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Chapter 4

PSY240 - Chapter 4 (part 2)

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Ayesha Khan

CHAPTER 4 (continued) Psychological Tests • more indirect means of assessing psychological characteristics • standardized sets of procedures/tasks for obtaining samples of behaviour o individual’s responses to the stimuli compared with others’ who have comparable demographic characteristics (using test norms/test score distributions) o based on this can infer how much a person’s psychological qualities differ from those of a reference group o characteristics 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 o supply a probable diagnosis o indicate likelihood of certain kinds of behaviour o suggest appropriate form of treatment o predict the outcome o print out summary report o be more efficient and accurate in recalling stored material • however some practitioners don’t use comps b/c of the following possible reasons: o practitioners trained before the comp age may feel uncomfortable with them o many practitioners limit their practice to psychological treatment and do not do much pretreatment assessments o impersonal look of the booklets and answer sheets is inconsistent w/ the image and style of warm and personal engagement they hope to convey o some 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 results Intelligence Tests • examples of tests that are widely used in clinical settings: o Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children-Revised (WISC-IV) o Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale o probably the most commonly used for measuring intelligence  4 scales:  verbal comprehension  perceptual reasoning  working memory  processing speed o 15 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 o in 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 env. • commonly used projective tests o Rorschach Inkblot Test o Thematic Apperception Test o sentence completion tests The Rorschach • Rorschach test o use is complicated o requires considerable training o methods of administering it vary  some take several hours o results can be unreliable b/c subjective o not used much today in mental health facilities • a comp. based interpretation system has been developed o Exner Comprehensive Rorschach System  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 o ex. expression of needs, person’s perception of reality and person’s fantasies o time 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) • DISADV • 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 o boy 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 The MMPI • MMPI – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory • in many ways, it is a prototype and standard • most widely used for clinical assessment and psychopathology research • widely used internationally too • original MMPI was a self-report questionnaire that had items that subjects had to state were T/F The Clinical Scales of the MMPI • form of selecting scorable items was known as “empirical keying” • Validity Scale o Lie Scale – measures tendency to claim excessive virtue/to try to present an overall favourable image • Clinical Scales • Special Scales Criticisms of the MMPI • some psychodynamically oriented clinicians o feel that the MMPI is superficial and does not reflect complexities of an individual • some behaviourally oriented… o believe it is too oriented toward measuring unobservable “mentalistic” constructs • revised versions have been validated in several clinical studies Box – 4.3 – Developments in Practice – Esteban’s MMPI-2 Profile and Computer-Based Report • Esteban was first tested with the original MMPI Advantages and Limitations of Objective Personality Tests • cost-effective • highly reliable • objective • can be scored and interpreted by a comp if desired • computer-based MMPI interpretation systems typically employ powerful actuarial procedures o descriptions of actual behaviour/other established characteristics of many subjects with particular patterns of tests scores stored in the comp o when a person has one of these test score patterns, the appropriate description is printed  disadvantages • cannot integrate descriptions o so imp that a professional further interprets assessment • time-consuming • expensive A Psychological Case Study: Esteban • Esteban – • his probs involved both psychological and organic elements • was from South America and assessment was done in both Eng. and Spanish Social History • had become disruptive in school • loud, obnoxious behaviour in class • arguing with his roommates • kicked out of his program at uni • also had severe headaches and confused thinking • his parents were wealthy and arranged for an examination • diagnosed as having some “diffuse” brain impairment Interviews and Behaviour Observations • disorganized, distractible • interrupted his own convo with random impulses • talked incessantly, often loudly • not at all defensive about his probs • talked freely about his symptoms and attitudes • behaviour resembled that of a hyperactive child – excitable, impulsive and immature • didn’t report hallucinations/delusions and was in touch with reality • related well w/ interviewer • seem to enjoy session and expressed i
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