Re: Assessment inventories

A. J. Zolten (
21 Sep 95 16:03:12 CST6CDT

Jonathon, your original post and reply to Devi have merit within a
range of convenience, and I certainly agree that the logical
positivist approach to the meaning of data generated by a client in
an assessment situation does not allow for adeqaute construction of
the client's subjective world.

However, even "objective" measures like the MMPI are useful, so long
as the user understands the limits of the tool. I teach my students
the MMPI and emphasize "the person makees the profile, and not the
other way around" then show them an 8-9 profile with a big caret
validity index (for those of you who are not familiar with the MMPI,
this is a common profile of a distressed indidual who's thinking
anndd behavior are quite disorganized) and assk them to chaaracterize
the type of person who may generate it, THEN TELL THEM THAT IT IS MY
PROFILE. The demonstration is quite eye openning to them.

Certainly, there are other cases when it is clear that the
psychologist IS the expert. I spend much of my nonacademic time
consulting as a neuropsychologist for a geropsych unit. The testing
that I do there provides a unique set of data about the patient that
is absolutely helpful in the ultimate treatment of the case. There
have been many times when my differential diagnosis has kept an aged
patient from being recommended for nursing home placement because my
objective test results clarified the nature of the cognitive
disturbance that the person was experiencing.

Hope this was thought provoking

A.J. Zolten, Ph.D.
Universiity of Central Arkansas