Chapter 14 using tests in clinical and counseling settings
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Chapter 14 Using Tests in Clinical and Counseling Settings. Assessment vs. Testing. Tests are focused and specific. Clinical “assessment” includes a broad info-gathering and interpretation. The Role of Managed Care. Demand for greater accountability.

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Chapter 14 Using Tests in Clinical and Counseling Settings

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Chapter 14Using Tests in Clinical and Counseling Settings

Assessment vs. Testing

  • Tests are focused and specific.

  • Clinical “assessment” includes a broad info-gathering and interpretation.

The Role of Managed Care

  • Demand for greater accountability.

  • Demand for short-term therapy. Clients are expected to learn coping skills quickly.

  • Reluctance to pay for extensive and expensive testing.

  • Greater use of the psychiatric model of giving drugs.

  • Emphasis on cost saving and efficiency.

3 Models of How Testing Is Used by Clinicians and Counselors

  • Info-gathering model

  • Therapeutic model

  • Differential treatment model

Information-gathering Model

  • Provides standardized comprisons with others.

  • Makes predictions about real world setting.

  • Provides baseline measure for evaluating success of treatment.

The Therapeutic Model

  • Assessment leads to dialog that facilitates behavioral change; i.e., self-discovery and insights.

The Differential Treatment Model

Testing provides data for evaluating treatments.

Tests Used for Diagnosis and Intervention

  • Diagnosis: indentifying the client’s problem or disorder. Also called screening.

  • Can be informal.

  • May involve a DSM-IV category and label.

  • Diagnosis leads to the design of an intervention or treatment plan. This process varies with the professional making the judgment (i.e., unreliably).

The Clinical Interview

  • Structured: predetermined set of questions. May be scored. Leads to diagnosis.

  • Nondirective clinical interview: few predetermined questions, most are ad hoc…flexible, but can lead to hypothesis confirmation bias (i.e., seeking info to confirm a predetermined hunch).

  • Semistructured: some predetermined questions, some open-ended, plus follow-up questions.

Dangers of the Nondirective Interview

  • Hypothesis confirmation bias: seeking info to confirm a predetermined hunch; e.g., false memory syndrome.

  • Self-fulfilling prophecy: Interviewer’s expectations influence the client’s actual responses.

Structured Personality Tests

  • Objective, self-report measures of psychopathological behavior; e.g., MMPI-2 (Sample report)

  • Objective, self-report measures of normal personality

  • 16 Personality Factor Inventory (16PF)

  • California Personality Inventory (CPI)

  • Strong Interest Inventory

Projective Techniques


  • Rorschach Inkblot Technique (Criticism)

Projective Techniques

Storytelling (cont’d)

2. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)

Projective Drawing

1. House-Tree-Person (HTP)

2. Draw-A-Person Technique

Sentence Completion Test

Neuropsychological Tests

  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)

  • Event-related potential (ERP)

  • Imaging techniques; e.g., PET, MRI

Developmental Applications:Psychopathological Applications

  • Anxiety: specific brain structures (e.g., temporal lobe) and neurotransmitters.

  • Depression can affect test performance.

  • Schizophrenia has been linked to brain dysfunction.

Specialized Tests for Clinical Disorders

  • Single-construct tests such as the Beck Depression Inventory or Beck Anxiety Inventory.

  • State vs. trait testing such as Spielberger’sState-Trait Anger Expression Inventory (STAXI) and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI)

Beware of Bogus Personality Tests

  • The Barnum Effect: accepting general character descriptions as being specifically applicable to ourselves. Provides an illusion of uniqueness.

  • (video example)

  • Graphology


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