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Psychological Assessment

Psychological Assessment Projective Personality Tests Projective Tests: Essential Features Individuals must impose their own structure which is meaningful Stimulus material is unstructured Indirect (disguised) method Freedom of response Interpretation is broad Projective Tests

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Psychological Assessment

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  1. Psychological Assessment Projective Personality Tests

  2. Projective Tests: Essential Features • Individuals must impose their own structure which is meaningful • Stimulus material is unstructured • Indirect (disguised) method • Freedom of response • Interpretation is broad

  3. Projective Tests • Rorschach Inkblot Test • Thematic Apperception Test

  4. Rorschach Inkblot Test • Hermann Rorschach (1884-1922) • Nicknamed “Kleck” or inkblot • Talented art student who decided to study science • Dream convinced him of relationship between perception and unconscious • 1921 published Psychodiagnostik • Died in 1922

  5. Rorschach Inkblot Test

  6. Rorschach: Historical 5 Scoring Systems • Adopted by 5 American psychologists with very different theoretical backgrounds • Shared common features (same blots were used, response phase followed by inquiry) • 5 different systems of administration, scoring and interpretation emerged • Two most popular (Beck, Klopf)

  7. Rorschach: Validity and Reliability Poor psychometric reputation: • Lack of standardized rules for administration and scoring • Poor inter-rater reliability • Lack of adequate norms • Unknown or weak validity

  8. Rorschach: Contemporary Use • John Exner • Established Rorschach Research Foundation in 1986 • Integrated five scoring and interpretation systems • Established empirical support for new system • Provide a center for training

  9. Association Phase What might this be? Present all the cards Record response verbatim Note location of response Inquiry Phase I want you to help me see what you saw. I’m going to read what you said, and then I want you to show me where on the blot you saw it and what there is there that makes it look like that so that I can see it too. I’d like to see it just like you did, so help me now. Contemporary Use: Administration

  10. Rorschach Inkblot Test • A psychometrically sound test? • An in-class exercise

  11. Contemporary Use: Scoring Exner scoring system: The Structural Summary Location • Location (W, D, Dd) • Use of white space (S) Determinants • Form (good, poor, bad quality) • Movement (active and passive) • Color • Texture • Shading

  12. Rorschach Inkblot Test • A psychometrically sound test? • Particularly useful in assessing thought processes

  13. Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) • Developed by Henry Murray and colleagues at Harvard Psychological Clinic • 31 TAT cards depicting people in a variety of ambiguous situations (one blank card) • Examinee is asked to create a story about each picture

  14. TAT: Administration • Now I want you to make up a story about each of these pictures. Tell me who the people are, what they are doing, what they are thinking or feeling, what led up to the scene, and how it will turn out.

  15. TAT: Scoring/Interpretation • Content analysis of themes that emerge from the stories

  16. TAT: Psychometric Critique • Selection of cards is not standardized • Lack of norms • Clinicians rely on qualitative impressions

  17. Thematic Apperception Test Used to assess: • Locus of problems • Nature of needs • Quality of interpersonal relationships

  18. Psychological Assessment cont. Objective Personality Testing

  19. What is Personality? • characteristic pattern of thinking, feeling,and acting • emerges in informal, familiar situations in which we feel unconstrained • principle of aggregation – • personality is the sum of the best descriptors and predictors of our actions over time in a number of situations

  20. Objective Personality Tests Material Covered • 4 major approaches to test construction • Examples of test based on first three test construction procedures • Use of personality tests in modern clinical practice

  21. Characteristics Objective Personality Tests • Standard set of questions • Standardization as a concept: given to large #'s of people--yield norms to which an individual's scores can be compared • Norms are defined as a set of scores from a large group of people who have completed the measure. • Fixed response options

  22. Objective Personality Tests: Advantages • Individual or groups (economical) • Administration is simple/objective • Scoring is simple/objective • Interpretation of results requires less interpretative skill than projective tests • Apparent increased objectivity and reliability

  23. Objective Personality Tests: Disadvantages • Items limited to behavior • Single overall score • Transparent meaning of items • Forced choice approach

