Psychological Assessment (Appl 619)

Psychological Assessment (Appl 619)
University of Baltimore
Spring 2008
Professor: Courtney Gasser, Ph.D.
Course Meets: Thursdays 5:30-8 pm
Office: AC213B
Office Phone: 410-837-6760
Email (preferred):
Location: Academic Center 212
Office Hours: W 1-2 & 3:30-4:30; R 3-4 pm
Mailbox: AC 213
Appl 610 and Appl 608 (or satisfactory grade in undergraduate Tests and Measurements course)
Required Reading
Neukrug, E.S., & Fawcett, R.C. (2006). Essentials of testing and assessment: A practical guide
for counselors, social workers, and psychologists. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Course readings (located on e-reserve):
Spring 2008 password: Solitaire
(first letter upper case, the rest all lower case letters)
Kaufman, A.S., & Lichtenberger, E.O. (1999). Essentials of WAIS-III assessment. New
York: Wiley.
Catalog Description
Examines the rationale and validity of the more predominant intelligence tests, projective
measures, interest inventories and personality measures currently in use. Focus also includes
professional and ethical responsibilities associated with the assessment process and provides
familiarity with administration and interpretation procedures. Lab fee required.
Course Objectives
By the end of the course, students will be introduced to ethical, theoretical, and applied aspects
of psychological assessment. Students will learn about specific tests commonly used in
counseling practice or otherwise utilized by masters’ level clinicians. In order to facilitate
learning, students will experience the entire testing process, including the administration of
certain tests, scoring of the tests, interpretation and write-up of results, and engaging the client in
a testing feedback session. Students are expected to apply knowledge from previous courses
regarding ethics, psychometric issues and psychodiagnostic procedures throughout this process.
Though students will gain some testing experience through their active involvement in this
course, students WILL NOT emerge from the course as fully trained administrators of these
tests. It is important to note that students will need further education, training, practica
experiences, and other experiences in order to obtain the knowledge and educational background
needed to competently administer the assessments they will be exposed to in this course.
Course Format & Requirements
As a graduate-level course, students are expected to be active participants in their learning. First,
this means that students should come to class prepared to discuss course readings and exercises:
a central component of class will be discussion of the readings and class activities. This class
will be conducted as a graduate seminar. Please bring a written question or note for discussion,
drawn from your readings or from your testing experiences for the week, to every class meeting.
I will call on people at random and ask you to share yours. Second, students will experience the
testing process via taking the tests themselves as well as administering certain tests with a
practice testing “client”. Students should not test a person they know first-hand, such as a spouse,
friend, or family member.
Students are expected to be punctual in their arrival to class, and are expected to attend every
class period. Should you be unable to attend, be sure to inform me before class that day. To take
into account illness and personal emergencies, students are allowed to miss class twice; after the
second absence, your total course grade will be reduced by 10% for every missed class period
OR you may be administratively dropped from the course at the instructor’s discretion.
1. Self-assessments and Report (30 pts). Students will take the WAIS-III, CPI-260, and
NEO-PI-R outside of class. Next, write a report summarizing your self-assessment
findings this semester. Include your results on the NEO, and CPI. (Note: WAIS results
will not be part of the self-assessment report since these results are invalid due to students
being taught the test prior to having the test administered.) Be sure to include background
information on yourself that you imagine someone would learn if they were to conduct a
clinical interview with you. The report should be written in third person tense and be a
formal narrative: think of this report as an opportunity to practice professional report
writing before turning in your client report. The purpose of the report should read that
you were interested in learning more about yourself. Format should follow the sample
test report given out in class precisely: use same headings, single-spacing, 12 point Times
New Roman font. You are presenting yourself as a professional—make sure your written
report reflects this!
2. Partner-administration & scoring of WAIS with Summary (20 pts). Teams of two
will be responsible for meeting outside of class to give one another the WAIS. Since test
materials will be presented in class prior to these administrations, your WAIS results will
NOT be an accurate indicator of your intelligence. Therefore, you are encouraged to use
this opportunity to learn more about the WAIS perhaps by “acting out” different testing
patterns (e.g., how a person with a learning disability may take the test). Be sure to allow
about 2 to 4 hours per person for administration only. Scoring may take half an hour to an
hour (add up the section totals yourself outside of class—we will do the rest of the
scoring in class together). When finished, write a 1-2 page summary on what you learned
about the other person (see WAIS report template) and what you thought of the WAIS
testing experience.
