Unit 6: Types of Assessment - Seminar This week we read chapters 9 and 10, took a field trip to humanmetrics to take a Jungian test. We have looked at how we assess Intelligence and Psychopathology. Tonight the Seminar Discussion focuses on the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) see box 10 in your textbook (pages 215-6)
Discussion Question • Box 10 in your textbook (pages 215-6) contains a TAT Card along with six simulated responses. Select one of these responses. • What inference would you draw about the person telling this story? • Compare your interpretation to those of the other students in the seminar. How consistent are your conclusions?
Personality Assessment and Behavioral Assessment • Multi-method assessment • No measure of personality or behavior is perfect • It is best to use multiple methods • Tests • Interviews • Observations • Other sources • Convergent conclusions can be made with more confidence
Culturally Competent Assessment • Every culture has its own definitions of “normal” and “abnormal” • Culturally competent clinical psychologists are aware of this, and of the influence of their own cultural perspective • Especially important not to overpathologize • View as abnormal what is culturally normal
Objective Personality Tests • Include unambiguous test items, offer clients a limited range of responses, and are objectively scored • Typically self-report questionnaires • Typically a series of brief statements or questions to which clients respond in a true/false or multiple choice format
Objective Personality Tests • What is your impression of objective personality tests? Do you think they can accurately identify the components of an individual’s personality? Why or why not?
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) • Most popular and most psychometrically sound objective personality test • Pencil & paper format • 567 self-descriptive sentences • Client marks true or false for each
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) (cont.) • Original MMPI was published in 1943 • Primary authors were Starke Hathaway and J. C. McKinley • Empirical criterion keying was used as test construction method • Item is included in test only if it elicits different responses from clinical groups • Revised edition, MMPI-2, was published in 1989 • Better norms (especially demographically/culturally) • Less outdated wording of items
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) (cont.) • MMPI and MMPI-2 also feature validity scales • To measure test-taking attitudes • Can identify clients who “fake good” or “fake bad,” or clients who respond randomly • MMPI-A (for adolescents, age 14-18) was published in 1992 • Similar clinical scales, validity scales, and administration
Discussion Question • What are some advantages of using a disorders-based objective personality measure, such as the MMPI-2? • What are some disadvantages?
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory-2 (MMPI-2) (cont.) • Strengths include psychometrics (established reliability and validity) and comprehensiveness • Limitations include length, reading requirement, attention requirement, and emphasis on pathology/abnormality
Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI-III) • Originally created by Theodore Millon • Like the MMPI-2 in some ways • Comprehensive objective personality test • Self-report, pencil & paper format • Main difference: MCMI-III emphasizes personality disorders • Its clinical scales are based on DSM personality disorders (e.g., antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, paranoid)
NEO Personality Inventory—Revised (NEO-PI-R) • Originally created by Paul Costa and Robert McCrae • Another objective personality test • Pencil & paper, self-report format • Main distinction: measures “normal” personality traits (not pathologies) • Based on Five Factor model of personality • Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness, Conscientiousness, Agreeableness • Lacks validity scales, and of limited help with clinical diagnosis
NEO Personality Inventory—Revised (NEO-PI-R) • What are some advantages of using a more neutral objective personality measure, such as the NEO-PI-R? • What are some disadvantages?
California Personality Inventory—III (CPI-III) • Another example of an objective personality test • Pencil & paper, self-report format • Like NEO-PI-R, doesn’t emphasize pathology • In fact, CPI-III emphasizes positive attributes of personality—strengths, assets, internal resources • Consistent with recent positive psychology movement
Beck Depression Inventory—II (BDI-II) • Not a comprehensive test of personality, but a brief, targeted measure of one characteristic (depression symptoms) • 21 items; takes 5-10 minutes to complete • Pencil & paper, self-report format • Lacks validity scales, and much more limited scope than other tests discussed to this point
Projective Personality Tests • Based on the assumption that clients will “project their personalities when presented with unstructured, ambiguous stimuli and an unrestricted opportunity to respond • Lack of objectivity in scoring and interpretation • Considered by many to be empirically inferior to objective tests • Usage has declined in recent decades
Rorschach Inkblot Method • Created in 1921 by Hermann Rorschach • 10 inkblots (5 in color, 5 black & white) are presented • Clients say what they see in each blot (in “response” phase) • Later (in “inquiry” phase), explain what features of the blot caused them to make their responses • Exner’s Comprehensive System is most widely used scoring system
Rorschach Inkblot Method (cont.) • Scoring emphasizes how the client perceives the blot as well as what the client sees • Scoring variables include: • Location (Whole blot, large part, or small detail?) • Determinants (Form, color, or shading of blot?) • Form Quality (Conventional? Distorted?) • Popular (What others see? Idiosyncratic?) • Content (What kinds of objects appear frequently?) • Reliability and validity are questionable and hotly debated
Discussion Question • What types of information, if any, might a projective personality measure, such as the Rorschach Inkblot Method, elicit that an objective instrument, such as the MMPI-2, might fail to produce? Besides attempting to assess personality, do projective assessment instruments provide any additional benefit? (For example, a projective test, such as the Rorschach, may aid a psychologist in establishing rapport and may reveal a particular client’s tolerance for ambiguity or abstract thinking.)
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) • Published in 1943 by Henry Murray and Christiana Morgan • Like Rorschach in that it involves a series of cards with ambiguous stimuli • Cards feature interpersonal scenes rather than inkblots • Client tells a story to go along with each scene • Often, not formally or empirically scored • Reliability and validity are questionable
Discussion Question • How is the TAT typically administered and interpreted by a psychologist? What do you think are the most (and least) appropriate uses of the TAT?
Sentence Completion Tests • The ambiguous stimuli are not inkblots or interpersonal scenes, but beginnings of sentences • Rotter Incomplete Sentence Blank (RISB) is most widely used • Simulated examples: • I enjoy_______________. • It makes me furious_______________. • My greatest weakness_________. • Not often formally or empirically scored • Reliability and validity are questionable
Behavioral Assessment • As opposed to traditional personality assessment, behavioral assessment assumes that client behaviors are not signs of underlying issues or problems; instead, those behaviors are the problems • The behavior a client demonstrates is a sample of the problem itself, not a sign of some deeper, underlying problem
Discussion Question • How useful is projective testing in general? What concerns do you have about its use? Do you think it is culturally fair? Why or why not?
Techniques of Behavioral Assessment • Behavioral observation is the most essential technique • Direct, systematic observation of a client’s behavior in the natural environment • Also known as naturalistic observation • Requires operationally defining target behavior and measuring its frequency, duration, or intensity across specified time periods • Often more accurate than asking client to report on their own behaviors
Technology in Behavioral Assessment • Laptop computers or handheld devices can be used to record observed behaviors • Numerous software programs have been created for this purpose • Clients can use similar technological tools for self-monitoring
Discussion Question • To which settings and for what clients might behavioral assessment most appropriately lend itself? What are your impressions of the behavioral assessment method?
Personality Assessment and Behavioral Assessment Internet Resources • http://www.pearsonassessments.com/tests/mmpi_2.htm • Website of the publisher of the MMPI-2 • http://www.stub.unibe.ch/html/rorschach/en/allginfo.html • Website of the Hermann Rorschach Archives and Museum • http://www3.parinc.com/products/product.aspx?Productid=NEO-PI-R • Website of the publisher of the NEO-PI-R • http://www.millon.net/ • Website of Theodore Millon, creator of the MCMI-III • http://mfba.net/ • Website on Multimodal Functional Behavioral Assessment (a type of behavioral assessment)