Chapter Four – Assessing and Diagnosing Abnormality
Assessment: the process of gathering information about people’s symptoms and the
possible causes of those symptoms. Information gathered in assessment is used to
determine appropriate diagnosis
Diagnosis: a label attached to a set of symptoms that tend to occur with one another.
Differential diagnosis: a determination of which of several possible disorders an
individual may be suffering.
Acculturation: The extent, to which a person identifies with his or her group of origin
and its culture or with the dominant, mainstreams culture.
Assessment tools include:
Clinical interviews –
Unstructured interview: few, open-ended questions, such as “tell me about yourself.”
The clinician will listen and observe the client’s
Structured interview: clinician asks the respondent a series of questions about
symptoms he or she is experiencing or has experienced in the past.
Resistance: disadvantage of interviews – client can resist if they do not want to be
assessed or treated, for example if parents make a teenager go for the assessment.
Validity: accuracy of a test in assessing what it is supposed to measure – best way to test
validity is to see if the results of the test yield the same info as an objective and accurate
indicator of what the test is supposed to measure
Face validity: test appears to measure what it is supposed to measure
Content validity: test assesses all important aspects of a phenomenon that it purports to
Concurrent validity: the extent to which a test yields same results as other measures of
the same behaviour, thoughts, or feelings
Predictive validity: test predicts the behaviour it is supposed to measure – how person
will think, act, or feel in the future
Construct validity: the extent to which the test measures what it is supposed to measure,
not something else altogether.