Psychological assessment and tests

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Last update: Saturday, 30 Jan 2021 at 12.13 pm.

Psychology[edit | edit source]

  • describes, analyses and explores causal and logical connection of mental phenomena and attempts to explain them
  • not only limited to medicine (e.g. psychology of management in a company, forensic psychology)
  • Activities of clinical psychology include

Psychological assessment[edit | edit source]

In general[edit | edit source]

  • assessment of basic characteristics and behavior (personality functioning)
  • not only limited to pathology
  • aims to reveal the nature and causes of mental disorders
  • includes the psychological tests

What is assessed?[edit | edit source]

  • Personality features
  • premorbid functioning of cognitive abilities
  • Psychopathology (qualitatively and quantitatively)
  • Their causes (innate x acquired, functional x organic...)
  • Prognosis (reversible x permanent)

Methods of Psychological assessment[edit | edit source]

Observation[edit | edit source]

  • short-term x long-term, spontaneous x forced (e.g. when doing something)
  • introspection (self) x extrospection (we observe someone)
  • everything: facial expressions, speaking, emotions, appearance, what strikes out...

Interview[edit | edit source]

  • diagnostic x therapeutic x anamnestic x research x counselling
  • more or less structured types of interviews
  • Anamnesis: detailed exploration of the past of the patient

Psychological tests[edit | edit source]

  • standardized, objective, reliable
  • Interpretation: based on statistical norms
Types of tests[edit | edit source]
Performance methods[edit | edit source]
  • Test of specific abilities
  • e.g. intelligence tests (IQ), others: memory, attention, spatial imagination, verbal and numerical abilities
  • The most widely used unidimensional tests of intelligence are Kohs Block Design Test, Raven Progressive Matrices and similar methods. Mong multidimensional (complex) methods we usually find Wechsler Intelligence Scales for Children (WISC-III) and Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scales (WAIS-III, WAIS-R), Intelligence Structure Test (I-S-T), Vienna Matrices Test (WMT), Bochum Matrices Test (BOMAT), etc. Unidimensional tests assess specific aspects of performance, such as creativity, technical, verbal, mathematic or artistic abilities.
Projective methods[edit | edit source]
  • ambiguous stimulus or stimulation → projection aspects of his own personality (Roscharch method) → Exner´s CS for evaluation
  • E.g. Rorschach inkblot method
    • relationship between personality features and interpretation of visual stimuli → generates both quantitative and qualitative data into a coherent picture of patient´s functioning
    • The test consists of 10 cards with various chromatic and achromatic, symmetric inkblots
    • we study apperception styles, determinants, contents, originality of responses, thinking quality
  • e.g. Word association test, Rorschach inklblot method
Questionnaires[edit | edit source]
  • rely on introspection of the patient
  • e.g. Neurotic questionnaire (N5), Eyseneck personality questionnaire (EPI)
  • "Negatives": tendencies to lie, intentional and unintentional misrepresentation of examinee´s experience
  • can be unidimensional or multidimensional
Neuropsychological assessment[edit | edit source]
  • studies relationships between the brain and behavior, brain structure and its functions
  • e.g. MMSE, Adenbrook´s cognitive examination, clock drawing tesst

Psychological report[edit | edit source]

  • integrates all the findings
  • shed light on a specific differential diagnostic question, or in order to reveal the patient‘s personality structure, pathology or to predict probability of certain behaviors and experiences in the patient
  • provides information about these areas of the patient‘s functioning: personality structure, affects, relational aspect of patient‘s functioning, self-perception, intellect structure and level, presence and depth of psychopathology.
  • has an objective part: personal, anamnestic data, symptoms
  • and a more subjective part: interpretation of this data, categorization and comparison with Norms

Scope of Clinical Psychology[edit | edit source]

  • Psychological assessment (see above)
  • Psychotherapy
  • Education
  • Consultations for professionals in other medical fields,
  • Medical counseling
  • Forensic psychological assessment in the area of civil and criminal law
  • Research
  • Teaching

Links[edit | edit source]

Related Articles[edit | edit source]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

- Psychology Lecture, Pavel Harsa January 2021