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(100 words in reply)


Hannah Brady posted Nov 14, 2018 3:36 PM

Psychological assessment and testing is a crucial step required for a psychologist to collect valuable information about people and their behavior. Usually these assessments are conducted by a psychologist in a formal setting and can last anywhere from a couple of hours, to an entire day (Framingham, 2016). Due to the vast and varying types of psychological assessments, they are broken up into categories; Clinical interviews, personality assessments, and behavioral assessments. Each category contains assessment types that allow information to be collected, scored, and stored in an ethical and appropriate way.

Clinical interviews provide a chance for psychologists to collect background information on a patient in order to aid in making a diagnosis later on. Interviews usually take place in a clinicians office and can last anywhere from 1 to 2 hours (Framingham, 2016). There are three different types of interviews; structured, unstructured, and semi-structured. A structured interview is one in which all of the questions are outline prior to the interview taking place. In other words, a structured interview follows a specific schedule of questions to be asked based on the patient’s response to the previous question (Pawlik et al., 2000). Generally, structured interviews are more reliable in reference to psychometric quality than any other interview type, however the information gathered will not be as rich as gathered by an unstructured interview. Unstructured interviews are not bound by any schedule of questions and do not follow a predetermined course. This is a great way to collect information about a patient, however it is the least reliable method because the questioning might lack structure and purpose. Lastly, semi-structured interviews are guided by a schedule of questions or topics however allow psychologists to follow up on the patient’s responses in any way that they choose (Pawlik et al., 2000). This type of interview is the most popular amongst clinicians because it allows for degrees of freedom without lacking purpose or structure.

Personality assessments look to gather information about a patient’s personality in an objective, and subjective way. Objective assessments look to measure peoples perceived personalities in a way that is standardized, and predetermined (Watson, 2015). For example, a clinician might administer a self-report measure that asks people to describe themselves (Watson, 2015). The responses would then be scored in a way that is consistent across all patients taking self-report measures. These types of assessments generally display excellent validity because they have the ability to predict personality based on the patients response. A clinician can also measure personality in a subjective way by administering a projective assessment. Although less common than the objective assessment, projective assessments are based on the belief that important thoughts, feelings, and motives operate outside of conscious awareness (Watson, 2015). In other words, a clinician would be determining personality that is not based on self-report, but rather on a deeper form of analysis. The most famous type of projective assessment is the Rorschach Inkblot test. This test consists of 5 black and white inkblot cards, and 5 colored inkblot cards. When shown each card, the patient is asked to tell the clinician what they think the inkblot looks like. The patient’s personality is analyzed based on their response. The validity of this particular type of assessment has been questioned because it does not have the ability to predict personality in an incremental way even though it does predict important outcomes (Watson, 2015).

Behavioral assessments infer personality characteristics by analyzing direct samples of behavior (Watson, 2015). In other words, information is gathered about a person based on examining them naturalistically in their daily lives. This type of assessment is used when professionals want to track behaviors in order to help change them (Framingham, 2016). This can occur in the form of naturalistic observation, or self-monitoring where the patient is asked to keep a mood or behavior journal. In general, behavioral assessments are used as a non-biased way to analyze personality based on behaviors.

Every assessment, know matter what type, must be administered in a legal and ethical way. In order to comply, every method of assessment has to follow three ethical provisions. The first provision is protection of personality that states everyone has a right to personal integrity. A psychologist cannot violate this right in anyway during or after an assessment. Second, a psychologist has to have conformed consent prior to conducting an assessment. For example, a psychologist would not be allowed to record people for a behavioral assessment without first getting permission from those he or she was recording. Finally, anyone conducting an assessment must obey the principle of confidentiality. This principle sets rules for how psychologists are allowed to deal with personal assessment data (Pawlik et al., 2000). For example, a persons’ data cannot be made public and directly associated with them in order to protect their privacy.

