Personality Assessment

Personality Assessment

Course Description
This course is designed to provide a fundamental background in administration, interpretation, and theory of major objective and projective testes. The course will teach basic psychological assessment for personality measure, and focus on competence in the use of various psychological test instruments.  The primary goals of this course will be learn overall assessment skills, to integrate clinical and test data, and to learn to write psychological assessment reports.   Students are exposed to instruments and approaches for the assessment of emotional and personality functioning.  Ethical considerations of the assessment process will be explored.

Basic Information
Required Texts:
American Psychological Association. (2001). Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.).  Washington DC: American Psychological Association.
(The APA Manual is required texts for all Argosy courses)

Groth-Marnat, G. (2009). Handbook of Psychological Assessment (5th ed.). John
Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Millon, T & Bloom, C. (2008). The Millon Inventories: A Practitioner’s Guide to
Personalized Clinical Assessment (2nd edition)

Recommended Texts :
Wolber, G.J., & Carne, W.F. (2002). Writing psychological reports: A guide for
clinicians (2nd ed.). Sarasota, FL.: Professional Recourse Press.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

This course is designed to:

1.   Provide a sound knowledge base of psychological measurement (Assessment Competency);
2.   Develop the skills necessary to assess the complexity of the clients’ problems, including not only dysfunctions and limitations but also competencies and strengths, with sensitivity to context including racial, economic, cultural and ethnic background (Assessment and Intervention and Relationship Competencies);
3.   Encourage the ability to think critically, including the ability to identify essential information, formulate questions, evaluate published research, as well as to critically evaluate one’s own hypotheses and conclusions (Foundations of Scientific Psychology and Scientific Inquiry Competency);
4.   Review professional practice standards & ethics in assessment, diagnosis, & treatment so that development & refinement of clinical skills can be continued (Ethics, Assessment, Foundation knowledge, Research literacy, Diversity Competencies);
5.   Continue the development of understanding & expertise in diversity issues that impact the evaluative process & psychotherapeutic treatment of individuals.  Reports & test interpretations will reflect the ability to evaluate the impact of diversity & cultural variables on psychological tests (Assessment, Research literacy, Diversity Competencies);
6.   Integrate psychosocial, behavioral, objective, & projective personality information into comprehensive & useful assessments of individuals (Assessment and Practice Competencies);
7.   Continue to develop strategies for the appropriate identification of client issues through interpreting test protocols of individuals with varying psychological disorders (Assessment Competency);
8.   Develop skills in the administration, scoring & interpretation of the Rorschach Inkblot Test using the Exner Comprehensive system & be exposed to other projective tests (Assessment Competency);
9.   Develop report-writing skills that are consistent with APA & professional practice standards.
Students will develop skills in writing technically sophisticated & understandable, comprehensive & useful psychological evaluations for a variety of audiences (Assessment, Foundation knowledge, Ethics, Practice, and Diversity Competencies).

PROGRAM OUTCOMES

1.   Intervention & Relationship Competency (Listening and observation skills, empathic sensitivity, capacity for self-reflection, intervention skill, intervention skill assessment).
2.    Assessment Competency (Skill, skill evaluation, background/historical information, theoretical application, case formulation and conceptualization, treatment planning)
3.    Foundations of Scientific Inquiry (knowledge of the scientific and theoretical bases of clinical practice and to review and critique current empirical research findings relevant to clinical practice; research literature)
4.   Supervision & Education Competency (organization of materials, consultation)
5.   Ethical Competency (Professional behavior, knowledge and application of APA Ethical
Code of Conduct).
6.     Diversity Competency (ability to deliver clinical interventions and other professional services
to a broad range of clients of diverse cultural backgrounds within diverse settings)

COURSE EXPECTATIONS

•     Students are expected to attend all class sessions, to be punctual, and be present for the entire class session. Absences should occur only for such urgent reasons as seriously ill health or critical emergency. If any absence occurs or is expected, the student should talk with the instructor. Two or more absences or consistent tardiness, even for legitimate reasons, will result in a failing grade. The instructor may make allowances for the impact of extreme circumstances on attendance. However, these allowances will be considered on a student- by-student basis.

•      All class members and the instructor are expected to show respect to others by using non- offensive, culturally sensitive language.  Additionally, all cell phones should be turned to off or completely silenced during the class meeting, and use of laptop computers is discouraged unless there is a specific need.  In order to maintain confidentiality, audio recording classes will also not be allowed without prior approval from the instructor.

•    Students are required to have completed the assigned readings as outlined in the course
schedule before each class session. Students should arrive for class prepared to discuss and
apply the readings.

