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Chapter 3

Psych325 – Assessment of Psychological Disorders.docx

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PSY 325
Lili Ma

Scientific method  Defining a problem  Specifying a hypothesis  Choosing and implementing a research method  Analyzing the data, drawing appropriate conclusion findings Assessment vs. Diagnosis • Assessment - process of gathering info about an individual's symptoms & factors that may aid in development & maintenance of the symptoms • Diagnosis - label given to a set of symptoms that tend to co-occur with one another 
 Case formulation- is a theoretically based explanation or conceptualization of the information obtained from a clinical assessment. It offers a hypothesis about the cause and nature of the presenting problems and is considered an alternative approach to the more categorical approach of psychiatric diagnosis. 
 Clinical Interview  Unstructured (not going in with set questions, more like a conversation), semi-structured, or structured (written down question) Who is the client? Current symptoms? Current functioning? Current coping (risk and protective factors)? Recent precipitating events? (why did you decide to come now?) Medical diagnoses? History of problem? Family psychiatric history? Sociocultural background? Are they having difficulty adjusting to Canada? Level of acculturation? Observation & Mental Status  Incorporated in with clinical interview Behaviour Appearance, hygiene, dress Conversational ability, eye contact Relationship between verbal and nonverbal behaviours Thought content, mood, perception, judgment, attention, memory, orientation Insight into problems  May use Mini Mental State Examination – cognitive examination Self- Report Scale –paper/pencil measures, commonly used  Questionnaire about thoughts, feelings, behaviours, etc.  Standardized so that the person’s responses can be compared to norms  Great normative data, do not take knowledge Psychological Tests  Complex skillset -> in order to interpret their results  Specific how to administrate the test  Intelligence  Assess general intelligence, which is the global capacity to solve problems, as well as specific abilities (e.g., vocabulary, abstract reasoning, similarities, )  Does not test social skills ->  7 intelligences  E.g., Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, Stanford-Binet  Mean = 100 average intelligence  Neuropsychological – cognitive, sensor, motor and conceptual, perceptual, brain abnormalities,  Assess the cognitive, sensorimotor, and perceptual consequences of brain abnormality (e.g., tumor or brain deterioration)  One single test cannot diagnose abnormal brain function  Profiles and patterns of response on multiple tests are used for diagnostic purposes, in addition to clinical interview and behavioural observations Brain Imaging Technology  Used to identify specific deficits and possible brain abnormalities (e.g., brain injury, tumor, biochemicals, brain activity) CT – Assesses brain structure PET – Assesses brain activity –inject isotope in the veins and brain lights up where there is high activity MRI – Assesses brain structure and activity (best one, however expensive) high magnetic  Personality – all assumes that a person responses differently in different situations Projective – obvious  Assume that if people are presented with ambiguous stimuli, they project their conflicts, wishes, feelings, and motives onto the stimuli  The hope is that the tests have the ability to get past peoples’ defense mechanisms so they cannot present themselves in a guarded way  Rorschach Inkblot Test—view bilaterally symmetrical cards and describe what they see, after the person answers, they examine which part they were looking, which colour they were looking at. How common the response is?  The sign approach ^ if people would see eyes they have paranoia, very subjective , lacks for validity  Thematic Apperception Test—view a picture and tell a story about the card  who are main characters, how does it get resolved, not high validity  Word Association Test – say mother or father, they will say the first thing that pops into their mind.  Sentence Completion Test Objective – not obvious how you should behave, get past persons ego/defense mechanisms  Self-report questionnaires  Rate the extent to which items are characteristic of themselves  Available for both normal and abnormal personality and behaviours  Normal – NEO-PI -> rates on a continuum  Abnormal – MMPI, MCMI
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