3. “Client” assessment, report, and feedback session (50 pts). Using the UB Counseling
& Testing Center facilities to record all your testing client face-to-face interactions, you
will conduct a clinical interview with a practice testing client (be sure to allow at least 2
hours). Next, administer the NEO-PI-R to your client. Score the NEO and begin writing
your report summarizing the interview and NEO results. Your client report needs to be
written prior to giving your presentation as this will solidify your thinking and use of
descriptive language regarding your client’s evaluative report. After giving your
presentation and consulting with the course instructor, you will schedule a follow-up
session with you client to give her/him feedback on the information you collected.
Finally, you will turn in a revised copy of your report after your presentation.
IMPORTANT!!: DO NOT give your client their raw test scores OR let her/him look
at the raw scores, and DO NOT have a feedback session with your client prior to
giving your class presentation and getting the instructor’s feedback. Doing either of
these will result in a failing grade.
Sona system ( will be used for the scheduling of your
client testing sessions. Scheduling is on a first come, first serve basis. UB’s Sona System
is managed by Michael Walk, Research Pool Coordinator
( More information will be given in class.
4. Presentation (40 pts): You will give a 10-15 minute presentation on your client (5
minute of this time will be you showing videotape of session), followed by a 15-20
minute discussion of your presentation. You will describe your client’s background and
show videotape from your clinical interview with the client, talk about your assessment
findings, and present your tentative diagnosis and proposed client feedback. Make sure
you de-identify this information to protect your client’s confidentiality. As a class, we
will discuss your clinical information in a clinical case conference format. The purpose
behind this presentation is three-fold: (1) you will have an opportunity to tweak or finetune your conceptualization of your client as well as the feedback you are thinking of
giving; (2) your classmates will learn from your experience and have an opportunity to
augment your ideas with their own; (3) you will be able to take what you have learned
from this presentation and use it to make any corrections or changes to your report before
turning it in to me. NOTE: You MUST make the appropriate changes to your report and
feedback session if told to do so by the instructor. Remember, you are a student of this
5. Examinations (25 pts each; total of 100 points): There will be four miniature exams or
quizzes comprised of short answer questions. Each will test your knowledge over the
different topics covered in this course.
NOTE: With the exception of the WAIS summaries, ALL reports need to be accompanied by a
full 5-axis DSM diagnosis, treatment summary and recommendations.
There are a total of 240 points possible in the course. See “Assignments” section above for the
break-down of points. Your grade will be calculated by dividing the total number of points
earned from the total number of possible points.
This grading system is intended to promote mastery of the material, not competition among
students. Using this grading system, there is theoretically no upper limit on the number of As or
Bs in the class and there do not have to be any Ds or Fs. You are competing only with yourself
and not with other class members.
Grading Scale
A = 94 - 100
A- = 90 - 93
B+ = 87 - 89
B = 83 - 86
B- = 80 - 82
C+ = 77 - 79
C = 73 - 76
C- = 70 - 72
D = 60 - 69
F = 0 - 59
Testing procedures, materials, and results are highly sensitive, private, and confidential. Students
are expected to guard the confidentiality of their practice testing “clients”, their fellow students,
and the testing knowledge itself from others not enrolled in this course. Should any student have
concerns or questions about this, she or he is encouraged to speak with me before the second day
of class. In addition, if you learn information about a “client” that causes you even the slightest
concern about her or his well-being or the well-being of others who have contact with your
client, you need to come speak with me immediately. This includes potential issues of
suicidality, homicidality, and physical/sexual/emotional abuse and neglect.
Student test results, written self-reports, and related materials are considered confidential
material by the instructor as well. I will keep your information private, which means I will not
share this information with anyone without your permission. The only exceptions to this policy
include compelling evidence of a student’s intent to harm him- or herself or someone else
(including abuse of minors and the elderly). In the event that I have such concerns about a
student, I will attempt to speak with that person prior to breaking confidentiality.
Assignment Expectations
All assignments are due on the date stated on the syllabus or announced in class. Unexcused late
papers will be subjected to a 10% grade reduction per day. In cases of excused late
assignments, you must communicate with me prior to the due date, to set up a date by which the
assignment will be turned in. Extensions to due dates will be granted only for dire unforeseen
Papers must meet graduate-level standards for quality of writing, including grammar, spelling,
sentence structure, and paragraph construction. If any paper does not meet these standards, it will
be returned to you without a grade. In the first instance, you will have one week to rewrite and
resubmit the paper, with a 10% grade reduction. In all other and subsequent papers, quality of
writing will be weighted equally with content in determining your grade. Academic Resource
Center (ARC) staff members are available in AC 111 daily, 9-5, to assist you with improving
your writing skills and with any of your papers. However, due to the confidential nature of most
of the paper assignments in this class, you will not be able to take most papers to the ARC. In
these cases, you may ask a fellow student enrolled in this semester’s class to look over your
paper for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors.
