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The difficulty of finding personal answers in a world obsessed with concrete answers

Definition A psychologic test is a set of stimuli administered to an individual or a group under standard conditions to obtain a sample of behavior for assessment. There are basically two kinds of tests, objective and projective. The objective test requires the respondent to make a particular response to a structured set of instructions e.

  • In the philosophical jargon, water is said to be reducible to H2O, which means that H2O is nothing over and above water, and therefore any statement that is true of water is also true of H2O;
  • Thus, in the following we will specify in considerably more detail what processes are at work when emotions are given meaning;
  • While primarily being concerned with accounts given in the first person the genre of personal, past experiences , we will consider some features of accounts of the same situations given in the generalized person perspective the genre of explanatory discourse;
  • The respondent is told that he or she can see one or more things and that there are no right or wrong answers;
  • Second, the child could not have any diagnosed language or learning impairments.

The projective test is given in an ambiguous context in order to afford the respondent an opportunity to impose his or her own interpretation in answering. Technique Psychologic tests are rarely given in isolation but as a part of a battery. This is because any one test cannot sufficiently answer the complex questions usually asked in the clinical situation.

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Most diagnostic questions require the assessment of personality, intelligence, and perhaps even the presence of organic involvement. The most important consideration for the physician is when to ask for psychologic assessment.

As with medical diagnostic procedures, we are interested in finding answers to diagnostic questions that cannot be obtained through direct observation or interview. In our clinical experience, there are a myriad of circumstances requiring psychologic consultation either to assist in or rule out medical intervention. Some of the more typical situations include compliance, behavioral management, affirmation of clinical findings, the use of supportive drug therapies, and continuity of care issues.

Five case examples are offered to illustrate the above situations.

  1. The clinical psychologist administering the MMPI will use the clinical approach but seldom in isolation without other tests, or at least a clinical interview. Most diagnostic questions require the assessment of personality, intelligence, and perhaps even the presence of organic involvement.
  2. Rather, grammar in this context consists of a set of constructions which are instructions, i.
  3. Psychologic assessment data were consistent with a pattern of addictive behavior and poor coping mechanisms under stressful conditions. Thus, the confusion in the younger children between being angry and being sad cannot be traced to the general unreadiness of linguistically presenting what has conceptually already been mapped out.
  4. In particular, we will turn to linguistic, grammatical analyses to show how intricate the building blocks are interwoven and embedded in social practices.
  5. This type of knowledge, though not necessarily of an abstract nature, is nevertheless accessed in a much more detached, quasi descriptive, explanatory mode. It is important when ordering testing to formulate the diagnostic question in as specific a manner as possible.

He had a history of noncompliance with both drugs and nutrition regimens. Severe debilitation would ensue following outpatient treatments, after which he would be hospitalized. This pattern repeated itself several times. Psychologic assessment data were consistent with a pattern of addictive behavior and poor coping mechanisms under stressful conditions.

Recommendations included a drug rehabilitation program and stress management techniques. He was verbally punitive and intrusive of other patients" privacy. Psychologic assessment revealed an organic brain syndrome indicating greater individual care and a lower expectation of his performance. A 21-year-old single male, Mr. Psychologic testing was administered because the internist could find no evidence of physical pathology. Test battery results described a young man under an inordinate amount of stress due to a huge difference between his intellectual capabilities and the demands of his work place.

The recommendation was to find other employment and to work with a counselor to develop more realistic vocational goals. She also said that she was in severe depression because of the death of her daughter 2 years previously. The clinical question was whether she should be given antidepressants or antianxiety agents as an adjunct to psychotherapeutic intervention.

Test results were consistent with a state of anxiety as opposed to an affective disorder. Information was needed to determine how dangerous she was to herself, how restrictive an environment she needed for treatment, and what type of therapy was appropriate.

Test results confirmed a compulsive personality with a dramatic flair. Nevertheless, it was essential to link her with outpatient care while she was still motivated to receive care.

Although the above examples are by no means exhaustive, they do point out the variety of commonly occurring circumstances in which psychologic assessment may be useful. It is important when ordering testing to formulate the diagnostic question in as specific a manner as possible.

Such requests as "describe personality dynamics" or "rule out psychologic disturbance" are too general to answer in an effective and efficient manner. Do not hesitate to ask exactly what you want to know. The psychologist will inform you if he or she is unable to answer.

Use the examples described above to formulate your question: Is this patient depressed? Is this patient psychotic? Why is this patient not conforming to the treatment regimen? When presenting a patient to a psychologist for evaluation, it is helpful to have demographic data and a detailed history of the client. Also, the description presented of the problems should be in behavioral terms.

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Saying that a patient appears to be depressed is not as helpful as describing him or her as having a loss of appetite, early morning rising, or slowness of speech. If the patient is a management problem, give a concrete description of what this entails: Finally, the referring physician may request either a specific test or an abbreviated battery.

While some psychologists will go along with this practice, we do not encourage it. Psychologic tests, particularly personality ones, are only as good as the skills of the individual who administers and interprets them. The psychologist must feel confident and competent in the battery that he or she administers. Therefore, the number and choice of tests should be those of the psychologist, just as the medical procedures chosen for a patient are the responsibility of the physician in charge.

The assumptions underlying projective tests such as the Rorschach and TAT are that the standard set of stimuli are used as a screen to project material that cannot be obtained through a more structured approach.

