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Chapter 3

PSYC 3140 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Alpha Waves, Biopsychosocial Model, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Course Code
PSYC 3140
Jennifer Lewin

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Chapter 3 - Clinical Assessment & Diagnosis
Clinical Assessment - systematic assessment of the biological, psychological and social factors
pertaining to an individual with a possible psychological disorder
Diagnosis - process of determining if the criteria or symptoms are met to have the disorder -
based on DSM 5
Reliability - the degree to which a measurement is consistent
Interrater reliability - when multiple people agree on the same thing
Test retest reliability - the same test is administered twice and the consistency of the
response is checked - should be the same to be reliable
Validity - does the things measure what its supposed to
Concurrent or descriptive validity - comparing results of one test to another that measures
the same thing
Predictive validity - how well does the assessment predict the future
Standardization - a set of standards or norms are used to make an evaluation consistent
EX: asking about symptoms and doing blood work - is a standard that doctors use
Clinical Interview
- Used by psychiatrists, psychologists, mental health professionals etc .
- Ask questions about person's past, current situations, family history, issues about
presenting problem
- Ask about attitudes, emotions, behaviour etc.
Mental Status Exam
- Systematic observation of somebody’s behaviour to determine whether a psychological
disorder is present
- 5 Categories:
Appearance and Behaviour - things like random twitches, general look, posture, facial
expression, slow movement - psychomotor retardation which is associated with
Thought Processes - they way a person talks/ says can show what they are thinking, how
they talk fast or slow, does it make sense or no connection, are they hallucinating, or
delusional, or ideas of reference - everything relates back to them
Mood and Affect - is their person’s affect inappropriate to the situation, is their mood
constantly sad or dull/ angry

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Intellectual Functioning - make a generalization about a person's intelligence by how they
respond, are they reasonable, how is their memory, their views/perceptions
Sensorium- general awareness of our surroundings - those with certain issues won’t be
able to recall date time place, they will be a little off and not know whats going on
Semistructured Clinical Interviews
- Certain sets of related questions that are used to diagnose - a standardization
- Anxiety Disorder Interview Scale 5
- Structured Clinical Interview DSM5
- Ask quetions about behaviour/ though emotions
- Checks for : Persistant distress, resistance to the problem/feelings, frequency of the
Physical Examination
- May ask to do a physical check up to see if there are any biological causes behind the
- Some issues like hyperthyroidism can cause anxiety
- Drug use and abuse can also contribute to psychological symptoms
- If certain problem or drug use is associated with the start of the psychological symptoms
then it cant be concluded that there is a disorder because the illness or drug is closely
linked to the emergence of the problem
- If lets say a person had been depressed for 5 years but only recently started taking drugs
then the drugs are not causing this depression since the person has been experiencing
them from before - this could mean they have clinical depression after more testing is
Behavioural Assessment
- Goes one step further than mental status exam - looks at the persons behaviour in more
specific situations/contexts
- Observe behaviour at school or workplace
- Good for kids who cant express their thoughts through an interview
- Target Behaviour - what is bothering/triggering the behaviour
ABC’s of Observation
Antecedent - what happened before the behaviiour - or triggered it
Behaviour- behaviour itself
Consequence - what happened after the behaviour
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