Assessment of Cognitive Abilities Flashcards Preview

PSY4406 Psychological Assessment and Intervention > Assessment of Cognitive Abilities > Flashcards

Flashcards in Assessment of Cognitive Abilities Deck (15):

What is involved in a cognitive assessment? What are some possibles reasons for a cognitive assessment?

  • Cognitive assessments use standardised tools to measure different aspects of thinking, attention, and memory. Results are compared to normative standards.
  • Some reasons for cognitive assessment:
    • Identification of learning difficulties
    • identification of developmental disorders or dementia
    • Establish a baseline before brain surgery
    • Aid in employment planning
  • Intelligence testing is one component of this assessment.
    • Other core component is achievement testing (IQ can give only minimal information in some circumstances like poor school grades)
    • Intelligence is defined as "aggregate or global capacity of the individual to act purposefully, to think rationally and to deal effectively with their environment"


Who were some key intelligence theorists?

  • Spearman
    • Pioneer of factor analysis; first person to notice a general factor "g"
    • Noticed a positive manifold in intelligence tests 
    • Later developed 2-factor model: General factor (g) and specific factors
  • Thurstone
    • Expanded factor analysis to break down g
    • Found 7 Primary Mental Abilities (as well as maintaining g)
    • Developed Standardised means and SDs for intelligence testing
  • Cattell, Horn and Carroll
    • Cattell and Horn developed theory of Gf vs Gc
    • When Carroll joined them they developed the CHC model of intelligence
      • 3 Stratum of Intelligence factors;  g, 7 broad mental abilities (PMAs), and 30+ narrow mental abilities. 


Why is David Weschler credited as facilitating significant advancement in intelligence testing? 

  • Weschler is regarded for:
    • developing tests still widely used today (the WAIS)
    • technical innovations in the wider field of IQ testing (calculation of deviation scores, verbal and performance testing combined)
  • The original Weschler-Belevue Scale advantages:
    • Based on familiar, validated tests
    • Separation of verbal, performance tests that are easily administered
    • Deviation scoring provided easy comparitive interpretation 
    • Large, well structured sample group
  • Paradoxes of current WAIS use:
    • Rate of development very low comparable to other fields
    • Few changes in basic structure but large changes in interpretation
    • Scaled down version used for children rather than designed
    • Never intended to measure neuropsychological deficits 


What is the basic structure of the WAIS-IV?

  • Composed of four index scores:
    • Verbal Comprehension Index (VCI); Core tests - similarities, vocab, information. Supplementary - comprehension.
    • Perceptual Reasoning Index (PRI): Core - block design, matrix, visual puzzle. Supplementary - Picture completing, figure weights
    • Working Memory Index (WMI): Core - digit span, arithmatic, Supp - letter/number sequence
    • Processing Speed Index (PSI): Core - Symbol search, coding Supp - Cancellation
  • Two broad scores are derived: Full scale IQ, General Ability Index (just VCI and PRI)
  • Weschler Intelligence Scale for Children (WISC) and Weschler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence (WPPSI) also available for children. 


What are some alternative intelligence tests to the WAIS?

  • Keep in mind: 
    • Normative Data that the tests are based on: American based tests vary in content and Flynn effect norms to Australia
    • What is the rationale for the test in what it is assessing? Model etc
  • Other tests:
    • Stanford Binet: verbal and non-verbal, gf, gc, visual spatial, working memory and quantitative reasoning
    • Woodcock-Johnson: best Australian normed sample. Standard and extended option, based on the CHC model. Very flexible (briefest form 10-15mins)
    • Kaufman Assessment Battery: Combined measure of ability and achievement  


What cognitive domains are addressed in a broad cognitive assessment?

  • Domains are roughly heirachical but have feedback loops.
    1. Awake and arousal
    2. Basic Attention and Processing Speed: speed of taking in an understanding information (includes psychomotor speed)
    3. Complex Attention and Working Memory: intermediate attention, divided attention, set shifting, mental manipulation of information
    4. Language/Verbal; Assess problem solving, reasoning and general knowledge
    5. Visuospatial: problem solving, visualconstruction, handeye coordination
    6. Memory; encoding, storing and retrieval. Both Verbal and Visual measures.
    7. Executive Functioning: broad term for many skills incl planning, cognitive flexibility, self monitoring. Responsible for integration and coordination of other domains, usually not fully developed until early 20s. 


What factors should be considered when interpreting test performance?

