Pitt PSY 1205 - Abnormal Psychology Chapter Four Notes

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Abnormal Psychology Chapter Four NotesIntroduction- Psychological assessment refers to a procedure by which clinicians, using psychological tests, observations, and interviews, develop a summary of the client’s symptoms and problems- Clinical diagnosis the process through which a clinician arrives at a general “summaryclassification” of the patient’s symptoms by following a clearly defined system The Basic Elements in Assessment (pages 104-108)- First thing that a clinician needs to do is identify the presenting problem/major symptoms and behavior the client is experiencing- Taking a Social or Behavioral Historyo An adequate assessment should include a diagnostic label, an individual’s personality traits, behavior patterns and environmental demands; all together integrated into a consistent and meaningful picture is referred to as a “dynamic formulation” because it not only describes the current situation but also includes hypotheses about what is driving the person to behave in maladaptive ways  Then, decisions about treatment are made collaboratively with the consentand approval of the individual; in severe cases, they may have to be made without their participation - Ensuring Culturally Sensitive Assessment Procedureso Cultural competencecritical for psychologists to be informed of the issues involved in multicultural assessment - The Influence of Professional Orientationo How clinicians go about the assessment process often depends on their basic treatment orientations; they focus on the type of assessments that their professions entailAssessment of the Physical Organism (pages 108-111)- Sometimes medical evaluation is necessary to rule out the possibility that physical abnormalities may be causing or contributing to a mental disorder- The Neurological Examinationo Electroencephalogram (EEG) used to asses brain wave patterns in awake and sleeping state; a graphical record of the brain’s electrical activityo Dysrhythmia irregular brain patterno Computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan reveals images of parts of the brain that might be diseased; provides rapid access, without surgery, to accurate information about the localization and extent of anomalies in the brain’s structuralcharacteristics Only reveals anatomical features such as shape or a particular internal structureo Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) replacing CAT scans; involves the precise measurement of variations in magnetic fields that are caused by the varying amounts of water content of various organs and parts of organs Reveals brain structure Sensitive to instrument errors or inaccurate observations as a result of slight movements of the person being evaluatedo Positron emission tomography (PET) scan allows for an appraisal of how an organ is functioning Reveals functioning; “better” from of CAT scano Functional MRI (fMRI) measures changes in local oxygenation (blood flow) of specific areas of brain tissue that in turn depend on neuronal activity in those specific regions  Revels brain activity; “better” form of fMRI Results are difficult to interpret Sensitive to instrument errors or inaccurate observations as a result of slight movements of the person being evaluated o Aphasia a loss of ability to communicate verbally- The Neuropsychological Examinationo Neuropsychological assessment involves the use of various testing devices to measure a person’s cognitive, perceptual, and motor performance as clues to the extent and location of brain damageo Halstead Reitan battery test composed of several tests and variables from which an “index of impairment” can be computer; provides specific information about a subject’s functioning in several skill areas. Composed of… Halstead Category Test measures subject’s ability to learn and remember material and can provide clues as to his or her judgment and impulsivity; number presented, guess correct number=doorbell, wrong number=buzzer, person is required to determine form the pattern of buzzers and bells what the underlying principle of the correct choice is Tactual Performance Test measures a subject’s motor speed, responseto the unfamiliar, and ability to learn and use tactile and kinesthetic cues; test surface with board with 10 different shaped spaces, have to place blocks in correct grooves, asked to draw blocks and board from tactile memory Rhythm Test measures attention and sustained concentration through an auditory perception task; 30 pairs of rhythmic beats played on recorder,asked if pairs are same or different Speech Sounds Perception Test determines whether an individual can identify spoken words and measures subject’s concentration, attention, andcomprehension; nonsense words presented on recorder, subject asked to identify word from list of four printed words Finger Oscillation Task measures the speed at which an individual candepress a lever with the index fingerPsychosocial Assessment (pages 111-124)- Attempt to provide a realistic picture of an individual in interaction with his or her social environment- Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) provides a structured quantifiable format for rating clinical symptoms such as over concern with physical symptoms, anxiety, emotional withdrawal, guilt feelings, hostility suspiciousness, and unusual thought patterns; contains 18 scales that are scored from ratings made by a clinician following an interview with a patient- Psychological Testso More indirect means of assessing psychological characteristics; standardized sets of procedures or task for obtaining samples of behavior (often more precise and more reliable than interviews or some observational techniques)o Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale Revised commonly used test for measuring adult intelligence; includes verbal and performance materials and consists of 15 subsets Vocabulary (verbal) subset that consists of a list of words to define that are presented orally to the individual; designed to evaluate knowledgeof vocabulary Digit Span (performance) test of short-term memory; sequence of numbers is administered orally and the individual is asked to repeat digits in the order administered. Task two involves the individual’s rememberingthe numbers, holding them in memory, and instructed to say them backwardso Projective personality tests unstructured in that they rely on various ambiguous stimuli such as


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