Psychological assessment refers to the systematic gathering and evaluation of information pertaining to an
individual for whom a specific question about psychological functioning needs answering. Assessment requires
the clinician to place and interpret scores and other data within the context of the person’s history, referral
information, behavioral observations and life story of that person in order to provide a comprehensive
understanding of that individual. Assessment can be carried out with a wide variety of techniques, typically
including a clinical interview and a number of psychological tests.
• Test-retest reliability = the degree to which a test yields the same results when it is given more than once
to the same person
• Alternate-form reliability = the degree to which two alternate forms of a test agree (provide similar
• Internal consistency = the degree of reliability within a test
• Split-half reliability = a measure of internal consistency; often evaluated by comparing responses on
odd- and even-numbered test items
• Coefficient alpha = a measure of internal consistency; calculated by averaging the intercorrelations of all
the items on a given test
• Face validity means that the items on a test resemble the characteristics associated with the concept
• Content validity is one step beyond face validity in requiring that the test's content include a
representative sample of behaviours thought to be related to the construct the test is designed to measure
• Criterion validity is said to have been achieved when the test results match what is known in the
population (i.e., a depression test has criterion validity if it discriminates between depressed and non-
• Construct validity is concerned with the importance of a test within a specific theoretical framework;
especially useful for abstract constructs
Rorschach Inkblot Test: created by Rorschach; asked to describe what they see in the blot; Exner system
developed to increase reliability and validity by standardizing scoring
ThematicApperception Test: created by Murray and Morgan; drawings on cards of ambiguous social
interactions which individuals create stories about; questions about the reliability and validity of scoring
different paradigms within. Psychopathology-faulty ways of thinking. Theoretical perspectives.
Behavioural-way of looking how mind works. Etc. main approaches they lead to different types of
•Somatic/biological therapies-problem in biological make up, imbalance of distortion of some kind.
Gestalt argument: im greater than the sum of my parts. People feel they have an entity inside of them, a
spirit, separate from biology, a soul. Its dilemma the mind brain dilemma, not clear. We have clear gestalt
examples, clear example in our environments ie/ film. What are the parts of a film, a motion picture. They
are static pictures of the parts, unmoving when put together really quickly there is movement. Greater
than the sum of its parts, get movement.
o Shock Therapy
Psychoactive Drug Therapy These therapies are used together, psychological-what you think and biological-make up. Both influence each
other. What you think can affect your health, biology. Ex/ stress and anxiety can create ulcers. Distinct
relationship between the two. Can do experiments on this not just correlational studies. Ulcers are actually
bacterial infections but stress to which reduces immune system allowing to eat your stomach. Treatment was
stress reduction, still is and anti biotic to reduce ulcers. They both interact for the development of
psychopathology and the treatment.
Planned, ongoing interaction between a therapist and a client. Doesn’t have to be single client.
• Psychoanalytical psychotherapies-dysfunction. Psychodynamic therapy. Method of this treatment was
psychic conflict that originates from childhood. Freud said would not get to next stage. Free association is
the tool.- lie and say whatever comes to mind because subconscious things arises-Freudian slips.
Criticism: not easy to scientifically identify this. The Freudian slip is from subconscious or twist of the
tongue-impossible to determine.
• Cognitive therapies- apply learning theories to covert cognitive events. Psychoanalysis- address in
mind. Behaviour-address movement. Cognitive appreciates thinking about what your doing. Cognitive
behavioural therapies CBT- think about what your doing. Its psychological challenge whereas behavioural
there is none just manipulating through conditioning. Cognitive asking you why you are doing that.
Comes from the perspective that psychopathology comes from faulty thoughts or beliefs that were learnt
incorrectly. Athough learned incorrectly- I am stupid or ugly, not capable of doing this. This theory that
you learnt that somewhere and is not correct. Therapy used is to challenge those thoughts. Verbal
challenge-would involve modeling. Usually gets positive results with anxiety, depression.
• Behaviour therapies- reaction to psychoanalysis. Interested in overt behaviours not important in
subconscious. Miller. Not interested in childhood, past thoughts, treating what may have originally caused
the behaviour only in behaviour present. Behaviour modification is the approach used. Compulsive
disorder. Pathological behaviour displayed presently is the only consideration. Methods derived from
conditioning, classical and operant. Channeling behaviour through stimulus response- no conscious
introspection, not interested in thinking and feeling about past. Simply a treatment method to modify your
current behaviour. Conditioning principles to therapy. Treatment strategies derived from whether increase
or decrease in behaviour.
