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Chapter 1

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PSYC 3250
Jeffrey Spence

Chapter 1: Introduction to Psychological Assessment ­ psychological testing and other assessment are important in virtually every aspect of professional psychology ­ use of psychological tests and other assessments is not limited to clinical or health settings, example: o industrial and organizational psychologists  developing, administering, and interpreting tests  develop assessments that will help identify prospective employees who possess the skills and characteristics necessary to be successful on the job o research psychologists  proficient in measurement and assessment  most psychological research involves measurement and/or assessment  all areas of science are very concerned and dependent on measurement o educational psychologists  testing, measurement, and assessment issues  developing and analyzing tests that’s are used in educational settings to educating teachers about how to develop better classroom assessments Special Interest Topic 1: How do clinical, counselling, and school psychologists differ? ­ most psychologists working with patients or clients are trained in a clinical, counselling, or school psychological program ­ “practice-oriented” programs o graduates are trained to provide psychological health care serves ­ doctoral-level clinical, counselling, or school psychology programs o graduates typically qualify for equivalent professional benefits  professional licensing, independent practice, eligibility for insurance reimbursement ­ PhD vs. PsyD programs o PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)  produce broad training in both clinical and research applications o PsyD (Doctor of Psychology)  focus primarily on clinical training and place less emphasis on research o there are PhD and PsyD programs in clinical, counselling, and school psychology o relative merits of the PhD versus the PsyD are debated ­ clinical vs. counselling psychology programs o clinical psychology programs  work with clients with more severe forms of psychopathology o counselling psychology programs  work with clients with less severe problems o APAstopped distinguishing between clinical and counselling psychology internships o notable differences  more abundant and produce more graduates • 197APA-accredited clinical psychology programs • 64APA-accredited counselling psychology programs  psychological assessment • clinical psychologists – use more projective personality assessments • counselling psychologists – use more career and vocational assessments  theoretical orientation • majority of both clinical and counselling psychologists favour an eclectic/integrative or cognitive- behavioural approach • clinical psychologists – more likely to endorse a psychoanalytic or behavioural orientation • counselling psychologists – favour client-centered or humanistic approaches  workplace • clinical psychologists – work in private practice, hospitals, or medical schools • counselling psychologists – work in university counselling centers and community mental health settings  students entering clinical and counselling programs • more students with master’s degrees enter counselling programs than clinical programs o PhD counselling programs – 67% o PhD clinical programs – 21% ­ school psychology o work with children and adolescents in school settings o trained in psychotherapy and counselling techniques o receive extensive training in psychological assessment (cognitive, emotional, and behavioural) o learn to consult with parents and other professionals to promote the school success of their clients o 57APA-accredited school psychology training programs ­ professional licensing is controlled by the individual states o each state determines the educational and training criteria for licensing Brief History of Testing ­ earliest testing: circa 2200 BC o Chinese – tested public officials to ensure competence  Han dynasty – written exams for the first time and covered 5 areas: agriculture, civil law, geography, military affairs, and revenue th  4 century – 3 arduous stages requiring examinees to spend days isolated in small booths composing essays and poems ­ eighteenth- and nineteenth-century testing o Carl Frederich Gauss  plotted the frequency of the observed locations systematically and found the observations to take the shape of a curve • curve has come to know as the normal curve or normal distribution o Civil Service Examinations  select government employees were introduced in European countries o Physicians and Psychiatrists  England and US – developed classification systems to help classify individuals with mental retardation and other mental problems o Brass Instruments Era  early experimental psychologists made significant contributions to the development of cognitive ability testing  most important developments was the move toward measuring human abilities using objective procedures that could be easily replicated  Sir Francis Galton • considered the founder of mental tests and measurement • major accomplishments – establishment of an anthropometric lab which collected data including physical, sensory, and motor measurements on over 17,000 individuals  James McKeen Cattell • shared Galton’s belief that relatively simple sensory and motor tests could be used to measure intellectual abilities • instrumental in opening psychological labs and spreading the growing testing movement in the US • first to use the term “mental test” in an article • contributed to the development of testing procedures o standardized questionnaires and rating scales  later became popular techniques in personality assessment  Clark Wissler • found that the sensory-motor measures commonly being used to assess intelligence has essentially no correlation with academic achievement • found that sensory-motor tests had only weak correlations with one another ­ twentieth-century testing o Alfred Binet – bring on intelligence testing  initially experimented with sensory-motor measurements  pioneered the use of measures of higher order cognitive processes to assess intelligence  Binet-Simon Sake • commissioned by the French government • contained some sensory-perceptual tests • emphasis on verbal items assessing comprehension, reasoning, judgment, and short-term memory • achieved goal to develop a test that was a good predictor of academic success o ArmyAlpha and Beta Tests  US WWI • US army need a way to assess and clarify recruits as suitable for the military and to classify them for jobs in the military • APAand President Yerkes, developed a task force that devised a series of aptitude tests that came to be known as theArmyAlpha andArmy Beta • era of intelligence testing o alpha = verbal, beta = nonverbal o Robert Woodworth – bring on personality testing  developed the Woodworth