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Chapter 4

TEXTBOOK Chapter 4 - Psychological Assessment and Research Methods

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Hywel Morgan

Chapter 4 Psychological Assessment and  Research Methods ASSESSMENT ______________________________________________________________ ___________ • Psychological assessment is the systematic gathering and evaluation of information pertaining to an individual with suspected abnormal behaviour Reliability and Validity • Test-retest reliability: the degree to which a test yields the same results when it is given more than once to the same person o The problem with test-retest reliability is that a person may get better results on the second try because they are familiar with the test. To fix this, experimenters may slightly change the test (ex. wording questions differently on a survey). This is called alternate-form reliability • Internal consistency: the degree of reliability within a test (i.e. to what extent do different parts of the same test yield the same results?). o One way to test internal consistency is split-half reliability, which is evaluated by comparing responses on odd-numbered test items with responses on even- numbered test items. o Another method called coefficient alpha is calculated by averaging the intercorrelations of all items on a given test • Face validity: the user of a test believes at the items on that test resemble the characteristics associated with the concept being tested for. o EX. Suppose you’re testing for assertiveness and there are questions like “how would you react if someone overcharged you in a store? When someone cuts in front of you in a line?” These behaviours are often related to assertiveness. • Content validity: a test’s content includes a representative sample of all behaviours thought to be related to the topic that the test is designed to measure. o EX. If a test measuring depression only focuses on sadness and doesn’t focus on topics like lack of energy or negative self-perception, it does not have good content validity. • Criterion validity: a test has good criterion validity if it gives higher scores to people who are already known to have good skills in the behaviour being tested o EX. a test measuring artistic ability should give a higher score to recognized artists and a lower score to people who have never taken art classes before. • Construct validity: refers to the importance of a test within a specific theoretical framework and can only be understood in the context of that framework. Clinical vs. Actuarial Prediction • How can you interpret results from tests? People who take the clinical approach prefer to draw on all available data guided by intuition honed with professional experience. • Those who take the actuarial approach argue that a more objective standard is needed – they use scientifically validated measures to evaluate data. • The actuarial approach is more efficient in terms of making predictions about relapse, dangerousness, improvement in therapy, etc. BIOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT________________________________________________________ Brain Imaging Techniques Computerized Axial Magnetic Resonance Imaging Positron Emission Tomography (CAT): a (MRI): a non-invasive technique Tomography (PET): radiation narrow band of x-rays is that uses magnetic fields and is generated by projected through the head radio waves to create a injected/inhaled radioisotopes. onto scintillation crystals at computer-generated image of Radiation is given off and different angles, creating a the brain. It is capable of detected by the PET 2D cross-sectional image of discriminating very small equipment. This allows the the brain. differences in water measurement of a variety of concentration in the brain. biological activities in a living brain. Neuropsychological Testing Bender Visual-Motor Halstead-Reitan Test: consists of 6 subtests: Gestalt Test: the test 1. Category test: several images are shown on a screen, and contains 9 cards with lines the examinee is asked to choose which images represent and shapes drawn on them. A patient is asked first to copy certain categories (ex. shape, size, location, and colour). them onto another card, and This measures abstract thinking then to draw them from 2. Rhythm test: examinee listens to 30 pairs of rhythmic memory. Certain errors (rotation of figures, beats, and is asked to choose which pairs are the same perseveration, fragmentation, and which are different. This measures concentration and oversimplification, inability to attention copy angles, and reversals) 3. Tactual performance test: examinee fits blocks of various indicate neurological shapes in their corresponding spaces on a board while impairment. blindfolded. They then draw the board from memory. This tests visual memory. 4. Tapping test: examinee taps rapidly on a lever 5. Grip strength test: examine grips a dynamometer, which measures grip strength. This helps in locating brain damage 6. Auditory test: examine has to identify aurally transmitted nonsense words. PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESSMENT____________________________________________________ Clinical Interviews Unstructured interviews: the Structured interviews: the Semi-structured interviews: interviewer as no script. It is interviewer has a the interviewer has leeway free-flowing and allows the predetermined set of about what questions they interviewer to concentrate on questions to ask the patient. It ask, but they follow a a patient’s unique style. is more reliable, but doesn’t guideline about which allow interviewers to form a categories of questions to bond with the patient. cover. Assessment of Intelligence Stanford-Binet intelligence scale: assess 5 Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS): kinds of ability: fluid reasoning, knowledge, measures diverse aspects of intelligence and visual-spatial processing, quantitative consists of 10 core subtests and 5 reasoning, and working memory. If produces supplementary subtests: 4 verbal separate scores for each of these functions as comprehension tests, 3 working memory tests, well as a global IQ score that summarizes the 5 perceptual reasoning tests, and 3 processing child’s ability. speed tests. Personality Assessment Projective tests: the patient Rorshach Inkblot test: the patient looks at a blot of ink and is presented with an tells the clinician what picture they see. Initially, clinicians use ambiguous stimulus and will their own approach to interpret the results, but the exner project their unconscious system has been developed to increase validity and reliability motives, needs, drives, of the inkblot tests by standardizing the scoring of responses to feelings, defences, and the inkblots. personality characteristics on Thematic Apperception test: the patient is shown cards with that stimulus. There are two ambiguous pictures of social interactions and is asked to make projective tests we use: the Rorschach Inkblot test, and up a story about what is happening in the picture. Clinicians assume that the patients identify with the protagonist in the the TAT. story and project their needs and conflicts onto the events they make up. Personality inventories: a Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): range of instruments have contains 567 questions grouped into 10 content scales plus also been developed that use additional scales. Each item is a statement, and the patient has scientifically accepted to answer “true”, “false”, or “cannot say.” It is multiphasic procedures such as because it assesses many aspects of personality. It focuses standardization, establishment mostly on Axis I disorders in the DSM IV. This assessment of norms, clinical and control includes the L (lie) scale, the F (infrequency) scale, and the K groups, and statistically (defensiveness) scale to account for people answering validated methods of dishonestly on the questionnaire. interpretation. Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI): consists of 175 self-reported true-false items that yield scores for 24 clinical scales. It focuses on Axis II disorders. Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI): a self- administered, objective inventory of adult personality. It consists of 344 items that use a 4-point Likert scale (instead of true-false items) that can assess symptoms that range from mild to severe. BEHAVIOURAL AND COGNITIVE ASSESSMENT________________________________________
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