Personality Assessment IPSYC 4500: Introduction to Clinical PsychologyBrett Deacon, Ph.D.October 10, 2013
Announcements • Exam #2 is next Thursday, October 17th • Next response paper due October 24th • Time constraints and Chapter 7 (Intellectual Assessment)
Rorschach Inkblot Test • Consists of 10 cards • Administration takes about an hour • Administration instructions • Scoring is extremely labor-intensive
Ethics and Test Stimuli • APA Ethics Code: “Psychologists make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and security of test materials and other assessment techniques consistent with law and contractual obligations, and in a manner that permits adherence to this Ethics Code.” • But, see Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rorschach_test
Scoring the Rorschach • Scoring: • Frequency of response • Deviant verbalizations • Inappropriate combinations • Inappropriate logic • Location • Morbid content • Form quality • Movement • Color (B&W or color) • Shading • Texture • Pair and/or reflection • Ball et al. (1994) survey: average of 49 minutes to administer, 46 minutes to score, 50 minutes to interpret
Rorschach Inkblot Test • Extremely popular among clinicians • For most of 20th century interpretation was scored via different systems, or none at all • Have things changed?
Rorschach Inkblot Test • Exner’s Comprehensive System (CS) • Evaluating the Rorschach • Standardization (fidelity to CS?) • Norms (overpathologize healthy people) • Reliability (interrater, test-retest) • Validity (diagnosis, related measures) • Importance of incremental validity • Is the Rorschach a psychological test?
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) • Administration and Scoring
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) • Evaluating the TAT • Standardization • Norms • Reliability • Validity • Is the TAT a psychological test?
Projective Drawings • Examples: • Draw-a-Person • House-Tree-Person • Human Figure Drawings • Are human figure drawings psychological tests?
Projective Drawings • Evaluating projective drawings • Standardization • Norms • Reliability • Validity
Human Figure Drawings: A Case Example Case: Alexis, age 11, participated in a court-ordered evaluation in the context of a custody dispute between her recently divorced parents. Her mother accused her father of sexually abusing Alexis, and based on the mother’s testimony the examining psychologist found this accusation to be credible. The psychologist administered the Draw-a-Person Test as part of a comprehensive evaluation intended to determine, among other things, the validity of the allegations against the father. The test requires the taker to draw a picture of a man, a woman, and themselves. Pictures here is Alexis’s self-portrait. The psychologist elected to score and interpret the Draw-a-Person test in a subjective manner using clinical judgment and experience as a guide. Questions: What are the salient characteristics of this self-portrait? What does this drawing reveal? What aspects of the picture are relevant to the determination of whether or not Alexis has been sexually abused by her father? What aspects are relevant to Alexis’s overall mental health?
Projective Drawings • Without standardized guidelines for interpreting drawings, how are clinicians to score them? What problems can you foresee in how such drawings are interpreted?
Illusory Correlation • Definition: perception of a relationship between two variables when no such relationship exists • We see what we expect to see • Examples: • Stereotypes; people from group X have trait Y (e.g., people from small towns are nice) • The one day I forgot to put my lucky comb in my pocket, my mom got into a car accident • I had a panic attack one night after drinking wine, and so have stopped drinking wine
Illusory Correlation • Does it surprise you that people are prone to make illusory correlations? • Why do they occur? • Ease with which information comes to mind (availability heuristic) • Biases and preconceived notions • We count the hits and forget the misses (confirmation bias)
Illusory Correlation • What do illusory correlations have to do with assessment? • Projective vs. objective psychological tests
Illusory Correlation • Danger of illusory correlations • Chapman & Chapman (1969) • Using the Rorschach for diagnosing Sexual Deviation, Homosexual Type (an actual mental disorder in DSM-I) • What Rorschach responses are indicative of male homosexuality?
