Last Updated 06 Jul 2020

History of Psychological Assessment

Category Personality
Words 870 (3 pages)

Psychological assessment is considered one of the most important functions in applied psychology. In psychological assessment, the practitioner uses observation, interviews, and psychological tests to gain information about the client’s personality characteristics, symptoms, and problems in order to arrive at practical decisions about their behavior. In an assessment study, the practitioner identifies the main sources of clients’ problems and attempts to predict the likely course of events under various conditions.

Psychological assessment is similar to psychological testing, but usually involves a more comprehensive assessment of the individual. Psychological assessment is a process that involves the integration of information from multiple sources, such as tests of normal and abnormal personality, tests of ability or intelligence, tests of interests or attitudes, as well as information from personal interviews (www. en. wikipedia. org). Psychological assessment refers to scientific methods psychologists often use to understand the human personality.

When combined with information from interviews, observations, and other sources, assessments can help clients explore new and more effective ways of resolving human problems (Cantley, 2008, p. 1). History of psychological assessment The history of psychological and educational testing is a relatively short one, extending just more than 100 years. The term mental test was first used in print in 1890 by James McKeen Cattell (1890). This history is one in which necessity repeatedly begets innovation.

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Problems in the French schools, during a period that could be described as the advent of public ducation, where teachers first had to deal with larger class sizes comprising students with diverse backgrounds, encouraged Alfred Binet to construct what most individuals consider to be the first modem intelligence test. I use the term modem because it is reported that Chinese society around 2200 B. C. E. was a “test-dominated society” (Thorndike & Lohman, 1990, p. 1). At that time in China, various civil service positions were distributed by means of formal assessments of the skills of various, privileged applicants (Geisinger, 2000, p. 117). Exploring my selected event

On our “History of Psychological Assessment Paper”, there are four different events and I chose the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) is a widely used personality inventory intended to uncover a subject’s unconscious attitudes; the subject indicates agreement or disagreement with various statements and the results are scored in such a way as to assess personality. (Developed at the University of Minnesota).

Historical Roots of MMPI The original Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) was developed in 1939 (Groth Marnat, Handbook of Psychological Assessment, 2009) using an empirical keying approach, which means that the clinical scales were derived by selecting items that were endorsed by patients known to have been diagnosed with certain pathologies. The difference between this approach and other test development strategies used around that time was that it was atheoretical (not based on particular theory) and thus the initial test was not aligned with the prevailing psychodynamic theories of that time.

The atheoretical approach to MMPI development ostensibly enabled the test to capture aspects of human psychopathology that were recognizable and meaningful despite changes in clinical theories. However because the MMPI scales were created based on a group with known psychopathologies, the scales themselves are not atheoretical by way of using the participants’ clinical diagnoses to determine the scales’ contents. Explain why the event is significant

Why I think the event is significant because the MMPI-2 is most commonly used by mental health professionals to assess and diagnose mental illness. The MMPI-2 has been used in other fields outside of clinical psychology. The test is often used in legal cases, including criminal defense, and custody disputes. The test has also been used as screening instrument for certain professions, especially high risk jobs, although the use of MMPI in this manner has been controversial.

The test is also used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment programs, including substance abuse programs is why I think that the even is important. How has MMPI affected the development of psychological testing in the 21st century? I do not think that MMPI will affect the development of psychological testing in the 21st century because Kaplan and Saccuzzo (2009) stated that, “In structured personality testing, the MMPI-2 appears destined to be the premier test of the 21st century. This favorable prediction for MMPI-2 is a turn-about from the 1982 prediction made in the first edition of this book.

We had not anticipated the innovative approach of Butcher and colleagues in dealing with the original Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory’s inadequate normative sample. Thus, future prospects for the MMPI-2 are indeed bright (p. 602). Summary Psychological assessment is one of the most important and complex activities undertaken by clinical psychologists.

The goals of psychological assessment include describing the individual’s symptoms, identifying possible causes, evaluating the severity of the problem, and exploring the individual’s personal resources, which might be valuable in the decisions to be made. The future of psychological testing depends on many issues and developments. Professional issues include theoretical concerns, such as the usefulness of the trait concept as opposed to index of adjustment, the adequacy of tests, and actuarial versus clinical prediction. Moral issues include human rights such as the right to refuse testing, the right not to be labeled, and the right to privacy (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2009, p. 603).

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