3006PSY Psychological Assessment

3006PSY Psychological Assessment


The purpose of the test construction exercise is to ensure that students are

familiar with the fundamental concepts behind psychological assessment as

applied to a case example. This requires critical thinking and an ability apply

knowledge of psychological assessment in an applied way.


The assessment question is as follows:

You are a Clinical Psychologist working at Bradfield Hospital Mental Health

Unit. A General Practitioner has referred a client to you. His name is Brett

Monash. Brett is a 27 year old man who has not been feeling himself for some

time. He went to see his GP because he was concerned about his drinking

and thoughts he was having about harming himself. He lived with his former

partner for three years but they split up recently. Brett reports that this was

because she was only after his money and when he was made redundant he

could no longer provide the lifestyle she wanted. Brett is unemployed currently

and reports finding it increasingly difficult to be motivated to look for work.

Critically discuss how you go about formally assessing Brett? What

information would you attempt to collect? What are the advantages and

limitations of your approach?

Look in Appendix One for an example of a previous question, an answer that

was awarded an HD and the marker’s sheet that will be used to mark your

work. The marking scheme gives you an additional idea of where you should

be focusing your efforts. The most important thing to remember is that you

must support your arguments with references and be critical. The end result

will look like an essay question framed around a case report. Have a look at

the example question and answer to have an idea of what is required. An

additional hint is to display further reading on the topic, especially with regards

up-to-date references and cutting-edge assessment procedures will impress

the marker.

Below is how you might structure the exercise and some additional


Reason for referral/background

A brief statement of why you are conducting the assessment and the

background. You do not have much information. You might wish to comment

on this here- or suggest additional information that you might request

concerning the referral.

Psychological Assessments

What assessments would you use? We’ve covered a variety of approaches to

psychological assessments such as formal psychometric assessment,

interviews and observation. Which of these methods would you use and why?

What information would you attempt to collect from collateral sources and


Limitations of approach

What are the advantages and limitations of your approach? Think of things

like reliability and validity. Face validity may also be relevant here. Can one

method of assessment tell you all you need to know? Do you need to use

different methodologies? You might like to mention the strengths and

weaknesses of each approach. What is best practice?


What conclusions are you likely to be able to make after your assessment?

Again balance is important here. There may be limitations but what can you

tell? Many assessment procedures are far from perfect but are better than the



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