•     Report background information and test data/protocols will be distributed in class.  THESE MATERIALS CANNOT BE RETYPED, COPIED, SCANNED, MAINTAINED ON PERSONAL COMPUTERS, ARGOSY COMPUTERS, OR FLASH DRIVES; THEY CANNOT BE REPLICATED OR DUPLICATED IN ANY FORM. This would violate ethical codes of conduct regarding confidentiality. Please also refer to Appendix A.

CONFIDENTIALITY OF ALL TEST MATERIAL & CLINICAL INFORMATION IS REQUIRED.       FAILURE TO ADEQUATELY OBSERVE THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF CLINICAL MATERIAL WILL RESULT IN A FAILING GRADE & REFERRAL TO THE STUDENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE OR THE STUDENT CONDUCT COMMITTEE.

•     Protocols assigned by the instructor will contain actual client data. Identifying information will be removed from the test protocols and other clinical information.  However, when students score protocols and write psychological reports, they should treat client data with the highest
and most conscientious standards of confidentiality. Therefore, principles and standards of professional practice, conduct, and ethics will apply.  These materials are confidential and because client documentation/reports and raw data are legal documents, they will be treated as such.  Confidentiality of all test material and clinical information is required.  Failure to adequately observe the confidentiality of clinical material will result in a failing grade and referral to the Student Professional Development or the Student Conduct Committee. Confidentiality includes responsibility for protection of data, report drafts left on public computers or private discs, copies printed on public computers, and related written materials involved in theft, loss, or duplication.  Therefore, all written material produced by students must be password protected, and students are encouraged to utilize a locked document holder to store protocols, data, and reports.

•     Students cannot use White Out on any report, scored protocol, or assignment. Assignments cannot be faxed or emailed in order to further preserve confidentiality and test security. Assessment raw data, background information, and behavioral observations cannot be reproduced.  All patient background information, behavioral observations, and test data must be signed by students and returned along with the report on the due date and time of the report turned into the instructor.  Failure to return any or all of these materials with the report will result in “0” points for that report.

•   The Personality Assessment course is a skills course. It is expected that students will spend   8 –
10 hours outside of class each week reading/learning course material, practicing administration, scoring, interpretation, and writing skills using sample protocols.  The use of active learning techniques and time spent outside class typically results in a better conceptual understanding of the personality assessment process, increased skill in the interpretation of assessment data, and higher grades in this course.

•     Reports must be written according to professional standards.  They must demonstrate understanding of text and course material as well as critical thinking skills.  A cover page is not used, and instead the format listed in Appendix B should be followed. Although actual reports are typically typed in single-space format, all reports for the class should be typed with double-spacing to allow the instructor to provide feedback.  Reports must demonstrate graduate level composition, culturally sensitive language, and professional tone (without the use of unexplained jargon).  Reports must also demonstrate correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, proofreading and editing.  Students are encouraged to prepare more than one draft of each report, thereby allowing ample time for revisions and proofreading prior to submitting the actual report to the instructor.

•    Classroom time will be structured to allow for consultation and discussion among students and the instructor; however, students are expected to work independently on the assigned protocols
outside of class.  Therefore, students may not consult or work together on any facet of
scoring, interpretation, or report writing outside of class unless explicitly encouraged to do so by the instructor.  A violation of confidentiality or discovery of working together when not authorized may result in dismissal from the class and a referral to the Student Professional Development or the Student Conduct Committee to assess suitability for continued graduate study of psychology.  Please communicate with the instructor for any clarification or explanation needed.

Communication Standard:
All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email communication and in-class discussions. That is, we at all times respect others’ opinions. Phones must be turned to silent in class, and laptops shall not be used in class except in extraordinary circumstances.
When you email me or the class, please include your last name and a subject in the subject line of your email, and always include your name in your email.  I generally will try to return your email within 48 hours, and I would like for you to do the same.

Weekly Schedule and Assignment Table:

Week    Topic    Readings Due    Assignment Due

Week 1
5/8
Syllabus, Course overview, Ethics, SCI & MSE    Groth-Marnat Ch 3

Week 2
5/15
Assessment theories and history, Psychometric Properties (standardization, reliability, validity)    Groth-Marnat Ch 1 & 2;     Test Summary  Presentation Due

SCI and MMSE report due

Week 3
5/22
MMPI-2 Scales (validity, clinical, content) MMPI-2 Interpretation;
Groth-Marnat Ch 7

Week 4
5/29
MCMI administration, scoring, interpretation
Groth-Marnat Ch. 8    MMPI-II report due

Week 5
6/5

MCMI & MMPI-II integration, Overview of Projectives         MCMI-II report due

Week 6
6/12
TAT, Projective Drawings, HTP    Groth-Marnat Ch.10, 11     No in class lecture- lab time and online only.

