UNIVERSITY OF LAGOSFACULTY OF SOCIAL SCIENECSDEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGYMSc. CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGYPSY 809 (CLINICAL ASSESSMENT)A TERM PAPER ON THE HISTORY OF CLINICAL ASSESSMENTBYJEPSON-EMMANUEL SHARON PWANIDI189085012MAY, 2019Psychological assessment can be said to be the collecting/bringing together of specific information/data per time as derived/obtained via the routine use of a wide variety of standardized tests to psychometric instruments even observation. Now, the aim of this whole process is to use data/information gotten to access an individual(s) in terms of his/her psychological functioning; in other to enable the making of recommendations, decisions and predictions about how this individual(s) will function in particular settings and also to carry out research on the psychological construct/concept of interest.
Many psychologists do some level of assessment when providing professional care to those who seek their skills. Some psychologist may engage the use of simple checklists to assess some traits or systems; notwithstanding psychological assessment are more complex and detailed (Parkinson, 1997). Psychological assessment as a key part of the holistic aim of applied psychology didn’t begin at its maximum best but without the presence of a challenge(s) to be faced and conquered.
The professional uses observation, interviews, and psychological test. Tests in general have been around for a long time as far back as 2200 BC in ancient China where civil service testing program was instituted for government officials by emperors of China. It was reported that the ancient Chiness society was a test-dominated society (Thorndike & Lohman, 1990). At that time China service positions were distributed by means of formal assessment of the skills of various applicants (Geisinger, 2000). Psychological assessments basically started on the background of the quest to pick out individuals who are best fitted for school, jobs, the army, etc. based on their mental strength/ability; to size up. Sir Francis Gulton of England was one of the prominent people who contributed to the positive evolutionary development of mental measurements. He tried to establish the hereditary basis of intelligence. His work triggered a young tradition of controversy over the relative contribution of heredity and environment to intelligence.The projective approach originated with the word association method pioneered by Francis Galton in the late 1800s. Galton gave himself four seconds to come up with as many associations as possible to a stimulus word, and then categorized his associations as parrotlike, image-mediated, or histrionic representations. This latter category convinced him that mental operations sunk wholly below the level of consciousness were at play. Some historians have even speculated that Freud’s application of free association as a therapeutic tool in psychoanalysis sprang from Galton’s paper published in Brain in 1879 (Forrest, 1974). Galton’s work was continued in Germany by Wundt and Kraepelin, and finally brought to fruition by Jung (1910). Jung’s test consisted of 100 stimulus words. For each word, the subject was to reply as quickly as possible with the first word coming to mind. Kent and Rosanoff (1910) gave the association method a distinctively American flavor by tabulating the reactions of 1,000 normal subjects to a list of 100 stimulus words. These tables were designed to provide a basis for comparing the reactions of normal and insane subjects. While the Americans were pursuing the empirical approach to objective personality testing, a young Swiss psychiatrist, Hermann Rorschach (1884″1922), was developing a completely different vehicle for studying personality. Rorschach was 25 strongly influenced by Jungian and psychoanalytic thinking, so it was natural that his new approach focused on the tendency of patients to reveal their innermost conflicts unconsciously when responding to ambiguous stimuli. The Rorschach and other projective tests discussed subsequently were predicated upon the projective hypothesis: When responding to ambiguous or unstructured stimuli, we inadvertently disclose our innermost needs, fantasies, and conflicts. Rorschach was convinced that people revealed important personality dimensions in their responses to inkblots. He spent years developing just the right set of ten inkblots and systematically analyzed the responses of personal friends and different patient groups (Rorschach, 1921). Unfortunately, he died only a year after his monograph was published, and it was up to others to complete his work. Developments in the Rorschach are reviewed later in the text. While Rorschach’s test was originally developed to reveal the innermost workings of the abnormal subject, the TAT, or Thematic Apperception Test (Morgan & Murray, 1935), was developed as an instrument to study normal personality. Of course, both have since been expanded for testing with the entire continuum of human behavior. The TAT consists of a series of pictures that largely depict one or more persons engaged in an ambiguous interaction. The subject is shown one picture at