Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Assessment & Diagnosis
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Assessment & Diagnosis


Published on

1 Like
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. 9/27/09 PSYC 3553 – Psychopathology Week 4: Assessment and Diagnosis • September 29, 2009 1 What is assessment? •  Goals of clinical assessment: •  How and why a person is behaving abnormally •  How that person may be helped •  Also may be used to evaluate treatment progress •  Focus is idiographic – on an individual person Characteristics of Assessment Tools •  Standardization •  A test is administered to a large group, and their performance serves as a common standard (norm) against which individual scores are judged •  The “standardization sample” must be representative •  One must standardize administration, scoring, and interpretation 1
  • 2. 9/27/09 Characteristics of Assessment Tools •  Reliability: The consistency of a test •  Test–retest reliability •  Interrater reliability •  Validity: the accuracy of the test results •  Face validity •  Predictive validity •  Concurrent validity Are Classifications Reliable and Valid? •  Reliability: different diagnosticians agreeing on diagnosis using same classification system •  DSM-IV: greater reliability than previous editions •  Used field trials to increase reliability •  Validity: accuracy of information diagnostic categories provide •  DSM-IV has greater validity than any previous edition •  Conducted extensive lit reviews and field studies I. Clinical Interviews •  Face-to-face encounters •  Often the first contact between a client and a therapist/assessor •  Used to collect detailed information, especially personal history, about a client •  Allow the interviewer to focus on whatever topics they consider most important 2
  • 3. 9/27/09 II. Psychological Tests •  Six categories of psychological tests 1.  Projective tests 2.  Personality Inventories 3.  Response Inventories 4.  Psychophysiological Tests 5.  Neurological/neuropsychological Tests 6.  Intelligence Tests II. Psychological Tests   Projective tests: Interpret characteristics onto vague & ambiguous stimuli or follow open-ended instruction •  Strengths and weaknesses: •  Helpful for providing “supplementary” information •  Rarely demonstrated much reliability or validity •  May be biased against minority ethnic groups Example: The Rorschach Inkblot 3
  • 4. 9/27/09 Example: Thematic Apperception Test Example: Sentence-Completion Test •  “I wish ___________________________” •  “My father ________________________” Example: Draw-a-Person Test •  “Draw a person” •  “Draw another person of the opposite sex” 4
  • 5. 9/27/09 II. Psychological Tests   Personality inventories - self-report questionnaires   Focus is on behaviors, beliefs, and feelings   Ask how similar/dissimilar a person is to a set of statements •  Strengths and weaknesses: •  Objectively scored and standardized •  Although more valid than projective tests, often we cannot directly examine trait Example – The MMPI 5
  • 6. 9/27/09 II. Psychological Tests   Response inventories •  Usually based on self-reported responses •  Focus on one specific area of functioning •  E.G., emotion, social skills, cognition •  Strengths and weaknesses: •  Have strong face validity •  Rarely careless/inaccurate questions •  Few subjected to careful procedures II. Psychological Tests   Psychophysiological tests •  Measure physiological response as an indication of psychological problems •  Most popular is the polygraph (lie detector) •  Strengths and weaknesses: •  Require expensive equipment that must be tuned and maintained •  Physical evidence for psychological symptoms II. Psychological Tests   Neurological tests: direct assessment brain function   Neuropsychological tests: indirect assessment via cognitive, perceptual & motor function 6
  • 7. 9/27/09 Example: Bender Visual-Motor Gestalt II. Psychological Tests   Intelligence tests •  Designed to measure intellectual ability •  Assess both verbal and non-verbal skills •  Generate an intelligence quotient (IQ) •  Strengths and weaknesses: •  Highly standardized, reliable and valid •  Influences on performance…cultural factors Clinical Observations •  Naturalistic observations •  Occur in everyday environments: homes, schools… •  Analog observations •  If impractical, conduct observations in artificial settings •  Self-monitoring •  People observe themselves and carefully record the frequency of certain behaviors, feelings... 7
  • 8. 9/27/09 Clinical Observations •  Strengths and weaknesses: •  Different observers focus on different aspects? •  Careful training and use of observer checklists •  “Overload,” “observer drift,” and observer bias •  Client reactivity may also limit validity •  Observations may lack cross-situational validity Treatment: How Might Clients Be Helped? •  Treatment decisions: begin with assessment info & diagnosis to determine treatment plan •  Other factors: therapist’s orientation, current research, empirical support, evidence-based treatment •  Difficult question to answer: •  How do you define success? •  How do you measure improvement? •  How do you compare treatments – differing in range, complexity, skill, knowledge The Effectiveness of Treatment •  Is therapy generally effective? •  … more effective than no treatment or placebo •  In one study, average person in treatment was better off than 75% of untreated •  Consumer Reports found that “consumers” of therapy found it to be helpful or at least satisfying •  Can therapy can be harmful? Has potential… •  Studies report ~5% get worse with treatment 8
  • 9. 9/27/09 The Effectiveness of Treatment •  Are particular therapies effective for particular problems? •  Studies now conducted to examine efficacy of specific treatments for specific disorders: •  Recent studies focus on the effectiveness of combined approaches •  Drug therapy combined with certain forms of psychotherapy – to treat certain disorders 9