Illusory Correlation Actual, valid responses that distinguished homosexual and heterosexual groups of men: Human, or humanized animal (“Woman dressed as a bat”) Human or animal; contorted, monstrous, or threatening = =
Illusory Correlation • What clinicians reported as signs of homosexuality: • Human or animal anal content (44%) • Male or female genitalia (38%) • Feminine clothing (38%) • Humans with sex confused (28%) • Almost none of the clinicians reported the valid signs
Illusory Correlation • Undergraduate students more often selected the invalid, illusory correlates as indicating male homosexuality • This remained true even when it was suggested that the actually valid signs were more indicative of male homosexuality
Misuse of Personality Tests in Forensic Settings: Example #2 • In a similar example with an older child, a 15-year-old boy's drawings of a person were interpreted as "rather primitive for an adolescent of his age and ... suggests that (the boy) has the psychological characteristics of a person who acts out their anger in sexualized ways." But when we tested this boy, we discovered that he was blind in one eye, performed below what was expected for his age on the Porteus and the Bender, and had a performance IQ on the WISC-R of 67. This is why his drawings were "primitive." None of this had been assessed or discussed as a possibility.
Misuse of Personality Tests in Forensic Settings: Example #3 • A seven-year-old girl was asked to draw a picture of her family doing something. She drew a picture of herself and her sister with their hands up in the air with the father standing next to them and smiling. The child told the psychologist that she and her sister were "cheering at a show." • The psychologist disregarded what the child told her about the drawing and claimed that this really signified a "helpless posture." She saw it as significant that there were no fingers drawn on the hands and that the hands were large on the father. She asserted that abused children put large hands on the drawings of their perpetrators. She also claimed that the thick lines in the crotch in the picture of the father meant an emphasis on genitals, was probably a penis, and showed anxiety about the father. She therefore concluded that the girl, who denied the allegations of sexual abuse by the father, had most likely been sexually abused by him and should "be protected from further abuse by him."
Illusory Correlation in the Courtroom http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/misuse.php • This was a day care case with allegations of ritualistic satanic abuse complete with costumes, masks, dead animals, sacrificed babies, blood, feces, skeletons, and monsters. These bizarre allegations surfaced during therapy. The therapist who saw two of the children depended heavily upon the children's drawings in forming conclusions about ritualistic, satanic abuse. • The case file included a large stack of drawings over a two-year period — probably over 500 from the two girls. These drawings are typical of the types of scribbles and rudimentary figures drawn by three- and four-year-olds. These had been saved because they were considered significant. In her deposition the psychologist was asked about the drawings in detail. What she believed was significant included:
Illusory Correlation in the Courtroom http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/misuse.php • Shapes that are untypical for three- and four-year-old children • Shapes that are phallic symbols • Jiggly lines that indicate anxiety • Straight mouths that mean people can't say anything • Jagged mouths that mean anxiety • A mouth that is open and oval shaped • Darkened eyes • Eyeballs that are scribbled around • Eyes that are two different colors • Drawing something and then covering it up • Drawings something and not talking about it
Illusory Correlation in the Courtroom http://www.deltabravo.net/custody/misuse.php • Colors are very important and significant: • Black means the child is frightened or distressed; black is a morbid color • Red means angry, unless the child is drawing a pretty red flower, when it is healthy • If every thing is the picture is red or red and black, this is very suspicious. • Blue, brown, and orange mean fear, anger, and depression • Pink, red, and green are healthy colors • There is no empirical evidence to support any of these theories. Also, these were not House-Tree-Person drawings or Kinetic Family Drawings but were simply drawings done in therapy sessions or at home and brought to the therapist by the parent. There was no effort to standardize the administration.
Illusory Correlation • How high is the danger that tests results will be biased due to illusory correlations? • How can this possibility be mitigated?
Most Commonly Used Tests in *Child Custody Evaluations* • Ackerman & Ackerman (1997) - survey of 201 psychologists from 39 states • 1. Intelligence tests 2. TAT • 3. Bricklin Perceptual Scales 4. Sentence Completion • 5. Achievement Test 6. Rorschach • 7. Projective Drawings 8. MMPI-A • 9. House-Tree-Person 10. Kinetic Family Drawing
What is Intelligence? • Important elements: • Adaptation to one’s environment • Abstract thinking or reasoning • Problem-solving ability • Capacity to acquire knowledge • Memory
What is Intelligence? • Cattell and Horn’s Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence • Fluid intelligence – native abilities, biologically determined • Crystallized intelligence – acquired skill and knowledge
What is Intelligence? • What about… • Athletic ability? • Musical ability? • Social skills? • Artistic ability?