a time and told to make up a story about it. He or she is instructed to be as dramatic as possible, to discuss thoughts and feelings, and to describe the past, present, and future of what is depicted in the picture. Murray (1938) believed that underlying personality needs, such as the need for achievement, would be revealed by the contents of the stories. Although numerous scoring systems were developed, clinicians in the main have relied upon an impressionistic analysis to make sense of TAT protocolsA French man, Alfred Binet and T. Simon published the very first workable intelligence tests in1905. These tests were devised to measure the intellectual performance of school children, so that their teachers or tutors could classify and separate retarded children from those who weren’t. The test was intended to replace the former less objective and bias evaluation that was in use. Binet believed the scores derived from his tests were really just a practical estimate of current performance and not a measure of innate intelligence. To him, test results should only be used to identify areas of weakness to which teachers or tutors should pay more attention to while educating and provide specific individual help. But the educators who adopted the tests rarely made these distinctions. The key to Binet’s test was the quantification of a student’s performance. First, he tested a large number of children and from their scores, obtained an average or norm for age groups as established by him. Then an individual child’s score was compared to the average score for his/her age group. This test had a great impact in the United States. It was thus used to group the ever increasing population of children in appropriate classes in public schools.While this was on, men recruited to join the US army during the First World War had to be equally tested for intelligence and aptitude. This test was seen as inexpensive democratic way of separating those who could benefit from education and military training from those who couldn’t.Over time, the tests have further motivated the acceptance of the idea that the intelligence test could be used to differentiate people based on their leadership ability and other socially important characteristics. Attention was also shifting to the possibility of alleged intellectual difference amongst races and ethnic backgrounds. Grand assumptions supported by statistics put a dividing line between blacks and other races, and immigrants and citizens by birth, thus marking the former as inferior. But, the ways to carry out assessment very soon diverged, as dimensions and elements to be considered by psychologists increased very rapidly and related to their object of study. Research concentrated at an early moment on individuals but soon after social and group aspects gained salience. At the turn of the century, psychologist became progressively engaged in practical affairs.An interesting point that is often overlooked by contemporary students of psychology by contemporary students of psychology is that Binet and Simon did not offer a precise method for arriving at the score of their 1905 scale and it also made no pretense of measuring precisely any single faculty. Rather, it was aimed at assessing the child’s general mental development with a heterogeneous group of tasks. The purpose was classification, not measurement, and their motivation was entirely humanitarian.The Binet-Simon scale would be revised in 1908 and 1911 respectively.In 1916, L.M. Teman of Stanford University and his associates adapted Binet’s test for American school children. The new version would come to be commonly known as the Stanford-Binet intelligence test. Teman would bring up the concept of Intelligence Quotient (IQ), which is obtained by calculating Mental AgeChronological Agex 100=IQ For example, a child with the chronological age of 7 with the test score that equals the exceeds the average score of the mental age of a 12 year old, when compared would be calculate thus 127 x 100= 12007 IQ= 171David Wescheler in 1939, moved the bar higher by designing a test different from the Stanford-Binet Scale to solve the problem of the previous test’s dependence on language. This was a problem for non English speakers and children. So he developed a new non verbal section that would go along with the verbal section. In this non verbal section, pictures are presented to the test taker, and he/she is told to put the pictures in a logical sequence. Since the development of the Weschsler test in 1939, later revisions have become the most frequently used intelligence tool with over 3 million people taking the test every year.Psychological testing owes as much to early psychiatry as it does to the laboratories of experimental psychology. In fact, their examination of the mentally ill around the middle of the nineteenth century resulted in the development of numerous early test (Bondy, 1974). These early test featured the absence of standardization and were consequently relegated to oblivion. They were nonetheless influential in determining the course of psychological testing, so it is important to mention its relevance. While the clinicians were developing