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PSY240H1 (130)
Chapter 4


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Konstantine Zakzanis

Chapter 4 Clinical Assessment Procedures May 27, 2008 Reliability and Validity in Assessment Reliability Generally, reliability refers to consistency of measurement Interrater reliability: the degree to which two independent observers or judges agree Test-retest reliability: measures the extent to which people being observed twice or taking the same test twice (maybe even several weeks or months apart), score in generally the same way o Only makes sense when the theory assumes that people will not change appreciably between testing on the variable being measured (ex. IQ) Alternate-form reliability: using two forms of tests rather than giving the same test twice, perhaps when there is concern that people will remember their answers from the first test and aim merely to be consistent Internal consistency reliability: assesses whether the items are related to one another (like on an anxiety questionnaire all the questions are related to anxiety) -In each of these types of reliability, a correlation (measure of how closely 2 variables are related) is calculated b/w raters or sets of itemsThe higher correlation, the better the reliability Validity Generally, is related to whether a measure fulfills its intended purpose Related to validity; unreliable measure will not have good validity Content validity: whether a measure adequately samples the domain of interest Criterion validity: evaluated by determining whether a measure is associated in an expected way with some other measure (the criterion) o Aka. Concurrent validity o That is actually shows that say depressed people show depressed scores and not depressed people dont o Predictive validity: evaluating the ability of the measure to predict some other variable that is measured in the future (IQ on future school experience) Construct validity: relevant when we want to interpret a test as measure of some characteristic or construct that is not simply defined (like anxiousness or distorted cognition) o Evaluated by looking at a wide variety of data from multiple scores o Is an important part of the process of theory testing Psychological Assessment Designed to determine cognitive, emotional, personality, and behavioural factors in psychopathological functioning Clinical Interviews The interviewer uses language as the principle mean to finding out about another Different from a normal interview: the interviewers attention on how the respondent answers or does not answer the question (attentive to any emotion as well) The paradigm w/in which an interviewer operates influences the type of information sought, how it is obtained, and how it is interpreted They will inquire about the persons childhood history (psychoanalytical), current environmental conditions (behavioural) The interviewer must obtain the trust of that person Therapists empathize with their clients in order to get information out Clinicians have a vague outline, but they all use different strategies of interviewing Each clinician develops ways of asking questions with which he or she is comfortable and that seem to draw out information that will maximum benefit the client Unstructured interview, so they must rely on intuition and general experience Reliability for initial clinical interview is probably low (two interviewers may reach different conclusions about a client) , also validity is hard to confirm Structured interviews: one in which the questions are set out in a prescribed fashion for the interviewer o Structured Clinical Interview Diagnosis (SCID) for Axis 1 of DSM-IV Branching interview (client response to one question determines the next question asked) Rated on a 3 point scale of severity Improvement of diagnostic reliability Also developed for diagnosing personality disorders and more specific disorders (anxiety disorders) Psychological Tests Psychological tests: standardized procedures designed to measure a persons performance on a particular task or to assess his or her personality It yields important information in their own right, such as personality characteristics or situational determinants of a persons problems The same test is administered to many people at different times Standardization: statistical norms for the test can thereby be established as soon as sufficient data have been collected 3 types of psychological tests: self-report personality inventories, projective personality tests, and tests of intelligence Personality Inventories o Person is asked to complete a self-report questionnaire indicating whether statements assessing habitual tendencies apply to him or her o Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): an inexpensive means of detecting psychopathology and detect a number of psychological problems (multiphasic) Best known and most frequently used and researched Widely used to screen large groups of ppl for whom clinical interviews are not feasible MMPI 2 has several designs to improve validity and acceptability It has a difference in including minority groups. needless topics and sexist wording were removed Reference to sexual adjustment, bowel and bladder functions, and excessive religiosity were removed o There is a validity scale that is designed to detect deliberately faked responses Lie scale: a series of statements set a trap for the person who is trying to look too good (their scores would be viewed with more scepticism) Projective Personality Tests: psychological assessment device in which a set of standard stimuli-inkblots or drawings ambiguous enough to allow variation in response is presented to the individual (unstructured material, and the unconscious process will reveal their true attitudes, motivations and modes of behaviour = projective hypothesis)o Rorschach Inkblot test: best known for its projective techniques (they are shown 10 inkblots at a time and asked to tell what figures or objects he or she sees in each of them) there is black, white, greys, red splotches, and 3 pastel colors o Thematic Apperception Test (TAT): another well known projective test. They are shown a series of black and white pictures and asked to tell the story o Projective tests are to reduce the defence mechanisms of repression and get to the basic cause of distress o The content of the persons responses is viewed as symbolic of internal dynamics (E.g. a man who sees buttocks in one of the inkblots might be judged to have homosexual interests) o Other uses of the inkblot test concentrate on the form of the persons responses. The persons responses are viewed as a sample of how he or she perceptually and cognitively organizes real life situations. o The Roberts Apperception Test for Children illustrates how the use of projective tests has evolved to provide more standardized, objectively scored assessment tools. This test is similar to the TAT, but the Roberts test provides objective criteria for scoring, along w/ normative data to determine whether the childs pattern of responses is abnormal o Cultural processes are central to responses on the Rorschach but havent received adequate empirical examination Intelligence Tests o Originally Binet constructed a mental test to
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