• Major treatment modifications: some strategies work better for some psychopathology but not others.
o Behavioural therapies:
• Systematic desensitization- treating phobias. Effective technique on anxiety disorder-
drugs have sideffects so effective way is systematic desent. Ex/ phobia-irrational fear. Ie/
heights. Rational fear- falling. Common fears don’t require interventions. Learnt fear through
• Flooding or implosive therapy-spider in a room. Successful not ethical. Not used for
phobias. Useful for compulsive disorder. Going to confront your obsessions and making you do
• Modeling- useful for children, fear of dog. Model an interaction with a dog, watch me
• Extinction- conditioning principles. Real easy, simply stop reinforcing a behaviour.
Often will display can be abnormal behaviours because they get attention. Will display good
and bad behaviours for attention.Attention is the most powerful reinforce, more powerful then
cocaine and chocolate.
• Positive reinforcement- extinguish a negative behavior and reinforce a positive
• Group therapies- involves non related members. Related involves family members. Social dysfunction.
Advantage-same disorder, can be supportive of each other. Family therapy adtage: family dynamic is part
of the cause. Group therapy is cost effective, is a place to practice relating to others, offers exposure to the
experiences of others, and may lead to feelings of cohesion. Q: Briefly describe the focus of behavioural approaches and provide examples of techniques.
A:At the heart of behavioural approaches are efforts to reinforce desirable behaviours and ignore undesirable
Response shaping is used to shape behaviour in gradual steps toward a goal, such as teaching a young child to
get dressed independently.
Behavioural activation is used to help patients develop strategies to increase their overall activity and to
counteract their tendencies to avoid activities.
In systematic desensitization, fear-inducing stimuli are arranged in a hierarchy, individuals are trained in
techniques to achieve deep muscle relaxation. Clients imagine the items of the hierarchy one at a time while
remaining relaxed.Assertiveness training is effective for treating anxiety in interpersonal situations, and is often
offered to couples experiencing relationship problems or aggressive individuals.
5 potential risks of drug treatment
1. May have undesirable physiological effects
2. Maybe based on a faulty diagnosis
3. Encourages pill taking
4. Deprives people opportunity to control own behaviour
5. Maybe unethical to medicate a psychological problem
*Many psychologists have argued for prescription privileges. They state that many major mental disorders are
treated with medication, it might be more cost-effective for psychologists to prescribe medication rather than
psychiatrists, and underserved groups might benefit from expanded opportunities to receive medication. Many
physicians are concerned about the effects of psychologists having prescription privileges and argue that a great
deal of training in biology is necessary.
Psychopathology of adults and adolescents-CH 15
• Modern child psychopathology
• DSM intially had two cateogries
• DSM IV-10 major cateogries
• Last disorder in each is "NOS" not otherwise specified, which is change on DSM V
Intectual ability can tell right from childhood and autism can be diagnosed right from childhood-mental
retardation and childhood schizophrenia now called autism. Some children lose touch with reality, as autism is
recognized as-a psychiotic condition. These people don’t live in the same world or not responding int eh same
way to stimuli compared with other infants. That term was abondoned because hallmarks for schizophrenia is
halluciantions, dillusions so now abondoned and replaced with autsim. Mental retardation changed to
intellectual ability. Intellectual disability only reffered to people with a deficit in intellect.
DSM iv- two cateogries DSM V-not more categories of child disorders instead eliminated. DSM IV had a
section on child disorders, meant that it first saw symptoms in childhood.Adults can show ADHD but is
different then childrens. Categories have been reorganized into sections with similar sections in DSM V, autism
is in psychiotic disorders.Age of concent is 12. adolence-still growing, when brain is fully developed that’s when reaches adulthood. Brain is continuing to grow until 23. adolesence same as 13-18. childhood is pre 13.
after 3 brain stops working. At 18, you become an adult.
Diagnosed in infancy 18-2 (toddler 2-4) , childhood 5-12, adolesence 13-18/19, adulthood. Not clear when
adolesence ends and can show up post period.
NOS: doesnt meet the same criteria as the disorder. DSM has eliminated NOS because if it doesn’t meet
specific criteria then don’t have this disorder, combordity. They made the criteria less specific. To catch more
people with that disorder.
