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Chapter 4

Chapter 4 and Lecture 4- Psychological Assessment and Research Methods- 2310.pdf

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Department
Psychology
Course
Psychology 2310A/B
Professor
Rod Martin
Semester
Winter

Description
CHAPTER #4: PSYCHOLOGICALASSESSMENTAND RESEARCH METHODS ▯ ▯ ASSESSMENT -Psychological assessment: Asystematic gathering and evaluation of info pertaining to an individual with suspected abnormal behavior -Psychological assessment is not a single score but a series of scores placed within the context of history, referral info, behavioral observations, and life of an individual in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of that individual -Atest is only a sample of behavior- a tool to be used in the progress of assessment -Agood assessment tool depends on: - An accurate ability to measure some aspect of the person being assessed - Knowledge of how people in general fare on such a measure ▯ Assessment Tools: Striving for The Whole Picture -Sometimes patients cannot report on their own internal states, even when they can accurately describe their observable behavior -Psychological methods are available to fill many of the missing pieces ▯ Reliability and Validity -Test-test reliability: Degree to which a test yields the same results when it is given more than once to the same person - Can be measured by correlating a person’s score on a given test with the same person’s score on the same test taken at a later time - Problem: Person may have just improved on their second attempt -Alternate-from reliability: Designers prepare 2 forms of the same test —> a high correlation between scores demonstrates alternate-form reliability -Internal consistency: Degree of reliability within a test (to what extent do different parts of the same test yield the same results?) - Split-half reliability: Evaluated by comparing responses on odd-numbered test items with responses on even numbered test items —> if scores are highly correlated, there is half-split reliability - Coefficient alpha: Calculated by averaging the intercorrelations of all items on a given test —-> the higher the coefficient, the higher the internal consistency -Areliable measure is useless if it is not valid -Face validity: The user of a test believes the items on that test resemble the characteristics associated with the concept being tested for - Content validity: Requires that a test’s content include a representative sample of all behaviors thought to be related to the construct that the test is designed to measure - Ex. The construct of depression includes features such as lack of energy, sadness, etc. so to have content validity, these features should be addressed -Criterion validity: Some qualities are easier to recognize than to define completely -Construct validity: Importance of a test within a specific theoretical framework and can only be understood in the context of that framework -Especially useful when the construct is abstract ▯ Clinical vs.Actuarial Prediction - Clinical approach: There is no substitute for the clinician’s experience and personal judgements -Prefer to draw on all available data in their own manner; they are guided by intuition honed with professional experience rather than by formal rules - Actuarial approach: Amore objective standard is needed (unbiased and scientifically validated) -Rely on statistical procedures, empirical methods, and formal rules - More efficient in terms of making predictions in relapse, dangerousness, improvement in therapy, success in university (especially when many predictions must be made and the base of the data is large) -Problems: Many of the equations found in the literature do not generalize to practice settings and there are no prediction rules for the bulk of our decisions ▯ BIOLOGICALASSESSMENT ▯ Brain Imaging Techniques - Central nervous system has been the focus of considerable research in the attempt to understand the causes of psychopathy -EEG: Uses electrodes placed on various parts of the scalp to measure the brain’s electrical activity -Patients may carry out tasks to see how parts of the brain responds - Computed tomography (CAT): Anarrow band of X-rays is projected through the head and onto scintillation crystals which are much more sensitive than X-ray film —> The X-ray source then rotate and project another image —> the source rotates a total of 180 degrees producing a number of images from different angles -Tomography: A2D image or cross-section of the brain -Has shown that schizophrenia and disorders such asAlzheimers involve cortical atrophy (shrinkage of the # of brain cells) -Static image -Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Non-invasive technique that reveals both the structure and the functioning of the brain -Amagnetic field is produced around the patient’s head -Capable of discriminating small differences in water concentration -Safe because it doesn’t use high energy radiation (X-rays) or injections -Functional MRI: Provides a dynamic view of metabolic changes occurring in the active brain (dynamic image) -Static image -Positron emission tomography (PET): Combination of computerized tomography and radioisotope imaging - Generated by injected or