Psych 101 Series Sampler (eBook): Introductions to Key Topics in Psychology (The Psych 101 Series)

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Interpretation of testing results requires a higher degree of clinical training than administration alone. Threats to the validity of any psychological measure of a self-report nature oblige the test interpreter to understand the test and principles of test construction. In fact, interpreting tests results without such knowledge would violate the ethics code established for the profession of psychology APA, Most doctoral-level clinical psychologists who have been trained in psychometric test administration are also trained in test interpretation.

SSA n. Modification of procedures, including the use of interpreters and the administration of nonstandardized assessment procedures, may pose unique challenges to the psychologist by potentially introducing systematic error into the testing process. Such errors may be related to language, the use of translators, or examinee abilities e.

For example, if one uses a language interpreter, the potential for mistranslation may yield inaccurate scores.

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Use of translators is a nonpreferred option, and assessors need to be familiar with both the language and culture from which an individual comes to properly interpret test results, or even infer whether specific measures are appropriate. The adaptation of tests has become big business for testing companies, and many tests, most often measures developed in English for use in the United States, are being adapted for use in other countries.

Such measures require changes in language, but translators must also be knowledgeable about culture and the environment of the region from which a person comes ITC, For sensory, perceptual, or motor abilities, one may be altering the construct that the test is designed to measure. In both of these examples, one could be obtaining scores for which there is no referenced normative. While a thorough discussion of these concepts is beyond the scope of this report and is presented elsewhere, it may be stated that when a test is administered following a procedure that is outside of that which has been developed in the standardization process, conclusions drawn must recognize the potential for error in their creation.

As noted in Chapter 2 , SSA indicates that objective medical evidence may include the results of standardized psychological tests. Given the great variety of psychological tests, some are more objective than others. Whether a psychological test is appropriately considered objective has much to do with the process of scoring. For example, unstructured measures that call for open-ended responding rely on professional judgment and interpretation in scoring; thus, such measures are considered less than objective.

In contrast, standardized psychological tests and measures, such as those discussed in the ensuing chapters, are structured and objectively scored. In the case of non-cognitive self-report measures, the respondent generally answers questions regarding typical behavior by choosing from a set of predetermined answers. With cognitive tests, the respondent answers questions or solves problems, which usually have correct answers, as well as he or she possibly can. Such measures generally provide a set of normative data i. Therefore, standardized psychological tests and measures rely less on clinical judgment and are considered to be more objective than those that depend on subjective scoring.

The inclusion of validity testing, which will be discussed further in Chapters 4 and 5 , in the test or test battery allows for greater confidence in the test results. Standardized psychological tests that are appropriately administered and interpreted can be considered objective evidence. The use of psychological tests in disability determinations has critical implications for clients. As noted earlier, issues surrounding ecological validity i.

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Two approaches have been identified in relation to the ecological validity of neuropsychological assessment. Establishing ecological validity is a complicated endeavor given the potential effect of non-cognitive factors e. Specific concerns regarding test performance include 1 the test environment is often not representative i. Occupational status, however, is complex and often multidetermined requiring that psychological test data be complemented with other sources of information in the evaluation process e.

Table highlights major mental disorders, relevant types of psychological measures, and domains of functioning. Determination of disability is dependent on two key factors: the existence of a medically determinable impairment and associated limitations on functioning. As discussed in detail in Chapter 2 , applications for disability follow a five-step sequential disability determination process. This includes specific symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings that substantiate the existence of an impairment i.

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If not, residual functional capacity, including mental residual functional capacity, is assessed. This includes whether the applicant has the capacity for past work Step 4 or any work in the national economy Step 5. SSA uses a standard assessment that examines functioning in four domains: understanding and memory, sustained concentration and persistence, social interaction, and adaptation. Box describes ways in which these four areas of core mental residual functional capacity are assessed ecologically.

Psychological assessments often address these areas in a more structured manner through interviews, standardized measures, checklists, observations, and other assessment procedures.

Psych Series Sampler (eBook)

Incoherence, loosening of associations, illogical thinking, or poverty of content of speech if associated with one of the following:. Bipolar syndrome with a history of episodic periods manifested by the full symptomatic picture of both manic and depressive syndromes and currently characterized by either or both syndromes. Mental incapacity evidenced by dependence on others for personal needs e. Generalized persistent anxiety accompanied by three out of four of the following signs or symptoms:.

A persistent irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that results in a compelling desire to avoid the dreaded object, activity, or situation. Recurrent severe panic attacks manifested by a sudden unpredictable onset of intense apprehension, fear, terror, and sense of impending doom occurring on the average of at least once per week. Recurrent and intrusive recollections of a traumatic experience that are a source of marked distress.

A history of multiple physical symptoms of several years duration, beginning before age 30, that have caused the individual to take medicine frequently, see a physician often, and alter life patterns significantly. Unrealistic interpretation of physical signs or sensations associated with the preoccupation or belief that one has a serious disease or injury. Deeply ingrained, maladaptive patterns of behavior associated with one of the following:.

Behavioral changes or physical changes associated with the regular use of substances that affect the central nervous system. Qualitative deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication and in imaginative activity. Developmentally inappropriate degrees of inattention, impulsiveness, and hyperactivity. Apathy, overexcitability, or fearfulness, demonstrated by an absent or grossly excessive response to one of the following:.

This chapter has identified some of the basic foundations underlying the use of psychological tests including basic psychometric principles and issues regarding test fairness. Applications of tests can inform disability determinations.

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The next two chapters build on this overview, examining the types of psychological tests that may be useful in this process, including a review of selected individual tests that have been developed for measuring validity of presentation. Chapter 4 focuses on non-cognitive, self-report measures and symptom validity tests. Chapter 5 then focuses on cognitive tests and associated performance validity tests. AACN practice guidelines for neuropsychological assessment and consultation. Clinical Neuropsychology 21 2 Standards for educational and psychological testing.

Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Brandt, J. American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology policy on the use of non-doctoral-level personnel in conducting clinical neuropsychological evaluations. The Clinical Neuropsychologist 13 4 Buros Center for Testing. Test reviews and information. Chaytor, N. The ecological validity of neuropsychological tests: A review of the literature on everyday cognitive skills.

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Neuropsychology Review 13 4 Cronbach, L. Essentials of psychological testing. Oxford, England: Harper. De Ayala, R. Theory and practice of item response theory. New York: Guilford Publications. Furr, R. Psychometrics: An introduction.

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