  • The reliability and validity of the test and the relevance of normative data to the client.
    • Note that psychometric data is not inherently good or bad but suited or not suited to the requirements
  • Individual test influences such as sleep, medication and anxiety.
  • Test performance in the context of a person's history including whether the test was expected, reflects difficulties or reflects a general decline. 
  • Rememeber: IQ tests can determine the "what" of cognitive processes, but other measures of specific functions are needed to determine the "why" eg personality tests
    • Best used to identify extremes, less useful for focial deficits and differential diagnosis. (Doesn't specify domains of function)


What factors other than cognitive performance may impact or be impacted by cognitive assessment (and should therefore be measured too)? 

  • Personality; through semi-structured and self-report measures
  • Social Cognition; emotional recognition and theory of mind
  • Measures of psychological distress; depression/anxiety can affect test performances in terms of motivation and engagement
  • Academic abilities; to highlight academic level and difficulties
  • Malingering; determine whether there is a deliberate attempt to deceive the psychologist for medicolegal purposes or personality
  • Effort Testing; to assess whether the client is motivated to try in the test


What is the Flynn effect? 

  • The Flynn effect is a phenomenon in which average IQ is rising steadily over time.
    • In USA average of 3pts per decade, but 4-5pts for African-American communities
  • Flynn effect is thought to be due to environmental factors (health, schools, standards of living, average education of parents) as well as a funamental change in how the world is understood (from practical to conceptual)


What is Dr Flynn's advice to psychology students?

  • IQ vs Wisdom: unlike IQ, wisdom requires Empathy, Prudence (to learn how to affect change), Philosphical wisdom (to avoid being lead astray), Understanding (that different situations require different actions) and a healthy Moral Appetite
  • Do not hesitate to take on the fundamental issues
  • Be interested in social psychology, and be educated in fields outside your own 
  • Most importantly;
    • You need to understand the world before you attempt to change it
    • To learn about the world you must read for pleasure and inspiration


How do intelligence tests incorporate cultural bias?

    Van de Vijver and Tanzer found 3 main sources of bias:
    1. Construct Bias: when a test measures different constructs in different groups, or the same construct with different accuracy eg are you measuring intelligence or english proficiency?
    2. Method Bias: bias in administration, sample, or instrument eg lack of interpreter, ambiguous directions
    3. Item Bias; or content bias, where wording or familiarity is an issue eg Dime for arithmatic, fork and spoon in Chinese sample. 
  • Examples
    • Aboriginal children appear to use visualspatial skills in memory recall rather than verbal skills 
    • Digit Span subtest is culturally sensitive based on language (short vs long words for digits affects working memory)


How does intelligence conceptualisation vary across cultures? Give an example of 'culture free' tests.

  • Western IQ = rational debate and devising categories
    • Eastern Culture = recognise contradiction and play social roles successfully
    • Kenya = 4 broad concepts of intelligence one of which only corresponds to western
  • Culture fair tests often emphasise non-verbal and adaptive skills to reduce the need for declarative knowledge and language. 
    • People can solve complex problems in familiar contexts
  • Raven's Progressive Matrices are the most common example
    • Shown to have one of the highest g loadings
    • Aims to measure fluid intelligence


What are some behavioural interventions in CBT?

  • Self-monitoring: Involves the client capturing the target symptom and any related information (usually in diary form)
    • enhances understanding of the problem, promotes a greater degree of client insight and tests self beliefs
  • Activity Scheduling; planning activities associated with enjoyment or accomplishment (including exercise)
    • changes the mood state, decreases social isolation, shifts unhelpful thinking
  • Arousal Reduction; techniques to reduce unpleasant physiological arousal (progressive muscle relaxation, controlled breathing, visualisation beliefs)
    • be careful not to reinforce avoidance behaviours
  • Graded and Imaginal Exposure; approaching situations and stimuli that trigger distressing emotions
    • Helps decrease emotional distress and re-evaluate negative appraisals of emotions
  • Interpersonal Skills Training; Various strategies to increase self-efficacy and self confidence. 


What 4 factors does Tim Hannan say are important in assessing children?

  • Normative Data; 
    • the confidence intervals indicate reliability
    • up to date, local sample (average australian scores slightly higher than US)
  • Re-testing; always avoid using the same test
    • Child can remember items, strategies
  • Subtest Interpretation
    • subtest scores appear inversely related to diagnostic utility
  • Measurement of change;
    • not a good diagnostic marker
    • Comparing scores over time depends on accuracy of change occuring and correct inference of its cause


 What are Kaufman's wishes for computerised IQ testing?

  1. Wechlers clinical approach will not die
  2. The examiner remains an integral part of the process
  3. At least some tasks involve hands-on material
  4. No bonus points for speed
  5. Interpretation of test scores are not computerised
  6. Do not abandon theory
  7. Never reduce IQ to EEGs and EyeBlinks