inhaled radioisotopes (common elements or substances that have had the atom altered to be radioactive) - This process allows the scientist to measure biological activities as the processes occur in the living brain - Dynamic image ▯ Neuropsychological Testing -Used to determine the relationships between behavior and brain function -Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt Test: Oldest and most commonly used neuropsychological test - Series of 9 white cards containing lines and shapes drawn in black - Respondents copy the images on another card and then draw them from memory - Errors in reproducing lines can be associated with neurological impairment - Problem —> errors could be caused by a tremor in hand or nervousness -Some people with impairment can still complete it -Developmental differences (age) -The most popular neuropsychological battery is the Halstead-Reitan which consist of 6 subtests (time-consuming): - 1. Category test: Measures abstract thinking —> choosing an image from the screen that represents a given category - 2. Rhythm test: Concentration and attention —> listening to 30 pairs of rhythmic beats and identifies which are the same and which are different - 3. Tactual performance test: Visual memory —> Fitting blocs of shapes into their corresponding spaces then draws the board from memory - 4. Tapping test: Taps rapidly on a lever - 5. Grip strength test: Identify location of brain damage —> Grasps a dynamometer which measures strength - 6. Auditory test: Identify aurally transmitted nonsense words ▯ PSYCHOLOGICALASSESSMENT ▯ Clinical Interviews -Most common assessment tool -Interviewer asks about medical history, psychiatric history, age, marital status, family, education, lifestyle and the reason they are seeking consultation -Unstructured interviews: - Open-ended affairs with no scripts - Can follow the patient’s lead —> helpful when under stress - Easy to avoid sensitive topics until patient is more at ease - Facilitate rapport (mutual understanding), mutual trust, and respect -Structured interviews: -Specific in order and wording of questions -The Diagnostic Interview Schedule, Version IV: Highly structured interview developed for large-scale epidemiological research -Got the info they needed without relying on judgements of interviewers -May increase reliability but tend to jeopardize rapport -Semi-structured interviews: -Questioner has leeway but is also guided by an outline that lists certain dimensions of the patient’s functioning that need to be covered -Mental status examination: Screens patient’s emotional, intellectual, and neurological functioning —> used in formal diagnosis or to plan treatment -Designed to look for specific problems ▯ Assessment of Intelligence - Galton was the first and tested the hypothesis that intelligence has a hereditary aspect, a concept that is still being explored today —> attempted to demonstrate a biological correlate of intelligence -Binet developed the first widely accepted and successful test of intelligence to predict academic performance (tests of judgement, comprehension, and reasoning) -Approach was to take the child’s mental age, which was determined by their performance on tests that were normed and divide it by the child’s chronological age, then multiple by 100 -Intelligence quotient (IQ): Reflection of an individual’s performance compared with the population -Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scales: Assesses 5 general kinds of ability: fluid reasoning, knowledge, visuospatial processing, quantitative reasoning, and working memory —> provides separate scores as well as a global IQ as a summary -WechslerAdult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV): Most popular test that is designed to measure diverse aspects of intelligence and consists of 10 core subtests and 5 supplementary subsets: -4 verbal comprehension tests (general info, abstract thinking, the capacity to recognize and act on well-learned societal rules and expectations, and vocabulary) -3 working memory tests (short-term memory, arithmetic ability, and mental manipulation of symbols and numbers) -5 perceptual reasoning tasks (puzzles, reproductions of designs, manipulations of objects and symbols) -3 processing speed tests (searching for visual items, copying items) -Average IQ score on these tests is 100, with a standard deviation of 15, so scores below 70 fall in the lower extreme, and above 130 indicate exceptional intelligence -IQ shows the most stability -The reason why IQ and academic performance are not perfectly correlated (0.5-0.7) can be explained by the fact that academic performance can be influenced by family, personality, and community ▯ PERSONALITYASSESSMENT ▯ Projective Tests -Projective test: Aperson presented with an ambitious stimulus will project onto that stimulus his/her unconscious motives, needs, drives, feelings, and personality -Rorschach inkblot test: The oldest and best known projective test —> People’s percepts of an inkblot reflected their personality - Exner system: Developed in an attempt to increase reliability and validity by standardizing the scoring of responses in the inkblot test - ThematicApperception Test (TAT): Interpreting on the basis of existing ideas - Consists of drawing on cards