Framingham, J. (2016). Types of psychological testing. Psych Central. Retrieved from…

Pawlik, K., Zhang, H., Vrignaud, P., Roussalov, V. & Fernandez-Ballesteras, R. (2000). Psychological assessment and testing. The International

Handbook of Psychology, 365-406. doi: 10.413519781848608399.n20.

Watson, D. (2015). Personality assessment. Retrieved from…

(100 words in reply)

Mindy Eischeid posted Nov 15, 2018 12:14 AM

  1. The advantages of a structured interview is that for a study, the reliability of a set of the exact same questions would provide a base for a hypothesis. However, the disadvantage is that there is no room for asking other questions where the interviewer might feel there needs to be expansion or concern. The advantages of semi-structured interview which are what most in-take interviews are is that it provides a set of questions, but with room to expand and broaden and build from. The disadvantages is that it opens the door for the interviewer to interrupt the answers and over objectify or simply potential areas of concern (Pawlik, 2000). For example, if John is explaining that he is stressed, before he could fully explain the reason of his stress the psychologist starts to assume his problems are stemming from that when he has actually been suffering from depression which resulted in job loss and that is causing his stress. The advantages of unstructured interviews is it offers an open platform for the psychologist and patient to dive deep into an array or one problem. However, the disadvantage is that time consuming and involves an extensive amount of training.
  2. Objective tests are those that are widely used to explore conditions of depression and anxiety. The tests are used in psychologists and other medical professions offices. The tests are normally answered with true/false, numbered scale or scale of strongly agree to strongly disagree. The advantage of this type of testing is that it can be used to put a level of severity to a mental illness (Pawlik, 2000). The disadvantage would be that it doesn’t dig deep into the why of the problem. Subjective or projective tests are very different than objective tests in that they are harder and more difficult to administer. The psychologist presents stimuli and asks the patient to explain how they feel about the stimuli. The way they feel can predict their personality or current state of mind. The advantage is that it lets the psychologist get an understanding of the personality and background of the patient however, it is up to the opinion and comprehension of the psychologist.
  3. Behavioral assessments are often used when the individual can’t determine the extent of which their behavior affects their daily life. Children are also diagnosed with the assistance of behavioral assessments (Patino). For example, they are often used when children are being assessed for ADHD. The parent or teacher of the child will be asked to fill out a questionnaire regarding the daily behavior of the child.
  4. There are three main concerns regarding the ethical standards of assessments. First, individuals have a right to their personal integrity and that must not be compromised even in a psychological assessment. Second, the individual must give consent and understand the purpose of the assessment. Thirdly, the information gathered must remain confidential.
  5. & 6. I would utilize the interview of unstructured interviews because it offers room for expansion and allow the interviewer to propose questions that can allow a serial killer to slip information that would be important to the case. I would also use subjective questioning because it would provide an insight of how the individual is feeling regarding certain situations. For example, if I propose the question, “How do you think it would feel as she dies beneath your fingers?” And the serial killer responds with, “The skin of her makes me squirm but to watch her die with a rope around her neck seems easier and cleaner.” That allows me to synthesize that the serial killer prefers to kill with a rope and probably hanging her. It could also hint at that he doesn’t like things to be messy, so a clean freak or a type A personality. All of these could be determined off of a few subjective questions after building a rapport.


Patino, E. (n.d.). Types of Behavior Assessments. Retrieved from…

PAWLIK, K., ZHANG, H., VRIGNAUD, P., ROUSSALOV, V. & FERNANDEZ-BALLESTEROS, R. (2000). Psychological assessment and testing. In K. Pawlik & M. Rosenzweig The international handbook of psychology (pp. 365-406). London: SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9781848608399.n20

(50 words in reply)

