PSY240H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Thematic Apperception Test, Validity Scale, Memory Span

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Published on 29 Nov 2011
CHAPTER 4 (continued)
Psychological Tests
more indirect means of assessing psychological characteristics
standardized sets of procedures/tasks for obtaining samples of behaviour
oindividual’s responses to the stimuli compared with others’ who have
comparable demographic characteristics (using test norms/test score
obased on this can infer how much a person’s psychological qualities differ
from those of a reference group
ocharacteristics that the tests can measure include: coping patterns, motive
patterns, personality characteristics, role behaviours, values, levels of
depression/anxiety and intellectual functioning
more precise and often more reliable than interviews/some observation techniques
however, depends on the competence of the clinician who interprets them
useful diagnostic tools
BOX 4.2 – Developments in Practice – The Automated Practice: Use of the Comp in
Psychological Testing
comps used to gather info from an individual and to assemble and evaluate it
comps can
osupply a probable diagnosis
oindicate likelihood of certain kinds of behaviour
osuggest appropriate form of treatment
opredict the outcome
oprint out summary report
obe more efficient and accurate in recalling stored material
however some practitioners don’t use comps b/c of the following possible reasons:
opractitioners trained before the comp age may feel uncomfortable with them
omany practitioners limit their practice to psychological treatment and do not
do much pretreatment assessments
oimpersonal look of the booklets and answer sheets is inconsistent w/ the image
and style of warm and personal engagement they hope to convey
osome concerned with ethical implications
potential threats to confidentiality
lack of training in comp testing for many psychologists
lack of research validating comp-generated interpretations of test
Intelligence Tests
examples of tests that are widely used in clinical settings:
oWechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-IV)
oStanford-Binet Intelligence Scale
Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale
oprobably the most commonly used for measuring intelligence
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4 scales:
verbal comprehension
perceptual reasoning
working memory
processing speed
o15 subtests
Vocabulary (verbal comprehension): list of words to define,
presented orally to the individual; task evaluates knowledge of vocab,
which has been shown to be highly related to general intelligence
Digit Span (working memory): tests short-term memory; sequence of
numbers is administered orally; individual asked to repeat the digits in
the order administered; another task involves the individual
remembering the numbers, reversing the order and saying it
intelligence tests such as WISC, WAIS and the Stanford Binet typically require 2-3
hrs to administer
oin many clinical situations, administer portions of a test
Projective Personality Tests
personality tests are either projective or objective measures
Projective tests – unstructured tests b/c they rely on various ambiguous stimuli such
as inkblots and vague pics and that the responses are not limited
can reveal one’s personal preoccupations, conflicts, motives, coping techniques and
other personality characteristics
assumption: in trying to make sense of vague stimuli, individuals “project” their own
probs, motives and wishes into the situation
stimuli are fixed and largely the same for all subjects, which allows one to determine
the normative range of responses; this helps to identify objectively deviant responses
aim of the tests: discover the ways in which an individual’s past learning and
personality structure lead him/her to organize and perceive ambiguous info from the
commonly used projective tests
oRorschach Inkblot Test
oThematic Apperception Test
osentence completion tests
The Rorschach
Rorschach test
ouse is complicated
orequires considerable training
omethods of administering it vary
some take several hours
oresults can be unreliable b/c subjective
onot used much today in mental health facilities
a comp. based interpretation system has been developed
oExner Comprehensive Rorschach System
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provides scoring summaries and a list of likely personality descriptions
and references about a person’s adjustment based on the input of
stored Rorschach responses
found to be fairly reliable
The Thematic Apperception Test
Thematic Apperception Test
widely used in clinical practice and personality research
uses a series of pics, some highly representation, others quite abstract about which a
subject is told to make up stories
content of the pics – much of it depicts people in various contexts, highly ambiguous
about actions and motives, so subjects believed to project their own conflicts and
worries onto it
several scoring and interpretation systems have been developed to focus on diff
aspects of stories
oex. expression of needs, person’s perception of reality and person’s fantasies
otime consuming, so often clinician simply makes a qualitative and subjective
determination of how the story content reflects the person’s underlying traits,
motives and preoccupations (therefore room for error)
takes take to administer
pics look dated
Case Study – David’s TAT response
15 yr old boy
looked at a TAT card that had a boy staring at a violin on a table
David’s story
oboy had a machine gun, took it to school and shot people; then everybody left
him alone because they knew he had the gun in his locker
this shows that David was experiencing a high level of frustration and anger in his
life; was feeling threatened by everyone around him
Sentence Completion Test
several such tests have been designed for children. adolescents and adults
somewhat more structured that Rorschach and most other projective tests
help examiners pinpoint imp clues to an individual’s probs, attitudes and symptoms
through the content of their responses
interpretation of responses is generally subjective and unreliable
Objective Personality Tests
objective tests – structured
typically use questionnaires, self-reports, rating scales
allows for quantification of data
more precise and reliable
MMPI – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
in many ways, it is a prototype and standard
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