Personal Data Sheet • considered to be the first formal personality test • designed to help collect personal information about military recruits  era of personality testing o Rorschach Inkblot Testing  Hermann Rorschach – 1920s  costinues to be one of the more popular personality assessment techniques in use at the beginning of the 21 century o CollegeAdmission Tests  College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) • formed to provide colleges and universities with an objective and valid measure of students’ academic abilities and to move away from nepotism and legacy in admissions to academic merit • first ScholasticAptitude Test (SAT) in 1926 (now – ScholasticAssessment Test) • American College Testing Program (ACT) o 1959 and a major competitor for the SAT o Wechsler Intelligence Scales  David Wechsler developed an intelligence test that included measures of verbal ability and nonverbal on the same test  before – intelligence tests typically assessed verbal and nonverbal intelligence, not both  Wechsler scales – most popular intelligence tests in use today o Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)  early 1940s  aid in the diagnosis of psychiatric disorders  objective personality test and has been the subject of a large amount of research  MMPI-2 – most popular personality assessments in use today ­ twenty-first-century testing o last 60 years – explosion in terms of test development and use of psychological and educational tests The Language ofAssessment ­ tests, measurement, and assessment o test  device or procedure in which a sample of an individual’s behaviour is obtained, evaluated, and scored using standardized procedures  sample of behaviour • important that tests reflect a representative sample of the behaviour you are interested in  standardized tests • test that is administered, scored, and interpreted in a standard manner • developed by testing professionals or test publishing companies • goal of standardization o ensure that testing conditions are as nearly the same as is possible for all individuals taking the test  no examinee will have an advantage over another o measurement  set of rules for assignment numbers to represent objects, traits, attributes, or behaviours o assessment  systematic procedure for collecting information that can be used to make inferences about the characteristics of people or objects  should lead to an increased understanding of these characteristics  typically refers to a process that involves the integration of information obtained form multiple sources using multiple methods • therefore, assessment is a broader, more comprehensive process than testing  Meyer et al. • psychological testing o relatively straight ward process where a specific test is administered to obtain a specific score • psychological assessment o integrates multiple scores  McFall and Trent • test scores are useful in this process to the extent that “allow us to predict or control events with greater accuracy or with less error than we could have done without them” o testing, measurement, and assessment  used interchangeably  assessment – preferred term among professionals  measurement – sounds rather rigid and sterile  testing – negative connotations o evaluation  term used when discussing assessment, testing, and measurement-related issues  involves judging or appraising the value or worth of something o reliability  stability, consistency, and relative accuracy of the test scores  theoretical note • refers to the degree to which test scores are free from measurement errors, therefore, they are stable and consistent and thus more accurate o validity  appropriateness or accuracy of the interpretation of test scores ­ types of tests o test  device or procedure in which a sample of an individual’s behaviour is obtained, evaluated, and scored using standardized procedures o Cronbach  tests generally can be classified as measures of either maximum performance or typical response • maximum performance tests o designed to assess the upper limits of examinee’s knowledge and abilities o ability tests  items may be scored as either “correct” or “incorrect”  examinees are encouraged to demonstrate their very best performance o achievement tests • typical response tests o attempt to measure the typical behaviour and characteristics of examinees o maximum performance tests  tests designed to asses the upper limits of the examinee’s knowledge and abilities  subcategories • 1. classified as either achievement tests or aptitude tests • 2. classified as either objective or subjective • 3. described as either speed or power tests  achievement and aptitude tests • achievement tests o designed to ass the knowledge or skills of an individual in a context domain in which he or she has received instruction o linked or tied to as specific program of instructional objectives o used to measure what has been learned or “achieved” at a specific point in time • aptitude tests o broader in scope o designed to measure the cognitive skills, abilities, and knowledge that an individual has accumulated as a result of overall life experiences o reflect the cumulative impact of life experiences as a whole o used to predict future performance or reflect an individual’s potential in terms of academic or job performance • most testing experts today o conceptualize both achievement and aptitude tests as measures of developed cognitive abilities that can be ordered along a continuum in terms of how closely linked the assess abilities are to specific learning experiences  objective and subjective tests • objectivity o impartiality or the absence of personal bias o refers to the extent that trained examiners who score a test will be in agreement and score responses in the same way o objective tests  test with selected-response items o subjective tests  rely on the personal judgment of the individual grading the test  speed and power tests • speed tests o performance only reflects differences in the speed of performance o contains items that are relatively easy and has a strict time limit that prevents examines from successfully completely all the times • power tests o performance reflects the difficulty of the items the examinee is able to answer correctly o items are ordered according to difficult and contains items so difficult that examinees are not expected to answer them all o reflects the difficulty of the items the examinee is able to answer correctly • well-developed speed and power tests o signed so no one will obtain a perfect score  if someone obtains a perfect score, the test failed to assess the very upper limits of that person’s ability • assess adequately the upper limits of ability o “adequate ceiling”  difficulty level of the tests is set so none of the examinees will be able to obtain a perfect score o typical response tests
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