Academic Dishonesty
All students also are expected to be honest and to do their own work. This includes quizzes,
exams, term papers, homework, extra credit work, presentations, and any other assignment to be
completed in or out of this and any other class (unless otherwise directly indicated by the
instructor). Academic honesty includes, at the very least, submitting work that is yours, giving
appropriate credit whenever someone else’s work is used, and taking tests and completing
assignments strictly according to the conditions specified by the instructor. Any evidence to the
contrary will result in a failing grade for this course, as well the filing of a report of academic
dishonesty with the Academic Integrity Review Board. Cheating will not be tolerated under any
circumstance. If you are not sure what the expectations are for any assignment, it is up to you to
ask your instructor for clarification. Do not guess!
For term papers, research reports, and other typed/word-processed assignments, you may have
someone else proofread your work prior to submission to check spelling, grammar, writing style,
punctuation, proper vocabulary, correct (i.e., APA) paper format, etc., and you are encouraged to
make use of the services provided by the Langsdale Library and the Academic Resource Center
for the preparation of student papers. However, the work of actually researching and writing a
paper is YOUR responsibility.
The most frequently occurring problem behavior in this context is plagiarism. Plagiarism occurs
when a person submits written work as her/his own, when in fact the work has been done entirely
or in part by someone else to whom the person has not given appropriate credit. This includes
any written work that copies the language, structure, ideas, or thoughts of another (UB Student
Handbook, 2006), work that has been paraphrased, and even the reporting of facts derived from
another source and not a part of common knowledge. This includes sources such as magazine or
newspaper articles, encyclopedias, dictionaries, pamphlets, brochures, other students’ term
papers and reports, articles in professional journals, transcribed interviews, live interviews,
books, internet pages, CD-ROMs, etc. This list is not meant to be exhaustive. The fact is, if you
do not give appropriate credit to any source of your written words besides your own ideas or
common knowledge, you have committed plagiarism.
If you make a statement in a written assignment that is not original and is not general, public
knowledge, then you MUST tell the reader the source of the statement. This is done in APA
format through in-text, parenthetical citations of sources, and a reference page at the end of the
paper. In general, you must give enough information so that the reader can easily look up and
verify the source. See the current edition of the Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association for specific citation formats.
CAUTION! If the nature of an assignment is for you to express your own ideas and
interpretations about a topic, and if what you submit are largely or entirely the ideas and
interpretations of someone else, even if you provide all the proper citations, you will not have
satisfied the requirements of the assignment.
Students with Disabilities
If you need special accommodations as a result of a disability, please inform me by the end of
the first week of class so that every effort to accommodate your disability can be made.
Documentation of your disability and the resources required must be provided before
accommodations will be made.
WAIS kits
Star denotes team leader; team leaders in charge of making sure complete kits & stopwatches are
returned in the condition they were received to the course instructor. If materials are missing, are
not turned in, or are returned in poor condition then the team will be charged with replacement
costs and will receive a course grade of incomplete until restitution has been made by the team
Team 1:
Team 2:
Team 3:
Team 4:
(changes will be announced in class)
Assignments are due the day they are listed (with the exception of 1/31)
With the exception of the Neukrug & Fawcett readings, all readings can be found on e-reserve.
1/31: Course introduction; Testing ethics, confidentiality, storage of clinical materials; Assign
presentation dates
American Counseling Association (2005). Code of ethics and standards of practice. Alexandria,
VA: Author.
Neukrug & Fawcett: Chapter 2
2/07: The clinical interview; Report writing; Assigning of testing materials & team leaders
Neukrug & Fawcett: Chapter 12 & Appendix E (page 268-273)
Beutler, L.E. (1996). The clinical interview. In L.E. Beutler & M.R. Berren (Eds.), Integrative
Assessment of Adult Personality (pp. 94-120). New York: Guilford Press.
Gasser, C.E. (2002). Mental status examination forms. Unpublished manuscript.
2/14: Quiz #1 (on clinical interview/reporting); Measuring intelligence using the WAIS-III; Test
kits handed out
Neukrug & Fawcett: Chapter 7
Ryan, J.J., & Lopez, S. (2001). Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III. In Dorfman & Hersen
(Eds.), Understanding Psychological Assessment (pp. 19-42). New York, NY: Kluwer
Academic/Plenum Publishers.
2/21: How to score the WAIS; discussion of WAIS test administrations
All team “A” Partner administrations of WAIS complete
Kaufman, A.S., & Lichtenberger, E.O. (1999). How to score the WAIS-III. In A.S.
Kaufman & N.L. Kaufman (Series Eds.) Essentials of Psychological Assessment:
Essentials of WAIS-III Assessment (pp. 60-75). New York: Wiley.
