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Psychology 805

PSYC 805: Advanced Cognitive and Intellectual Assessment

Prerequisites: Admission into Psy.D. program or permission of instructor

Credit Hours: (3)

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with the historical frame, theory, and research in cognitive and intellectual assessment. The student will build mastery in testing theory, assessment selection, administration, scoring, hypothesis testing, and integrated feedback in the clinical setting.


Detailed Description of Course

1. Introduction to Assessment
        A. Role of the clinician
        B. Evaluation and selection
        C. Clinical decision-making
2. Introduction to testing and measurement
        A. Psychometrics
        B. Descriptive Statistics
        C. Multiple Correlation
        D. Norm-Referenced Measurement
        E. Types of Derived Scores
        F. Statistical Significance
        G. Reliability
        H. Item Response Theory
        I. Differential Item Functioning
        J. Validity
        K. Meta-Analysis
        L. Factor Analysis
3. Assessment Interview
        A. History
        B. Reliability and validity of the interview
        C. Case History
        D. Structured versus unstructured versus clinical
4. Report Writing
        A. General guidelines
        B. Errors and ethical issues of report writing
5. Ethical, legal, and professional applications of assessment practices
        A. Ethical responsibilities of psychologists
        B. Evidence based practice and assessment
        C. Social justice considerations
6. Theories of intelligence
7. The Weschler Tests
        A. Adult
        B. Children
        C. Preschool
8. Special issues with testing children
9. Alternative measures of intelligence and cognitive function
        A. SLUMS
B. MMSE
        C. Shipley
        D. Stanford-Binet
        E. Clinical decision-making
10. Culturally sensitive assessments and rural considerations
11. Providing effective feedback and referral options
        A. Development and approaches to treatment planning
        B. Systematic approach to treatment selection


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will cover the fundamentals of cognitive assessment, including test administration, scoring, interpretation, and report writing. The Weschler tests are the most frequently used measures in clinical psychology, and they will be highlighted in this course. In addition adult tests of memory, attention, and academic achievement will be reviewed. The importance of interviewing and history taking will be reviewed. Students will also be expected to demonstrate their ability to write accurate, succinct, and useful reports. Cultural considerations will be infused throughout the course



Goals and objectives of the Course

The following represent course objectives:

1. To gain a better understanding of assessment issues relevant to counseling psychologists.
2. To acquire a practitioner-scholar approach to assessment and diagnosis.
3. To conduct clinical interviews that incorporate social history and mental status examination and to record, review, and write a synopsis of the findings.
4. To administer, score, and interpret the Weschler tests and to write related reports.
5. To write integrative test reports utilizing a comprehensive clinical interview, record review, and Weschler results.
6. To develop critical thinking skills that will help the test administrator use information gained from assessment to differentiate between “normal” behavior and psychopathology, and to differentiate diagnoses.
7. To “think” about assessment and to develop a philosophy and approach to assessment.
8. To develop and refine consultation and communication skills through in-vivo assessment demonstrations/administrations.
9. To consider cultural issues during assessment and report writing.


Assessment Measures

Students will be assessed using several measures which may include grades on written assignments, participation in group discussion and experiential activities, and performance on the final exam. In addition students will be evaluated on: (a) in-class demonstration of administration of assessments; (b) observational “check-out” on the Weschler and other assessments; (c) integrated clinical reports; (d) comprehensive literature review on the relationship between an aspect of rural mental health and cognitive assessment; (e) presentation on an aspect of culture and cognitive assessment; (f) assessment resource handout; (g) cognitive assessment portfolio.


Other Course Information

None


Review and Approval

December 2007