Ambiguous inkblots or pictures reinforce the use of individual expression and reduce resistance. A frequent criticism is the assumption that the individual simply responds to ambiguity with trivia or with what was most recently experienced, such as last night's television fare. The response to this criticism is the notion of psychic determinism. Behavior is a function of choice, not chance. Thus, how a person responds is a reflection of personal motives, fantasies, and needs.

The best-known psychologic assessment tool is the Rorschach, the "inkblot test. The test consists of 10 symmetrical inkblots, half of which are acromatic.

It is administered by giving the respondent one card at a time and asking him or her to describe what is seen. The respondent is told that he or she can see one or more things and that there are no right or wrong answers. The tester records the responses verbatim. There is then a second phase of testing called the inquiry.

The respondent is again presented with each of the ten cards and asked to note the location of the response and what determines his or her answers. A large body of research takes to task the reliability and validity of projective techniques in general and the Rorschach in particular.

The issue of reliability cannot be approached in a conventional sense with projective techniques. The Rorschach inkblots and the TAT pictures do not lend themselves to split-half reliability because the stimuli are not designed to be equivalent with each other.

Test—retest reliability is difficult because many of the variables addressed by the test are affected by time. Interjudge reliability indices using Rorschach summary scores have been reported to be favorable, and Exner 1978using his own scoring system, has reported test—retest reliability correlations ranging from. Attempts at measuring the validity of the Rorschach also suffer from problems inherent in the nature of the test. The Rorschach is designed to assess highly complex, multidetermined behaviors for which prediction about specific acts is nearly impossible.

It also assesses covert needs and fantasy life that may not currently or ever manifest themselves in overt behavior. Concurrent validity is contaminated by the unreliability of psychiatric diagnoses and the fact that individuals with similar diagnoses may indeed behave differently. In response to the criticisms on validity, Korner 1960 has answered that there is no good assessment technique capable of predicting behavior, so why criticize the Rorschach. He goes on to point out that projective techniques are not magic.

They describe the personality at work, its adaptations and compromises, and the balance between fantasy and the demands of reality. It consists of 30 achromatic picture cards, categorized into those appropriate for boys, girls, men, and women.

It is the difficulty of finding personal answers in a world obsessed with concrete answers to present approximately 10 cards to the respondent, who is then asked to tell a story about what is happening in the picture, what led up to it, and how will it turn out. The respondent is also asked to describe the characters" thoughts and feelings. As with the Rorschach, interjudge reliability is the most applicable test.

Correlations have been about.

  • When presenting a patient to a psychologist for evaluation, it is helpful to have demographic data and a detailed history of the client;
  • Second, the child could not have any diagnosed language or learning impairments;
  • The patterning of the scores on the intelligence test gives the psychologist clues as to the presence, extent, and relative influence of each of the above factors;
  • However, the knowledge of scripts is not viewed to be organized in terms of taxonomic structures, as in the early days of cognitive anthropology, and neither is culture a monolithic unit.

The validity of the TAT can be measured when it is defined using specific procedures with a particular population and operationally defined criteria. Studies have examined both construct and concurrent validity.

Stories have correlated significantly with behavioral measures of achievement and aggression. The most frequently used objective test for personality is the MMPI. It was published by Hathaway and McKinley in 1943 and revised in 1951. It is designed for ages 16 and over and contains 566 items to be answered yes or no. It may be administered to an individual or group, and the answer sheets can be hand- or machined-scored. The respondent is asked to read each question and decide what is true or false as applied to him or her and then to mark that response on the answer sheet.

The test has four validity scales and eight clinical scales. The scales were developed empirically by administering an item pool to a large group of normal subjects, and contrasting their responses to those of selected homogeneous criteria groups of psychiatric patients. Those items that discriminate between the groups were used.

Results of the test are coded onto a profile sheet for interpretation. The mean t-score for each scale is 50 with a standard deviation SD of 10. The scale is significantly elevated beyond an SD of 2 or t-score of 70. Even though the MMPI is empirically derived, it shares a similar problem with the projective tests in terms of reliability and validity, that is, it is based on psychiatric diagnoses. How valid and reliable were the diagnoses of the patients in each of the criteria groups?

The MMPI thoroughly addresses some other aspects of validity. The lie score L assesses social desirability.

  • These observations, although based on very preliminary evidence, nevertheless seemed to us intriguing enough to follow up with the investigation into the question of whether or not there is actually any support for the assumption that American English-speaking children might at an early age confuse the two emotions anger and sadness;
  • Consequently, exploring the range of possible meanings of emotion terms - in the sense of what they are used for in emotion talk - is at the core of the following investigations;
  • Stein's original research in children's understanding of human intentionality in their story constructs has recently moved focus more strongly on the appraisal processes relevant to assessing the specific goals, values, and moral principles involved in the understanding of characters' actions.

The F score is an internal consistency check, and the K score assesses test-taking attitude along a frankness—defensive continuum. An interesting hybrid between the projective and objective assessments is the semistructured incomplete-sentence test. While ostensibly a projective technique in which the respondent reflects his or her own wishes or conflicts to complete a sentence stem, it easily lends itself to objective scoring or screening for experimental use.

The Rotter Incomplete Sentence Test is one of the more popular of this form of assessment.