  24. Test Construction Approaches • Logical or content validation • Empirical Criterion Keying (MMPI) • Factor Analysis (NEO Personality Inventory) • Construct Validity (Combines all of the above)

  25. Approaches to Test Construction: Content Validation • Defining all aspects of the construct • Consulting experts about the constructs • Having expert judges assess each potential item • Perform psychometric analyses of items

  26. Content Validation: An Example Goal: Construct a test designed to measure attitudes toward school Answer true or false • I enjoy getting up in the morning for school • I like my teacher(s) • I enjoy seeing my friends at school • I enjoy the subjects I learn about at school

  27. Advantages Face validity with test takers Disadvantages Easy to fake good or bad Content Validation: Advantages and Disadvantages

  28. Content Validation: The Mooney Problem Checklist Assesses emotional functioning in the following areas: • Home and family • Interpersonal relationships • Courtship and marriage • Morals an religion • School/occupation • Economic security • social skills and recreation • Health and physical development

  29. Approaches to Test Construction: Empirical Keying • Create test items to measure one or more traits • Administer test items to a “criterion” and “control” group • Select items that distinguish between these two groups • Content of the item is not considered important

  30. Empirical Keying: Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory (MMPI) • Developed in 1930’s • Starke Hathaway Ph.D. & J. Charnley McKinley, MD. • Needed test to identify diagnosis • Developed an item pool • Identified a group of patients and nonpatients • Resulting scale of 550 items (true/false/cannot say)

  31. MMPI Clinical Scales

  32. MMPI: Validity Scales ? (Cannot say) • Unanswered items L (Lie) • Faking good F (Infrequency) • Faking bad K (Defensiveness) • Defensiveness in admitting to problems

  33. Interpreting MMPI • Validity Scales • Single scales • Profile analysis

  34. MMPI: Shortcomings • Unrepresentative normative sample • Language of items was outdated (including sexist language) • Inadequately addressed difficulties such as suicide or drug use

  35. MMPI: Revision • Assembled team of MMPI experts • Rewrote some items • Added new items • Administered new item pool (n=704) to a standardization sample (representative) • Retained 567 items from the item pool

  36. Continued problems • failure of some items to reliably discriminate between groups • dimensions based on pre-conceived theory about structure of personality, • scales correlate highly and thus provide redundant information • they are highly influenced by state at the time of taking, and the test and re-test stability may therefore be lower than desired (a problem for many/most trait measures)

  37. Anxiety Fears Obsessiveness Depression Health Concerns Bizarre Thoughts Anger Cynicism Antisocial Practices Type A Low Self-Esteem Social Discomfort Family Problems Work Interference Negative Treatment Indicators MMPI-2 Content Scales

  38. Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI): • more useful than the MMPI-2 for diagnosis • The purpose of the MCMI is to help the clinician make a diagnosis of personality disorder. • These disorders are pervasive and stable patterns of maladaptive behavior that are deeply ingrained and influence the individual's thinking, feeling, and acting in a wide range of situations. • The MCMI is primarily used for clinical populations; it is not intended for normal subjects.

  39. Approaches to Test Construction: Factor Analysis (Internal Consistency) • Correlational technique used to determine whether a group of items are correlated with one another

  40. Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) • Based on five factor model of personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) • Name derived from initials of the first three traits • Assesses all five traits • Emphasizes assessment of normal personality style rather than psychopathology • Parallel forms

  41. The Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality (SNAP) • a factor-analytically derived instrument designed to assess traits important in personality disorders • 15 scales: • 12 trait scales assess specific or primary traits and • 3 temperament scales measure more general affective traits. • 5 validity scales plus an overall validity index • items to assess the personality disorder criteria in the DSM • follows the three-factor model of personality • Neuroticism/Negative Emotionality, Extraversion/Positive Emotionality, and Disinhibition vs. Constraint.

  42. Approaches to Test Construction: Construct Validity • Combines aspects of content validity, empirical criterion keying and factor analytic approaches in developing assessment devises (Clark and Watson, 1995)

  43. The Place of Personality Assessment in Contemporary Clinical Psychology Or Why do we use these tests?

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