measures for analyzing personality and unconscious conflicts, other psychologists were devising measures for guidance and counseling of the masses of more normal persons. Chief among such measures was the interest inventory, which has roots going back to Thorndike’s (1912) study of developmental trends in the interests of 100 college students. In 1919″1920, Yoakum developed a pool of 1,000 items relating to interests from childhood through early maturity (DuBois, 1970). Many of these items were incorporated in the Carnegie Interest Inventory. Cowdery (1926″27) improved and refined previous work on the Carnegie instrument by increasing the number of items, comparing responses of three criterion groups (doctors, engineers, and lawyers) with control groups of nonprofessionals, and developing a weighting formula for items. He was also the first psychometrician to realize the importance of cross validation. He tested his new scales on additional groups of doctors, engineers, and lawyers to ensure that the discriminations found in the original studies were reliable group differences rather than capitalizations on error variance A table of Summary of Early Landmarks in the History of Testing2200 B.C. – Chinese begin civil service examinations.A.D.1862 – Wilhelm Wundt uses a calibrated pendulum to measure the speed ofthought.1884 – Francis Galton administers the first test battery to thousands of citizens atthe International Health Exhibit.1890 – James McKeen Cattell uses the term mental test in announcing the agendafor his Galtonian test battery.1901- Clark Wissler discovers that Cattellian brass instruments tests have nocorrelation with college grades.1905 – Binet and Simon invent the first modern intelligence test.1914 – Stern introduces the IQ, or intelligence quotient: the mental age divided bychronological age.1916 – Lewis Terman revises the Binet-Simon scales, publishes the Stanford-Binet. Revisions appear in 1937, 1960, and 1986.1917 – Robert Yerkes spearheads the development of the Army Alpha and Betaexaminations used for testing WWI recruits.1917 – Robert Woodworth develops the Personal Data Sheet, the first personalitytest.1920- Rorschach Inkblot test published.1921 – Psychological Corporation”the first major test publisher”founded byCattell, Thorndike, and Woodworth.1927 – First edition of the Strong Vocational Interest Blank published.1939- Wechsler-Bellevue Intelligence Scale published. Revisions published in1955, 1981, and 1997.1942 – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory published.1949 – Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory published.Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children published. Revisions publishedin 1974, 1991.Tools used for psychological assessment have certain principles they are expected to fall in line with. These prinples includeStandardization: Which connotes that all procedures and steps involved from the administration of the test to its scoring, must be conducted with consistency and under the same environment.Objectivity: Scoring must be done in such a way that subjective judgments and biases are reduced to their lowest ineffective minimum. Test Norms: A point of comparison/frame of reference must be established.Reliability: The test must be able to produce consistent/same result after multiple administrations under similar conditions.Validity: The test must measure the construct/concept which it was purported/is said to be measuring.Psychological testing owes as much to early psychiatry as it does to the laboratories of experimental psychology. In fact, their examination of the mentally ill around the middle of the nineteenth century resulted in the development of numerous early test (Bondy, 1974). These early test featured the absence of standardization and were consequently relegated to oblivion. They were nonetheless influential in determining the course of psychological testing, so it is important to mention its relevance. Down to present time, psychological assessment has so beautifully matured and has been strengthened by several developers who have published several standardized tests/scales that measure a very wide variety of psychological constructs/concepts. Zoom to the almost automatic positive effect and increased relevance this has given the field of psychology. The field of psychometrics, as the measurement of behavior is not a part time endevour; it is a full time occupation for not only individual professionals, but corporations as well (Thomas, 1977) . There are over a dozen well know test publishing houses employing hundreds of professionals whose constant search is for more refined instruments. Thousands of achievements, aptitude, interest, personality, and other special types of tests exist today compared to fifty or sixty years ago when there was only a handful (Madus 1999). In conclusion, References1) History of Psychological Assessment.(2017, Mar 27) Penguins Dictionary of Psychology. 5th edition.3)Carpintero, H. (2003). History of psychological assessment. In R. Fernndez-Ballesteros (Ed.), Encyclopedia of psychological assessment (Vol. 1, pp. 448-452). London: SAGE Publications Ltd doi: 10.4135/9780857025753.n964)