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Chapter 4

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Western University
Psychology 3301F/G

Chapter 4Psychological and Research MethodsPsychological assessment systematic gathering and evaluation of information pertaining to an individuals suspected abnormal behaviour needed for diagnosis A series of scores placed within context of history referral info behavioural observations lifeGood assessment tools dependant on two things accurate ability to measure some aspect of persona being assessedknowledge of how the general population would generally measure comparisonTestretest reliability degree to which a test yields same results when given more than once to the same person higher the correlation coefficient the greater the reliabilityAlternateform reliability two forms of same test with different wordingmeasuring the same thing high correlation between first and second scores show alternateform reliabilityInternal consistency degree of reliability within a testwhat extent do different parts of the test yield the same resultsSplithalf reliability measure of internal consistency comparing response of oddnumbered to evennumbered items if highly correlatedsplithalf reliabilityCoefficient alpha measure of internal consistency averaging intercorrelations of all items on given test higher coefficient alpha higher internal consistencyNote reliable measure may be of little value if not valid Face validity use of test believes that items on test resemble characteristics associated with concept being tested Content validity tests content include a representative sample of behaviours thought to be related to the construct that the test is designed to measure eg Construct of depression includes features lack of energy sadness negative selfperceptiona test would need to address these features Criterion validity how well a variable predicts an outcome based on info from other variableseg Extent to which a score on a personality test can predict future performance or behaviour Construct validity importance of test within specific theoretical framework eg Selfesteem considered important for success to evaluate a measure for selfesteem we should look to a theory for prediction and see whether measure correlates with that predictionClinical vs Actuarial PredictionClinical approach there is no substitute for clinicians experiencepersonal judgementdraw on all available data in own mannerguided by intuition honed by experience Actuarial approach more objective standard is neededunbiased and scientifically validatedrely exclusively on statistical procedure empirical methods formal rulesActuarial good for researchmaking predictions in a variety of situations however they are hard to generalizecan results found in the lab really translate perfectly into real lifeneed for clinical approach as well Brain Imaging TechniquesOldestwellestablished techniqueEEG electrodes placed on scalp measures brain electrical activity patient may be asked to carry out activities in order to map brain activity and functioning Allows us to understand normal brain patternstherefore detecting an abnormality easily Prior to 1970 imaging done through radiographycould identify cerebral vasculature problems but could not identify differences in tissue density Computed tomography CT narrow band of Xrays projected through head into scintillation crystals more sensitive than reg Xray film it rotates a total of 180 degrees producing many images
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