Neukrug & Fawcett: Chapter 3
2/28: Interpreting the WAIS; In-class administration of the NEO PI-R
Completion of all Partner administrations of WAIS (team “B”s completed)
Kaufman, A.S., & Lichtenberger, E.O. (1999). How to interpret the WAIS-III. In A.S.
Kaufman & N.L. Kaufman (Series Eds.) Essentials of Psychological Assessment:
Essentials of WAIS-III Assessment (pp. 77-160). New York: Wiley.
3/06: Quiz #2 (on the WAIS); Turn in WAIS kits; Measuring personality using the NEO PI-R
WAIS Partner-administration Report Summaries due
Costa, P.T., & McCrae, R.R. (1992). Administration and scoring of the NEO PI-R. In NEO
PI-R Professional Manual (pp. 5-7). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources,
Costa, P.T., & McCrae, R.R. (1992). Conceptualization and interpretation. In NEO PI-R
Professional Manual (pp. 13-27). Odessa, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.
Neukrug & Fawcett: Chapter 11
3/13: Wrapping up with NEO: discussion of journal article readings; CPI self-administration
information given out in class
Quirk, S.W., Christiansen, N.D., Wagner, S.H., and McNulty, J.L. (2003). On the usefulness of
measures of normal personality for clinical assessment: Evidence of the incremental
validity of the revised NEO Personality Inventory. Psychological Assessment, 15, 311325.
Rossier, J., de Stadelhofen, F.M., Berthoud, S. (2004). The hierarchical structures of the NEO PIR and the 16PF 5. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 20, 27-38.
3/20: Spring Break; No class or assignments (though you may want to do your “client” testing)
3/27: Quiz #3 (on NEO); Measuring personality via the CPI-260
Self-administration of the CPI-260 (please do this BEFORE beginning the readings)
Gough, H.G., & Bradley, P. (1996). Introduction. In California Psychological Inventory manual,
(3rd ed. pp. 1-16). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Gough, H.G., & Bradley, P. (2007). Summary of scales. In CPI 260 manual (3rd ed., pp. 6-7).
Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Gough, H.G., & Bradley, P. (2007). Three vector model. In CPI 260 manual, (3rd ed., pp. 53-59).
Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
4/03: Discussion of CPI results; Wrapping up the CPI
Completion of “Client” Clinical interview, NEO Administration & Report
Gough, H.G., & Bradley, P. (2007). Interpreting the CPI 260. In CPI 260 manual, (3rd ed., pp.
19, 36-52). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Gough, H.G., & Bradley, P. (2007). Detection of invalid results. In CPI 260 manual, (3rd ed., pp.
61-64). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.
Neukrug & Fawcett: Chapter 10
4/10: Quiz #4 (on the CPI); 2 Presentations
Self-administration Reports due (ALL)
4/17: 3 Presentations
“Client” Final Reports & Feedback sessions (4/10 Presenters)
4/24: 3 Presentations
“Client” Final Reports & Feedback sessions (4/17 Presenters)
5/01: 3 Presentations
“Client” Final Reports & Feedback sessions (4/24 Presenters)
5/08: 3 Presentations
“Client” Final Reports & Feedback sessions (5/01 Presenters)
5/15: Finals Week (final exam time scheduled for same day & time as regular class period):
Wrapping up; Course evaluations
Langsdale Library University of Baltimore
Follow these step by step instructions to gain access to your electronic reserves.
Begin at the Langsdale library’s home page
In the center of the page, under the section “Get It”, you’ll find two search options for
Course Reserves.
Click on the “by Professor” option. Search by your instructor’s last name using the drop
down menus you are directed to from this link.
Once you have located the name in the drop down list, click on the name then click on
the VIEW button.
The View List of Course Reserves Pages taught by screen will appear. Click on the
correct course number.
If the page has a password you must enter the password provided by your professor(s). If
no password has been set, you may proceed to the next step. Click on I accept (please
note, the library cannot provide you with the password, only the professor can)
The course page will come up, and the documents available will be displayed in citation
format usually by author’s last name, title and publisher information, or if the professor’s
page is organized into folders, the folder names will appear, you must click on the folder
name to view the list of documents within in the folder.
As you scroll over the reading list, the citation will be underlined, and can be opened by
clicking on the citation, this will open a document information page, if you have a pop
up blocker you may need to disable it. From this page you will need to click on the file
name. Files can be pdf, msWord, html, or direct links to webpages.
(Adobe Reader program is required to view pdf files, and is available on all campus
computers and can be installed on a home computer, contact the OTS department for
assistance 410-837-6262)
If the page is organized by FOLDERS, the student needs to click on the folder name to
open and view the list of files inside the folder. Each file in the folder is a live link,
underlined and can be opened by clicking on the link, this will open a document
information page, if you have a pop up blocker, you may need to disable it, from this
page you will need to click on the file name.