Theories of Intelligence • Multiple Intelligences • Gardner – linguistic, musical, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, personal intelligences • Sternberg – analytic, practical, and creative • Jones – attention to detail, interpersonal perceptiveness, skill in using tools
Critical Analysis of Multiple Intelligences • Intelligences vs. abilities? • "To date there have been no published studies that offer evidence of the validity of the multiple intelligences. In 1994 Sternberg reported finding no empirical studies. In 2000 Allix reported finding no empirical validating studies, and at that time Gardner and Connell conceded that there was "little hard evidence for MI theory" (2000, p. 292). In 2004 Sternberg and Grigerenko stated that there were no validating studies for multiple intelligences, and in 2004 Gardner asserted that he would be "delighted were such evidence to accrue" (p. 214), and he admitted that "MI theory has few enthusiasts among psychometricians or others of a traditional psychological background" because they require "psychometric or experimental evidence that allows one to prove the existence of the several intelligences" (2004, p. 214)." (Waterhouse, 2006a, p. 208).
Intelligence Tests • Wechsler Scales • Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale – III (WAIS-III) – ages 16+ • Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children – III (WISC-III) – ages 6-16 • Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence - Revised (WPPSI-R) – ages 3 to 7 years, 3 months • Critical analysis
Wechsler Scales • Subtests of the Wechsler scales • Sample items • But first, a note on “test security”…
Ethics and Test Stimuli • APA Ethics Code: “Psychologists make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and security of test materials and other assessment techniques consistent with law and contractual obligations, and in a manner that permits adherence to this Ethics Code.”
Calculating IQ Scores • Wechsler scales IQ scores range from 40-160 • Use the deviation method, which compares an individual’s score to the distribution of others at the same age level using the normal curve • Outdated method of IQ = mental age • IQ = mental age/chronological age • A 4-year-old who scores at the level of the average 8-year-old would have an IQ of?
Wechsler Scales • Organization of the Wechsler scales • Full-scale IQ (M = 100, SD = 15) • Verbal IQ (M = 100, SD = 15) • Performance IQ (M = 100, SD = 15) • Subtest scores (M = 10, SD = 3)
Interpreting Scores IQ Score Classification 130 and above Very Superior 120-129 Superior 110-119 High Average 90-109 Average 80-89 Low Average 70-79 Borderline 69 and below Extremely Low
Interpreting Scores 70 130 100
What Does Intelligence Predict? • Correlation with school performance = .50 • Correlation with total years of education = .55 • Higher job status and job performance • Correlation is not evidence of causation • High intelligence leads to academic success • Academic success causes high intelligence test scores • Another variable (e.g., SES, motivation) causes high both academic success and high IQ test performance
Heritability of Intelligence • Correlation in IQ between MZ (identical) twins = .86 • Correlation in IQ between DZ (fraternal) twins = .60 • Correlation in IQ between MZ twins raised apart = .68 to .78 • Correlation in IQ between DZ twins raised apart = .24 • Heritability of IQ increases substantially with age • Why might heritability of IQ be controversial?
Controversies in Intelligence Testing • Racial differences in IQ (primarily black-white) • Average group-level IQ difference is 10-15 points (and predictive validity is similar) • Explanations • Poverty/SES? • Cultural bias in test items? • Genetics? • Stereotype threat?
Stereotype Threat • Stereotype threat occurs when a person, who belongs to a group that has a negative stereotype attached to it, subconsciously conforms to the negative stereotype by performing a task to a lesser degree than they would otherwise • Stereotype threat creates anxiety owing to concerns that one will conform to the negative stereotype • This anxiety interferes with task performance, thus fulfilling the stereotype
Stereotype Threat • Examples of stereotype threat: • Race and IQ test performance • Race and athletic performance • Gender and math performance • Gender and chess performance • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGEUVM6QuMg • Stereotype threat can help to explain racial differences in IQ tests
Exam Review • Chapter 5: Issues in Assessment • Issues in prediction (e.g., factors that affect predictive accuracy) • Clinical judgment, experience, and the illusion of learning