Week 7
6/19
The Rorschach         Projectives Report Due

Week 8
6/26
Integration of test data; assessment results and recommendations;         Final Report Due

Grading and Evaluation Criteria:
Students are graded on projects that offer opportunities to demonstrate their meeting of course objectives, proficiency in administration, scoring and interpretation of assessment tools, writing skills, and ability to work together with each other as professionals.  Grading rubrics outlining specific expectations will be provided for each assignment.

General Guidelines for Evaluation of Written Assignments:

APA format: Read and study the APA Manual, 5th Edition. Pay particular attention to the sections that deal with constructing references, headings, how to write and phrase ideas, making tables, etc. This manual is the guide to the creation of all documents at Argosy University and although the university may modify some of the rules to fit local needs or wishes, you must become very familiar with its usage. Remember the APA Manual is also a guide that addresses style issues and goes beyond structure and format.
The following outlines specifics for the papers: one inch margins around; a cover sheet in APA form and style, and a page of references.
Page numbers should start on the second page; the first page (e.g., the cover sheet) should be suppressed. The page numbers should appear on the top right margin without regard to the 1-inch margin rule. Be sure to adhere to the paper length requirement and due dates stated in each learning activity.
For writing assistance and other student support resources, you can contact Christy McAffee: [email protected]

GRADING CRITERIA

Assignment    Points
1    Attendance & Class Participation    30 points
2    Online Participation & Discussion Questions    20 points
3    Test Summary    15 points
4    Clinical Interview & MMSE    10 points
5    MMPI-2 Report    25 points
6    MCMI-III Report    25 points
7    Projectives Report    25 points
8    Final Test Battery    50 points
9    Total    200 points

Test Summary (15 Points)
Prepare a two-page, single-spaced summary of a psychometric instrument focusing on personality assessment (objective or projective), one that is commercially available or published in a reputable psychology journal.  The summary should include the name of the test, its author(s), its publisher, copyright year, number of forms, appropriate age level, and costs; description; administration, scoring, and interpretation; reliability; validity; and applicability and evaluation.  You may use the online resources listed above (e.g., Buros Institute of Mental Measurements, the Science Directorate of the APA) and/or reference materials available through Milner Library (e.g., Mental Measurements Yearbook, Tests in Print, PsycINFO) to identify a suitable test and report on its properties and uses.  I have provided a sample summary. The summary is worth 10 points and will be evaluated on its accuracy, clarity, coherence, and thoroughness.  The test summary is due on 5/15/14.

Clinical Interview and Mental Status Exam (10 points) – You will conduct a clinical interview and mental status exam with an adult volunteer who has been made aware that you are completing a class assignment.  Full credit can be obtained by submitting a thorough and well written account of your interview with this practice client which includes a mental status exam.  Detailed assignment instructions to be discussed in class.
Three Summaries of the Data (75 points; 25 points each)-Following administration and scoring of the MMPI-2, MCMI-III, and a Projective Assessment, students will write a report of the data based on their interpretation of the scores. Accurately scored and interpreted response forms will be submitted with the summaries.  Each summary will be worth 25 points. The summaries will comprise a cumulative report- each section will add on to the existing body of the report, taking into account new developments and test results.
Final Report (50 points) – You will administer and score a new battery of tests to a volunteer who is aware that you are completing a class assignment.  An integrative psychological report will be written which includes a clinical interview, mental status exam, interpretations of the MMPI-II, MCMI-III, and a projective assessment, along with test data and recommendations.  Detailed assignment instructions to be discussed in class.

Reports will be graded on several criteria (please also refer to Appendix C for the grading rubric).  In general, each report:
•     Is expected to provide psychometric results, interpretation, DSM-V diagnosis, and clinical recommendations that attempt to answer the referral question.
•     Should integrate background information and behavioral observations into the Diagnostic Impressions, Summary, and Recommendations sections so as to take into account the context of the person and describe that real person.
•    Includes accurate, understandable, and culturally responsive interpretation of test data.
•    Contains culturally sensitive language. For example, no phrases such as “these people,” “schizophrenics,” “those that suffer from,” etc. Refer to the chapter on limiting bias in language in the APA Manual for examples.
•     Must reflect graduate level composition, grammar, and punctuation. Reports with excessive grammar and spelling errors (an obvious lack of careful proofreading) are considered unprofessional and unacceptable. Therefore, reports with 5 or more grammar or spelling errors will not be given a grade.

I.          Library Information
Gale’s Searchbank
Expanded Academic Index ASAP 1980 to present. Scholarly journals with full text articles for topics from the arts and humanities to science and technology.
PA General Research
1986 to present.  1800 full-text articles in arts, business, education and social sciences.

ProQuest
Search the full collection of journals, magazines and newspapers for information on a broad range of general reference subjects.

Consider your own cultural and ethnic background. If you were assessing yourself, what cultural considerations would need to be included when selecting assessments, and why?