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Chapter 3

PSYCH 270 Chapter Notes - Chapter 3: Thematic Apperception Test, Inter-Rater Reliability, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYCH 270
Professor
Transfer Course
Chapter
3

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Mikaela Bradley
Chapter Three Study Objectives
**Note there are multiple parts to some of the objectives
1) Describe assessment and clinical assessment. (77)
Assessment is the process of collecting information that is relevant to the subject being
researched in order to reach a conclusion.
Clinical assessment is used to figure out if, how, and why someone is behavior in an
abnormal manner and how that person may be helped. Clinical assessment tools can be
grouped into three categories: clinical interviews, tests, and observations. In order to use
these tools effectively, they must be standardized and have clear validity and reliability.
2) Define the following characteristics of assessment tools: standardization, reliability,
test-retest reliability, interrater reliability, validity, face validity, predictive validity,
and concurrent validity. (78)
Standardization is the process of using common steps that are followed each time a tool
or assessment is administered. Also, the method of interpretation must be standardized
across the use of the tool.
Reliability refers to how consistent the measurements of an assessment are. The indicator
of a good assessment is that the tool will always produce similar results when tested in the
same situation.
Test-retest reliability a kind of reliability that is marked by having similar results each
time it is given to the same person. This kind of validity is measured by testing a participant
on two separate occasions and then correlating the scores to determine if there is a high
test-retest reliability.
Interrater reliability is a kind of reliability where if different judges independently agree
on how to score and interpret it. True-false or multiple choice questions will produce
consistent results no matter who evaluates them because they are objective answers, but
some tests require the evaluator to make a subjective decision.
Validity is an assessment that determines if the tests accurately measure what it is supposed
to measure. Accuracy is different than precision, but it is just as important in determining
how well assessments work.
Face validity does not mean that the instrument is trustworthy. For example, a test for
people suffering from depression might ask a question about crying, but these answers
cannot be taken at face value because there are many other reasons to cry besides
depression.
Predictive validity is a tool’s ability to predict future characteristics or behavior.
Concurrent validity is the degree to which the measures gathered from one tool agree
with the measures gathered from other assessment techniques. Participants’ scores on a
new test are designed to measure anxiety, for example, should correlate highly with their
scores on other anxiety tests or with their behavior during clinical interviews.
3) Describe clinical interviews. Distinguish between structured and unstructured
interviews. (79-81)
A clinical interview is a face-to-face encounter, and work well because the clinician can
see the client’s reaction while answering questions. For example, if during a clinical
interview a man looks as happy as he can while describing his sadness over a great loss of

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Mikaela Bradley
a family member, the clinician may suspect there are conflicting issues over the loss. There
are two types of interviews: structured and unstructured. In structured interviews, clinicians
ask questions that have already been prepared and even might use an interview schedule.
A lot of structure interviews include a mental status exams, which is a set of questions to
evaluate the clients’ awareness. Unstructured interviews include mostly open-ended
questions. This kind of structure allows the interviewer to explore topics that appear
throughout the interview that may not have been anticipated.
4) List all of the limitations of clinical interviews. (81)
Sometimes interviews lack validity or accuracy, meaning that individuals might
purposefully mislead in order to present themselves in a better light or to avoid certain
topics. Additionally, people might not be able to dive an accurate report during the
interview (people with certain mental illnesses might see themselves in a pessimistic light).
Sometimes interviewers also make mistakes and judgements to slant the information they
collect. The interviewer biases such as sexual orientation or racial prejudices could impact
their interpretations. Some interviews may also lack reliability due to lack of structure.
Finally, different clinicians can obtain different responses from clients because when they
ask the same questions, the person asking the questions could influence how the client
responds.
5) Define tests.
Clinical tests are way to collect information regarding certain aspects of a person’s
psychological functioning. From these tests, new and broader information can be drawn
about that person. It is hard to design tests that have consistency, reliability, validity, and
are standardized. There are six kinds of tests used by clinicians on a frequent basis:
projective tests, personality inventories, response inventories, psychophysiological tests,
neurological and neuropsychological tests, and intelligence tests.
Describe projective tests and what they are purported to measure.
Projective tests involve participants having to interpret vague stimuli or respond to open
ended questions that require individual thought. The hope and theoretical idea behind this
kind of tests is that when the clues and instructions remain vague and general, the
participant will project their feelings and personality into the task. Projective tests are most
often used by psychodynamic clinicians to study the unconscious drives and conflicts they
believe are at the root of people’s functioning.
List and describe the 4 types of projective tests. List the drawbacks of projective tests.
(81)
Four common types of projective tests are the Rorschach test, the Thematic Apperception
Test, sentence-completion tests, and drawings. The Rorschach test is administered by
having the client looking at cards with inkblots and asking what they see. The clinicians
look for patterns in the clients’ answers and how they see the image- details or whole
images. The Thematic Apperception Test is a pictorial projective test where patients are
shown 30 cards with black and white vague pictures and are asked what is happening and
to draw conclusions about the feelings and thoughts of the people in the pictures. The goal
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of the TAT is to see if the client identifies with some of the characters and to see if the
stories they tell reflect the individuals’ own needs and circumstances. Sentence completion
tests are designed so the test-taker has to finish an open-ended sentence. The purpose is to
see if there are any discussion topics that keep reappearing and provide a good starting
place for talking. Drawings are used to have clients create and describe a scenario in the
hopes of revealing something about the individual. On the downside, these tests do not
have a lot of reliability or validity because they are based upon subjective judgements and
descriptions and then assumptions regarding the roots of those judgements and
descriptions.
6) Describe personality inventories.
Personal inventories are another way to gather information about a person. This
questionnaire asks a lot of questions about the person’s beliefs, values, behaviors, and
feelings. They often ask the patient to say if a statement or habit applies or does not apply
to them.
List and describe the most popular personality inventory used.
The most common personality used is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory
(MMPI). There are also subversions of this test to fit certain groups of people. The MMPI
includes over 500 self-statements requiring an answer of true, false, or cannot say. These
statements cover issues ranging from physical concerns to mood and social activities. There
are 10 clinical scales ranging from 0-120 on which this test reports. A score above 70 on a
scale indicates dysfunctional behavior regarding that scale and the behaviors it looks at.
When putting the 10 scales next to each other, it creates a profile of the person. The 10
scales are hypochondriasis, depression, hysteria, psychopathic deviate, masculinity-
femininity, paranoia, psychasthenia, schizophrenia, hypomania, social introversion.
List the advantages of personality inventories over projective tests.
Since these tests are computerized or paper based, they do not take time to administer and
they are scored objectively. Also, they are usually standardized and offer the ability to
compare between individuals. They have a greater test-retest reliability than projective
tests. Appear to have more validity than projective tests.
List the drawbacks to personality inventories. (84-85)
They cannot be considered highly valid for various reasons. First, when using these tests
alone, they cannot regularly judge a person’s personality accurately. The personality traits
this test seeks to measure cannot by examined directly. These tests still have certain cultural
limitations and biases across gender, race, socioeconomic level, etc.
7) Describe response inventories and list the different types. (86)
Response inventories are similar to personality interviews in the way that they ask
participants to provide detailed information about themselves. However, these tests focus
on one specific are of functioning. One such test might measure emotion or social skills.
There are several types of response inventories: affective inventories, social skills
inventories, and cognitive inventories. Affective inventories measure the severity of
emotions such as anxiety and depression. Social skills inventories are used to have
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