Psychology 3301F/G Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Walter Mischel, Validity Scale, Clinical Psychology

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Chapter 8: Assessment: Self-Report and Projective Measures
We seek patterns in behaviours, generate hypotheses about why those patterns occur, make inferences
about other personal characteristics and predict future behaviours based on these patterns
Personality traits = tendency to consistently behave in a specific way
o Personality theorists work to examine the influences of genetics and life experience on the
development of traits
Personality measures vary in the scope of the constructs they are designed to assess
Objective personality tests = tests that can be scored objectively, always using the same scoring system
Behaviour checklists = lists of behaviours that are rated for frequency, intensity and duration
o Provide info about nature of an individuals experience
Projective personality tests = tests requiring drawings or a response to ambiguous stimuli, based on the
assumption that responses reveal info about personality structure
Person situation debate
What would happen if measures of persoalit ould’t auratel predit idi differees aog people
or the behaviour of an individual
o = person-situation debate (Walter Mischel)
at that time, theorists assumed a direct connection between personality traits or dispositions and actual
it was believed that the more an individual possessed a certain train, the more likely that person was to
behave in a manner consistent with the trait in any environment or situation
Mischel revealed that the link between trait scores and actual behaviour rarely exceeded a correlation of
Variations across situations seemed to be more important than personality measures in accounting for
behavioural variability
His work led many to question the clinical value of personality measures
Now appears that variability across situations co exists with stability across time
Having info on both situational characteristics and personality characteristics can enhance the prediction
of human behaviour
Wilson and Dunn reviewed research relevant to the question of
o A) how well we can know and understand ourselves
o B) obstacles that interfere with efforts to attain greater self-knowledge
Substantial evidence for the existence of conscious suppression
o However fails to accomplish goal
Psych research has established that a lot on non conscious processing occurs but according to Wilson and
Dunn this processing is largely related to matters of perception, attention, learning and automatic
Wilson and Dunn suggested that we could learn much about ourselves by attending to how others view us
Social cognitive research indicates that the best route to self-knowledge is to intentionally observe our
own behaviours and decisions as they occur
Self-representation biases
People may be motived to present themselves in a particular light
To address possible biases scales such as MMPI include validity scales
Validity scales = scales designed to detect whether a person is faking good, faking bad, or responding
Malingering = emphasizing negative characteristics and deliberately presenting a more problematic
Test of Memory Malingering: designed to assess whether a person with established or suspected
neurological impairments is exaggerating their memory deficits
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Demonstrated to accurately detect almost half of persons attempting to stimulate memory problems
To avoid problem of intentional misrepresentation, many clinical psychologists have advocated the use of
projective personality tests, reasoning that their ambiguous nature makes it difficult for clients to
exaggerate or minimize psychological problems
Projective tests can be faked as easily as checklist; therefor its research on whether they are less easily
faked is inconclusive
Developing Culturally Appropriate Measures
Personality measures must be relevant and unbiased across cultural and ethnic groups
Should assume measures are culturally biased unless data showing otherwise
Tests can be biased or unfair in several ways..
o Content may not be equally applicable or relevant to all cultural groups
o Pattern of validity coefficients may not be similar across groups
E.g. an association between a negative attributional style and depressive symptoms may
be much larger for one group than for another
o Use of a cut-off score on a scale to classify individuals may not be equally accurate across groups
Biases related to cut of scores could mean that those in some cultural group could be
over and under identified
o With respet to test’s uderlig struture
How a clinical psychologist should conduct an assessment with a client form an ethnic minority
o A) use measures that have been shown to be psychometrically sound for people who come from
the same ethnic group as client
o B) osult pulished ors releat to the liet’s ethi group i iterpretig the test results
o C) adopt multiple assessment methods to minimize errors that might be associated with any one
method or test
At a minimum, must indicate in assessment report that the accuracy and validity of the results may be less
than ideal
o If concerned about standardization and accuracy must not report test scores in a report
Translation and adaption of a test requires five steps
o Items are translated into second language, then back into initial be second translator and two
versions compared
o Pilot testing should be conducted with the translated measure to ensure that there are no
problems with the comprehension of items
o Evidence of good reliability should be obtained on the translated measure
o Scores on the measure should be restandardized using norms specific to the translated measure
o Construct validation efforts should be undertaken to determine whether the instrument
measures the same psych qualities in both languages
Assessing Cultural and Linguistic Factors
Immigration history
Contact with other cultural groups
Acculturative status
Acculturate stress
Socioeconomic status
Clinical Utility of Self-Report and Projective Measures
Must be firm evidence that the measures and research on the measures have firm evidence that the
measures and the research on the measures have clinical utility
Clinical utility = extent to which a test and resulting data improve upon typical clinical decision-making
and treatment outcome
Wechsler seen as most important measures in clinical practice
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