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Chapter 4

PSYB32H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Rorschach Test, Criterion Validity, Validity Scale

Course Code
Konstantine Zakzanis

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Chapter 4-Clinical Assessment Procedures
All clinical assessment procedures are ways of finding out what is wrong with a person,
what may have caused the problems, and what steps may be taken to improve the
persons’ conditions
Note for assessment, are they able to comprehend (reading level) and can they
comprehend and go through with assessment (cognitive ability, physical ability) these
must be tested FIRST
Note: validity scales used in tests such as NIM (Negative Impression Management) to
see if people are faking responses (making it seem as they have an illness)
Reliability and Validity in Assessment
The field of psychology psychometrics exists primarily for the study of validity and
Reliability is consistency of measurement
o Inter-rater reliabilitythe extent that two judges agree about a event
o Test-retest reliabilitythe extent to which people being observed twice, or
taking the same test twice, score generally the same
o Alternate-form reliabilitythe extent to which scores on two forms of the test
are consistent
Is used because there is a concern that people will remember answers
from first test
o Internal consistency reliabilityassesses whether the items on a test are related
to each other
In each of these types of reliability a correlation is calculated between raters or sets of
Validity is related to whether a measure fulfills it’s purpose
If a question is intended to measure hostility. Does it do so?
Unreliable measures will not have good validity
Content validity refers to whether a measure adequately samples the domain of interest
Criterion validity is evaluated by determining whether a measure is associated in an
expected way with some other measure (the criterion)
If both variables are measured at the same time it is called concurrent validity

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Criterion validity can also be assessed by evaluating it’s ability to predict another
variable that is measured in the futurepredictive validity
Construct validityis the extent that a construct can enter a network of lawful
relationships (facts, statements, etc)
It is relevant when we want to interpret a test as a measure of some construct
o Ex. Level of anxiety
Psychological Assessment
Clinical Interviews
An interview is any interpersonal encounter in which the interviewer uses language as
the means of finding out about another
Characteristics of Clinical Interviews
One way in which a clinical interview is different from a casual conversation is how the
interviewer pays close attention to how the respondent answers (or doesn’t answer)
The paradigm in which an interviewer operates influences the type of information
sought, how it is obtained, and how it is interpreted
Psychodynamic and behavioural clinicians agree that people entering therapy usually
are not aware of what is truly bothering them
Most clinicians empathize with clients in an attempt to draw them out
Clinicians often tend to overlook situational factors of the interview that may influence
what the patient says or does
Exactly how information is collected is left to the interviewer and depends on the
responses and responsiveness of the interviewee
If an interview is unstructured the interviewer must rely on intuition and experience. As
a consequence the reliability is low
Because interviews are conducted in confidentiality there is no way to establish
reliability or validity
But take into consideration that clinicians also conduct more than one interview
Structured Interviews
A structured interview is one in which the questions are set on in a prescribed fashion
for the interviewer
Example Structured Clinical Interview Diagnosis (SCID) for Axis I and the SCID-II for Axis II

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The SCID is a branching interview, the client’s response to one question determines the
next question asked
Most symptoms are rated on a three point scale of severity
Structured interviews are essential to improve validity and reliability of diagnosis
Psychological Tests
Psychological tests are designed to measure a person’s performance on a task or to
assess his/her personality, thoughts, feelings, and behaviours
If the results of a diagnostic interview are inconclusive, psychological tests can provide
info that can be used for diagnosis
Statistical norms for a test can be established as soon as sufficient data is collected
(distribute tests and obtain responses) this process is called standardization
Personality Inventories
In a personality inventory the person is asked to complete a self-report questionnaire
indicating whether statements about habitual tendencies apply to him/her
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is intended to detect a number of
psychopathology (hence multiphasic)
Is used to screen a large group of people
In developing the test first clinicians provided statements that they considered
indicating mental problems.
Second, these items that discriminated among patients were retained
Sets of these items were established as scales for determining how a respondent should
be diagnosed
The MMPI-2 was changed to improve it’s validity and reliability
The original sample lacked representation of racial minorities
Some people falsify responses to appear abnormal but most do not because of a desire
to be helped
The test includes a validity scale designed to detect fake responses such as the lie scale
Projective Personality Tests
A projective test is a psychological assessment device in which a set of ambiguous
stimuli are presented to the individual
The assumption is that the stimuli are unstructured so that the patient’s responses will
be determined by unconscious processes and will reveal their true attitudes, feelings,
motivationsProjective hypothesis
Rorschach Inkblot test a person is shown 10 inkblots
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