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PSY240H1 Chapter Notes -Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Beck Depression Inventory, Thematic Apperception Test

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Martha Mc Kay

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Chapter IV: Assessing and Diagnosing Abnormality
Assessment: the process of gathering information about peoples symptoms and their
possible causes.
Diagnosis: A label attached to a set of symptoms that tend to occur together.
Gathering Information:
I. Symptoms and History: current symptoms and their severity and chronicity,
interference with functioning, coping methods, recent events, history of
psychological problems, family history of disorders
II. Physiological and Neurophysiological Factors: physical examination, drug use,
cognitive functioning and intellectual functioning (relevant to making a
differential diagnosis: a determination of all the possible disorders)
III. Sociocultural Factors: social resources available, sociocultural background
(acculturation: extent to which a person identifies with his/her group of origin
and its culture or with the dominant, mainstream culture)affect the
presentation of and responses to problems, can cause stress for family
Assessment Tools:
- To understand and gain information of predisposing factors (family history,
prolong homelessness), precipitating factors (traumatic event, loss/rejection), and
perpetuating factors (isolation, stress)
I. Clinical Interviews: initial interview (intake interview/mental status exam),
may encounter resistance on the part of the client or client may have strong
interest in the outcome and thus bias their presentation of information
a) Unstructured: consisted of few open-ended questions, vary from one assessor
to the nexthard to compare information
b) Structured: consisted of a series of questions about symptoms he/she is
experiencing/has experienced (Ex. Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS),
Structured Clinical Interview for DSM)
II. Cognitive, Symptom, and Personality Tests:
- Validity: the accuracy of a test in assessing what it is aiming to measure
Face validity: test appears to measure what it is supposed to measure
Content validity: test assesses all important aspects of a phenomenon
Concurrent validity: test yields the same results as other measures of the
same behaviour, thoughts, or feelings
Predictive validity: test predicts the behaviour it is supposed to measure
Construct validity: test measures what it is supposed to measure, not
something else
- Reliability: An indicator of the consistency of a test in measuring what it is
supposed to measure
Test-retest reliability: test produces similar results when give at two points
in time
Alternative form reliability: two versions of the same test produce similar
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Internal reliability: different parts of the same test produce similar results
Inter-rater/inter-judge reliability: two or more raters/judges who administer
and score the interview/test come to similar conclusions when evaluating
same people
1. Neuropsychological Tests: paper-and-pencil tests
Bender-Gestalt Test: assess sensorimotor skills by having clients reproduce a
set of nine drawings, clients with brain damage may rotate or change the
2. Brain-Imaging Techniques: used to determine brain injury/tumour
Computerized tomography (CT): X-ray beams passed through the persons
head in a single plane from different angles and the amount of radiation
absorbed by each beam is measuredconstruction of a slice of the brain;
provide only an image of the structure, not activity
Positron-emission tomography (PET): injects patients with a harmless
radioactive isotope (FDG) that travels through blood to the brain and
accumulate in the active parts, positrons are emitted as FDG decays; can be
used to show differences in the activity level of the specific areas of the brain
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): creates a magnetic field around the
brain that causes the realignment of the hydrogen atoms in the brain; no
exposure to radiation or isotopes, safe to use repeatedly, provides detailed
pictures of the anatomy of the brain and pictures of the activity and
functioning in the brain
3. Intelligence Tests: used to get a sense of a clients intellectual strengths and
weaknesses; designed to measure basic intellectual abilities like abstract
reasoning, verbal fluency, spatial memory
What is meant by intelligence?
Biased in favour of middle and upper-class educated European North
4. Symptom Questionnaires: quick assess of a persons symptoms
Beck Depression Inventory (BDI): most common for depression; asks the
respondent current feelings which are then scored to indicate level of
depressive symptoms; does not differentiate from anxiety and other disorders,
cannot diagnose; good test-retest reliability, easy to administer, quick
Addictive Behaviours Questionnaire (ABQ): standard self-report measure to
assess a clients substance use problems; designed to screen for driven,
repetitive, preoccupying, and out of control behaviours with adverse
5. Personality Inventories: questionnaires meant to assess peoples typical ways of
thinking, feeling, and behaving
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): present respondents
with sentences describing moral and social attitudes, behaviours,
psychological states, and physical conditions and ask them to respond true,
false, or cant say; developed empirically; high test-retest reliability, but
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