Abnorma Psychology: Clinical Assessment

Topics: Brain, Psychometrics, Psychology Pages: 7 (1448 words) Published: September 26, 2013
Abnormal Psychology Chapter 3 Notes:
Clinical Assessment, Diagnoses and Treatment

Clinical practioners main focus when faced with new clients is to gather ideographic information (individuals information) about them and understand them and their difficulties.

Clinical Assessment
Assessment: the collecting of relevant information in an effort to reach a conclusion. Goes on in every realm of life (picking cereal or clothes)

Clinical Assessment: used to determine how and why a person is behaving abnormally and how that person may be helped. Also enables the evaluation of people’s progress after they have been in treatment for a while 100’s of clinical assessment techniques and tools fall into 3 categories Clinical interviews

Tests
Observations
All must be standardized and have clear reliability and validity

Characteristics of Assessment Tools
All clinicians must follow standardized procedures when they use a particular technique of assessment.

Reliability: the consistency of assessment measures. A good assessment will always yield the same results in the same situation. Test-restest reliability: yields the same results every time A person is tested twice to be sure that the same results are acquired. The higher the correlation, the greater the test’s reliability

An assessment tool shows high interrater reliability (or interjudge)

Validity: accurately measuring what it is supposed to measure

Face validity: when something appears to be valid simply because it make sense and seems reasonable.

Predictive validity: a tool’s ability to predict the future characteristics or behavior

Concurrent validity: the degree to which the measures gathered from one tool agree with the measures gathered from other assessment techniques

Clinical Interviews
Clinical interview: a face-to-face encounter

Clinicians use the interview to collect detailed info about a persons problems and feelings, lifestyle and relationships. Psychodynamic interviews try to learn about a persons needs and memories of past events and relationships Behavioral interviews try to pinpoint information about the stimuli to discover assumptions and interpretations that influence the person Humanistic clinicians ask about a person’s self-evaluation, self-concept and values Biological clinicians: look signs of biochemical or brain dysfunction Sociocultural interviewers ask about the family, social and cultural environments.

Interviews and be:
Structured: clinicians as prepared questions
Interview schedule: standard set of questions designed for all interviews Many structured interviews include a mental status exam: set of questions and observations that systematically evaluate the client’s awareness, orientation, attention span, memory, judgment and insight. This type of interview allows clinician to cover the same important issues in all interviews and enables them to compare results between individuals. Widely used by behavioral and cognitive clinicians

Unstructured:
Typically appeal to psychodynamic and humanistic clinicians

Limitations:
Sometime lack validity or accuracy
People may try to appear as positive
Interviewers may also make mistakes in judgment that alter the information that they gather May also lack reliability (particularly unstructured ones)
Interviewer bias

Clinical Tests
Tests: devices for gathering information about a few aspects of a persons psychological functioning, from which broader information about the person can be inferred.

More than 500 clinical tests are currently in use throughout the US however there are 6 that are use most often 1) Projective Tests
Require that clients interpret vague stimuli (inkblots, ambiguous pictures) or follow open ended instructions People will project aspects of their personality through the general tasks. Psychodynamic clinicians

Rorschach Test: use of inkblots
Thematic Apperception Test: pictorial projective test
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