Chapter 12b.docx

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21 Apr 2012
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Chapter 12B Computerized Assessment and the Future of Testing
- Computers are not used in virtually every aspect of assessment including the administration,
scoring and interpretation of many tests
Computers in Testing: Overview and History
Introduction to Computer Aided Assessment
- Other than a brief interaction with the receptionist to schedule time at the computer, the client
need not interact with any other human being during the entire assessment process
- Differ from one setting to the next but resemble the following:
o Instruction on the computer screen encourage that user to press any key
o The computer then prompt the client to answer a series of questions about activities
and interests by pressing designated numeric keys
o After completion of the inventory, the computer calculates raw scores for a long list of
occupational scales and makes appropriate statistical transformations
o Next, a brief report appears on the screen
o The report provides a list of careers that best fit the interest of the client
- Also computers can be used to:
o Design individualized tests based upon real time feedback during testing
o Interpret test results according to complex decision rules
o Write lengthy and detailed narrative reports
o Present test stimuli in engaging and realistic formats, including high definition video and
virtual reality
- Computer assisted psychological assessment (CAPA) refers to the entire range of computer
applications in psychological assessment
Computer Based Test Interpretation: Current Status
- Computer based test interpretation or CBTI refers to test interpretation and report writing by
computer
o These services are available by mail in, online computer with modem, or on site
microcomputer package
- Four approaches to CBTI:
o Scoring reports
o Descriptive reports
o Actuarial reports
o Computer assisted clinical reports
Scoring Reports
- Scoring reports consists of scores and/or profiles
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- A scoring report may include statistical significance tests and confidence intervals plotted for
test scores
- Scoring reports do not include narrative test or explanation of scores
- This makes it possible to identify especially meaningful scores and meaningful differences
among scores at a glance
Descriptive Reports
- A descriptive report goes one step further rather than a scoring report by providing brief scale
by scale interpretation of test results
- Descriptive reports are especially useful when test findings are conveyed to mental health
professionals who have little knowledge of the test in question
- Can convey invaluable information in a half page or less
- Contemporary computer based descriptive reports provide excessive detail
Actuarial Reports: Clinical versus Actuarial Prediction
- The actuarial approach to computer based test interpretation is based upon the empirical
determination of relationships between test results and the criteria of interest
o For example: a computer based neuropsychological test report tentatively classifies a
client as having brain damage, this is actually an implicit prediction that can be
confirmed to disconfirmed by external criteria such as brain scans and neurological
consultation
- Clinical versus actuarial judgement
o Clinical judgement the decision maker processes information in his or her head to
diagnose, classify, or predict behaviour
A clinical psychologist uses experience, intuition, and textbook knowledge to
determine whether an MMPI profile indicates psychosis
o Actuarial judgement an empirically derived formula is used to diagnose, classify, or
predict behaviour
A clinical psychologist merely, plugs scale scores into a research based formula
to determine whether an MMPI formula indicates psychosis
- BOTH CAN BE VALIDATED AGAINST EXTERNAL CRITERIA
- The essence of actuarial judgment is the careful development and subsequent use of an
empirically based formula for diagnosis, classification or prediction of behaviour
- Although computers facilitate the use of the actuarial method, we need to emphasize that
actuarial and computerized are not synonymous. To be truly actuarial, test interpretations must
be automatic (prespecified or routinized) and based on empirically established relations
- Neurosis is an outdated (but still used) diagnostic term that refers to a milder form of mental
disorder in which symptoms of anxiety or dysphoria predominated
- Psychosis is a more serious form of mental disorder that may include hallucinations, delusions
and disordered thinking
o Differential between these two diagnosis is really important
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