Full course description
The practice of psychodiagnostics is made-to-measure and requires specific knowledge but also flexibility, creativity, et cetera. Examples of questions that psychologists have to answer in practice are:
- Suppose a student has to develop a questionnaire for his master thesis that simplifies the career choice (and thus the choice of continuation education) of pupils. Advise the student where to start and/or what to pay attention to;
- Suppose you get the question to determine the intelligence of a client who has only lived in the Netherlands for 3 months and therefore speaks little Dutch. Can you conduct the usual IQ test, with or without the help of an interpreter? Or should you make adjustments? And is that allowed?
Illustrated by such practical problems and/or questions, the first tasks cover the meaning of psychometric concepts such as reliability, validity, standardisation/norms, instrument type (questionnaires and tests), and sources of misinterpretation of diagnostic results. Students will deal with diagnostics as a decision making process. Shortcomings in decisions by the use of cognitive heuristics are put in the perspective of the old controversy between clinical and statistical prediction. The diagnostic process is seen as a cycle that is closely related to the empirical cycle. Students will also deal with the application of Bayesian statistics within psychodiagnostics. Finally, students will be introduced to the ethical professional code of the NIP (Dutch Institute of Psychologists) and the general standard test practices. Although the matter is explained based on examples from the clinical practice, students will deepen the insight into the principles and measurement problems in psychology.
The corresponding practicals for this course are: Constructing a Psychological Test
or The Diagnostic Cycle
Students are able:
- to compare the empirical and diagnostic cycle;
- to clarify and distinguish psychometric concepts of psychodiagnostics (e.g., reliability, validity, test theory, test development and construction, standardization/norms);
- to explain how test results of psychodiagnostics should be interpreted, and identify sources that lead to distortion of test results (i.e., bias, multicultural testing);
- to apply Bayesian statistics within psychodiagnostics (e.g., cognitive heuristics, sensitivity, specificity);
- to know and understand the ethical professional code of the NIP and the general standard test practices.
Admission requirement: ‘Statistics I’ has to be completed.