clinical Interview: the systematic way of observing someone. Clinical interviews allow us to get a sense of what the clinic is like and it very important because many decisions is psychiatric setting on what happens to people is based on what happened in the clinical interview  Psychologists: all start with the clinical interview (AKA „observation‟) o You note their appearance, the way speak, and the content they say  How long should it take for some one to make a sound personality assessment and make a judgment? o Ervin Silverman found that first moment of contact and time a diagnosis is recorded on the chart was 10 minutes  This can have severe consequences on the life of the patient  In some settings, ONLY the clinical interview is used (there is no time to assess in-depth)  Others use more  Each psychologist‟s answer would vary according to their theoretical background.  Projective Tests  The “projective hypothesis”  Rorschach and Thematic Apperception Test  Reliability and validity, extra-test factors Clinical Case Study  Test data and interpretation Personality tests also vary on a number of dimensions (at least 3 dimensions) 1. Vary according to their function; what it measures- Rorschach vs. MMPI (unconscious motives vs. presence of psychiatric disorder/mental illness) 2. Vary occurring to their structure- loose/ highly structured; Rorschach is unstructured, but MMPI is structured in how its administration and standardized in its scoring 3. Vary in terms of how they are constructed: o tests constructed using rational (theoretical) or empirical/(psychometric approach) o rational theoretical: the items on the test make sense to you; the items you put on the test make sense (i.e. “I hear voices, or I am possessed”); they are picked from the present theories and literature o psychometric/empirical: some tests have questions with statements that are correlated with the clinical group (ex. Depression is correlated with liking mechanics magazines); keep questions that distinguish between group‟s  whenever you are doing these test you have to always ask yourself if these tests are giving meaningful answer  the biggest problems for personality psychology is that most of these entities have behavioural manifestations  For every test: is it valid, reliable (test, re-test) o Can you generalize the findings?  A lot of tests don‟t have clear behavioural or bodily manifestation, unlike medicine  There is no place to look for physical structure for shyness, memory etc  We depend on self-report data (what patient tells about selves)  causes
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