• Mental retardation
Dsm iv- emphasized the intellectual disability. There are four cateogries in dsm iv
Mild, moderate, severe, profound based on the level of intelligence.
Below 40-severe, below 20-profound. How well can you adapt to the changing environment?
Intellectual deficit includes adaptation.
• Learning Disorders
Reading Math Writing- split in dsm IV
-controversial cateogry and redifined because a deficit where the child falls behind the developmental norms
and deficits with extreme learning difficulties-dsm iv definition. Pathology is 2 stadard deviations
1. Motor skill disorders
developmental coordination disorder. Must reach a milestone otherwise a concern. Further away a child
chronigically, fromt eh milestone t, greater the concern. Easy to detect changes. This is statistical-a change in
milestone. Further away from the statistical milestone, greater the concern which remains intact on dsm V
1. Communication disorders
• Expressive disorder
• Mixed expressvie-recpetive
-speaking and understanding disorders, prounications and stuttering. These disorders sometimes spontaneously
remit- See in childhood and adulthood go away on their own, sometimes don’t require treatment. Unclear
language, unusual for childs age, poor grammer, poor prounication. Doesn’t understand communication
appropriatly. Diagnose comboridly in this cateogry for dyslexia.
Phonological-substituting sounds and/or letter also corbid with dyslexia. Stuttering-inability to get the sounds
out when expressing-neurological. When brain grows, stuttering goes away and stammering. Stuttering and
stammering are treatable, cognitive beahvioural therapy.
• Pervasive developmental disorders
Cateogry called atusitic spectrum disorders, each of these disorders are eliminated, dsm V recognized they are
all the same disorders on a continum/spectrum. They look like different from each other in terms of functioning
but same symptoms.
• Autism- dsm iv had different diagnostic cateogries but in dsm v has eliminated because same
disorders on a spectrum. Loss of touch with reality. Extreme social isolation on dsm iv. Reality they have
is not same as other people. Not interested in interaction with other people only themselves and inanimate
objects. Can include any of those symptoms in varying degress on the spectrum. Mild-people intelligent
but don’t interact well.
• Rett's- a behaviour-hand ringing. Not interested in reality, social world only their hands. Rett's
• Childhood disintegrative disorder- childhood schizophrenia, slow insidious progression from
infancy to non responsive state. Non social.Atwo month old baby must have a social interaction with caregiver. Infants with autism you cant detect because looks normal but taken away from caregiver they
• Asperger's - mildest form. Not doing the same thing as other people are doing. Not dressing, the
same or same interest. They are functional, have friends but not fitting in. nerd. Doesn’t undertadn what
other people tke for granted when effectively charged. Don’t understand sarcasm, take things literally.
Nothing to do with intelligence. Lacking emotional valence, not on same terms with social interaction as
other people are.
Autism is often combobid with mental retardation others say a form of mental retardation.
Category 6: Attention deficit and disruptive disorders.
Dsm 5 has separated them, where in DSM 4 same category.
• ÄD/HD- inability to focus on materials presented o you in extended periods of time.Attention
wanders, seen right from childhood. School years-5 or 6, clearly seen by 10. fun stuff don’t have a
problem with, focus on video games is no problem. It is mundane stimuli have trouble focusing on. Not
attending to things they should be. Other symptom is impulsivity-cant stop themselves from doing those
other things. Cant focus and cant help themselves. Key features odAD-impulsivity. It goes with
disruptive disorders because disruptive leads to trouble. Hyperactivity- cant stop themselves from
moving. Implies behavioural activity, busy, fidgety, moving around.
• Conduct disorder-remains on dsm 5 as a separate section. Children behaving anti-social.
Impulsive behaviour. Children who are delinquent in legal terms. Overlap between delinquency and
conduct disorder. Significant overlap but not perfect between these two concepts so if deliquent not have
conduct disorder.Aggressive, assulting others, stealing, setting fire. Conduct disorder is treatable until 18
years, and prosecuted under other rules. If not treated, this goes to manifest as a personality disorder that
will not change.Aggression to people and animals: bullies, threatens, or intimidates others, initiates
physical fights, physically cruel to people and/or animals; Destruction of property: fire-setting;
Deceitfulness or theft: breaking into houses, lying to obtain goods or favours; Serious violations of rules:
chronically truant from school, running away from home.
• Oppositional defiant disorder- severe rejection of all authority,ADD. Not severe as conduct