Jonathan Schneider posted Nov 18, 2018 3:32 PM

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder, or ADHD, is a mental disorder often diagnosed in young children but also existent in adults (Milich & Roberts, 2015). A lot of controversy exists around the diagnosis of ADHD in young children due to different expectation of maturity between different ages (Milich & Roberts, 2015). It is more common that a child who has difficulties with given its attention to a single task is diagnosed with ADHD at age 10 than at age 3 due to different expectations for the child’s behavior at the varying stages of development (Milich & Roberts, 2015). Additionally, I child is a lot more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD if their lack of attention to a single task greatly disrupts situations at home and school around the age of 10 than if a child cannot pay attention at a younger age while performing tasks for which they are not mature enough yet, for example, sitting down to watch a movie for a few hours (Milich & Roberts, 2015). Against former believe, children generally do not grow out of ADHD but further suffer of it during adulthood which can manifest as drug abuse, depression, impairment while driving a vehicle, and obesity (Milich & Roberts, 2015). The cause for ADHD can be genetic due to a diagnosis for ADHD being more likely in if parents of grandparents also suffered from the disorder though drug abuse from the pregnant mother can also increase the chance for the child to develop the disorder (Milich & Roberts, 2015).

I personally would say Attention-Deficit/Hyperactive Disorder does exist as a disorder but should probably be less often diagnosed in very young children than it has been. As Milich and Roberts (2015) mentioned in their article, the behavior of having a harder time to pay attention to a single task is not unusual for young children due to not being mature enough at this point of development. I do think though that it is correct to diagnose children who are a little older with ADHD if they continue to reflect the behavior which is expected from younger children. Furthermore, due to ADHD being possible to be diagnosed with as an adult, I do think it is a real mental disorder since an adult is definitely mature enough to be expected to control themselves while trying to pay attention to something (Milich & Roberts, 2015).

As mentioned previously, I definitely think ADHD to be overdiagnosed in young children due to parents and teachers, as mentioned in Milich and Roberts (2015) article, expecting a level of focus from young children as it would be expected from a more mature child. Doing seemingly meaningless tasks for a small child like watching a multiple hour-long movie can be a challenge since children of a young age often rather want to play with their toys or directly interact with their parents in a playful manner rather than be still or pay a lot of attention to a single thing (Milich & Roberts, 2015).

It is difficult to decide which is the best method to treat a child for a disorder like ADHD. Though, it appears to me that the best option is a Multimodel Treatment plan in which parents and teachers are trained in how to interact and plan activities with a child which is suffering from ADHD while the child is also given certain medication to calm them down (Milich & Roberts, 2015). Though, in the case of medication, I personally think the best option would be to use less medication due to a lot of it being similar to chemicals existing in drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine and the excessive use of these medications have been connected with a later increase of possibility for drug addiction (Milich & Roberts, 2015).

-Jonathan T. Schneider


Milich, R., & Roberts, W. (2015). ADHD and Behavior Disorders in Children. Retrieved from website:…

(50 words in reply)

Galen Hogan-Barden posted Nov 18, 2018 11:05 AM

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder that manifests as an abundance of energy and lack of impulsion control, inattention or both. Because these traits are common in children diagnosis can be difficult. For a diagnosis to be made, a child must display an abnormal pattern of development (Milich & Roberts, 2018). It seems like there are a lot of factors that make ADHD seem like an illegitimate diagnosis but once developmental problems start to appear it is evident that ADHD is a real disorder. The seems to be an abundance of causes and risk factors for ADHD that range from dietary to genetic (Milich & Roberts, 2018). Overdiagnosis comes with the territory when a disorder has a multitude of causes and the behaviors are only slightly different from normal behavior. Drug treatments have been thrown at children over the years to try to treat ADHD, and stimulant medication seems to be the most effective, but behavioral treatment is also effective. It reduces the need for stimulant medication (Milich & Roberts, 2018). If I were a parent, I would want my child to take as little medication as possible. In my opinion behavioral treatment throughout development is the best option to treat ADHD in children.

Milich, R. & Roberts, W. (2018). Adhd and behavior disorders in children. In R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener (Eds), Noba textbook series: Psychology. Champaign, IL: DEF publishers.

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