PSY405- Personality Psychology No. 2“PERSONALITY MEASUREMENT” Problems Discussions and Solutions Fall 2013

In this lecture we discuss certain topics:

Personality measurement and assessment procedures are useful in understanding the person. They
include:
• Interviews
• Observation
• Rating scales
• Personality tests
• Projective Tests

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1. Interviews:
The interview is the most commonly used procedure in psychological assessment.
Interviews provide an opportunity to ask people for their own descriptions of their problems.
Interviews also allow

2. Observational Procedures
Observational skills play an important part in most assessment procedures.
Sometimes the things that we observe confirm the person’s self-report, and at other times the
person’s overt behavior appears to be at odds with what he or she says. Observational procedures
may be either informal or formal. Informal observations are primarily qualitative. The clinician
observes the person’s behavior and the environment in which it occurs without attempting to
record the frequency or intensity of specific responses. Although observations are often conducted
in the natural environment, there are times when it is useful to observe the person’s behavior in a
situation that the psychologist can arrange and control.

3. Rating Scales
A rating scale is a procedure in which the observer is asked to make judgments that place the
person somewhere along a dimension.
Ratings can also be made on the basis of information collected during an interview. Rating scales
provide abstract descriptions of a person’s behavior rather than a specific record of exactly what
the person has done.
These are assessment tools, which are used before the treatment to assess changes in patient’s
behavior after the treatment. Brief psychiatric rating scales are usually used and completed by
hospital staff to assess an individual on different constructs related with physical or psychological
illness. There are two point rating scales.

4. Behavioral Coding Systems
Rather than making judgments about where the person falls on a particular dimension, behavioral
coding systems focus on the frequency of specific behavioral events. Some adult clients are able to
make records and keep track of their own behavior—a procedure known as self-monitoring.

5. Personality Inventories
Personality inventories present an elaborate picture of an individual’s overall personality including
the traits, the characteristics, the tendency and the styles that are thought to underlie behavior.
The questions in personality inventories are presented in form of statements. These statements are
the items of personality test. Many personality inventories are available such as MMPI Minnesota
Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This test was develop in 1940 and published in 1943. It is
based on empirical approach i.e. the collection and evaluation of data. The individual is presented
with statements and the answers have options like true, false and cannot say.

6. Projective Personality Tests
Psychoanalytic personality theorists have developed several assessment measures known as
projective tests. They include a variety of methods in which ambiguous stimuli, such as pictures of
people, or things are presented to a person who is asked to describe what he or she sees. The
theory here is that people ‘project’ their own personality, their needs, their wishes, their desires
and their unconscious fears on other people and things such as ink blots, pictures, sometimes
vague and sometimes structure. Projective tests are based on psychoanalytic theory. They have
been and they still remain, controversial. Some of the most widely used projective tests are
Rorschach Ink Blot Test, the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), House Tree Person (HTP) and
the Rotter’s Incomplete Sentence Blank (RISB).

Feel free to ask in case of any ambiguity.

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