depicting ambiguous social interactions where respondents have to construct stories about the cards - May project respondents psychological needs and conflicts - Shows how respondents might interpret or behave in similar situations -Clinicians tend to interpret responses in a way that confirms their assumptions without empirical validation ▯ Personality Inventories - Minnesota Multi-phasic Personality Inventory (MMPI): Assesses many aspects of personality, consisting of 567 questions grouped to form 10 content scales -Each item is a statement where you can respond true, false, or cannot say -Based on the contrasted group method of ascertaining validity: Items were chosen only if people known to have the characteristic the scale is intended to measure responded differently to the item —> establishes concurrent validity -The higher the score, the more likely the presence of a disorder - Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI): Helps clinicians make diagnostic judgements aboutAxis II personality disorders and other clinical syndromes found on Axis I -175 self-reported true-false items that yield scores for 24 clinical scales - PersonalityAssessment Inventory (PAI): Self-administered, objective inventory of adult personality -Provides info relevant for clinical diagnosis, treatment planning, and screening for psychopathology -Many people don’t give accurate responses -Response sets: Test taking attitudes that lead to shading responses -Demand characteristics: Answering as one thinks the tester would desire -Social desirability: Answering to make oneself look good - Person by situation interaction: Predicting a person’s typical behavior requires knowledge of both the person’s typical behavior patterns and the characteristics of the setting ▯ Behavioral and CognitiveAssessment - The development of the DSM from DSM-I to DSM IV-TR has been marked by an increased reliance on behavior that is readily observable and quantifiable -The best predictor of behavior in the future is past behavior -Observable techniques: -Behavioral clinicians try to observe their patient’s troubled behaviors directly -Behavior rating scales: Apreprinted sheet on which the observer notes the presence and/or intensity of targeted behaviors, usually by checking boxes or by filling in coded terms (popular with children and adolescents) -Behaviourally oriented therapists often observe children’s problem behaviors in relation to the antecedents (what happens before the behavior) and consequences -In-vivo observation: Aclinician may go into a person’s everyday environment to record a running narrative of events, using pen and paper, video, or still camera —> executed when the actions of parents, siblings, and friends may be affecting a concerning behavior —> impractical -Analogue observational setting: An artificial setting in an office or laboratory constructed to elicit specific classes of behavior in individuals -The validity of observational methods met be undermined by reactivity: the change in behavior often seen when people know they are being observed -Frequent monitoring of observers is also important to avoid observer drift: A steady deterioration in accuracy as a result of fatigue or of a gradual change in the criteria over a long period of observation -Cognitive-behavioral assessment: -The thoughts that precede, accompany, and follow maladaptive behaviour are important to study for some clinicians -SORC: 4 sets of variables that behavior/cognitive oriented clinicians are concerned with: -S: Stimuli: Particular environmental situations that frequently precede the problem -O: Organismic: Physiological or psychological factors within the individual that might increase the probability of a behavior (such as alcohol use, low blood sugar, or poor self-esteem) -R: Overt responses: The problem behavior itself; the intensity, frequency, and duration -C: Consequences: Those that might reinforce or punish the behavior -Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): Emphasizes the modification of unhelpful automatic thoughts and dysfunctional attitudes, the measurement of cognition is an important component of outcome assessment in the modality of treatment -Self-monitoring: - Converts a patient into an accessor - Patients are usually asked to note the frequency with which they perform various acts and sometimes the circumstances surrounding them - Used mostly for thoughts and feelings - Broad band instruments: Seek to measure a wide variety of behaviors - Narrow band instruments: Focus on behaviors related to single, specific constructs such as hyperactivity, shyness or depression - Patients often keep a diary ▯ RESEARCH METHODS -Validates the tools used in assessment -One main goal is the description (Specification and classification of an event) of clinical phenomena and the other is the prediction of behavior -Science: Knowledge ascertained by observation and experimentation, critically tested, systematized, and brought under general principles -Researchers try to explore human behavior in the same way as science ▯ EXPERIMENTALMETHODS ▯ Controlled Experimental Research -Experiment: Variables are manipulated and the effects of these manipulations on other variables
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