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Methods and Techniques of Psychological Evaluation 1 2017/2018

  • 7 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Continuous Assessment


After completing the course, the student will be able to:
• Understand the bases of psychological assessment;
• Learn about the different contexts, sources and formats of psychological assessment;
• Identify the psychologist’s skills in assessment;
• Evaluate the characteristics of the instruments for the quality of assessment;
• Gain a deep understanding and identify the rules and norms in psychological assessment and the communication of assessment results;
• Know and use different techniques and methods of psychological assessment: interview, observation grids, behaviour rating scales, development assessment scales, tests;
• Present autonomy in the selection of psychological assessment instruments, their administration and interpretation of results, either for practice or for research.

Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended: fundaments of psychological assessment.

Teaching Metodology

Teaching methods will aim at combining expository methodologies and active and participatory methodologies. Expository methods will be supported on multimedia devices, with PowerPoint slides. Students will be invited to the analysis of scientific articles and manuals, and the exploration of assessment materials. The active methods are based on practical activities, particularly including debates and discussions about the fundaments and conditions of psychological assessment, the psychologist’s role, and the relevance of assessment tools’ qualities. These practical activities will further seek to train students in selecting and handling psychological assessment techniques and instruments. The student will be stimulated to present and critically discuss the methods and techniques of psychological assessment, as well as their learning experiences in contact with psychological assessment instruments, presenting individual and small group assignments.

Body of Work

1. General issues in Psychological Assessment
1.1 History of psychological assessment: conceptualization and epistemological issues
1.2 Psychological assessment: objectives, contexts and sources
1.3 Psychological assessment: psychologist’s skills
1.4 Selecting instruments and the analysis of the metric quality of assessment measures
1.5 Communicating results
1.6 Training in the use of psychological assessment tests. Ethics and deontology in psychological assessment
2. The interview as a psychological assessment method.
3. Observation grids
4. Behaviour assessment measures
5. Scales for the assessment of development

Recommended Bibliography

American Educational Research Association, American Psychological Association, American Council on Measurement in Education (1999). Standards for educational and psychological testing (2nd ed.). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
Anastasi, A. (1982). Psychological testing. London: Collier-MacMillan.
Groth-Marnat, G. (2009). Handbook of psychological assessment (5th ed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley,
Urbina, S. (2004). Essentials of psychological testing. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Complementary Bibliography

Almeida, L. S. & Freire, T. (2010). Metodologia da investigação em psicologia e educação (5ª edição). Braga: Psiquilíbrios.
Almeida, L. S., Simões, M. R., Machado C. & Gonçalves M. M. (Coords.) (2004). Avaliação psicológica: Instrumentos validados para a população portuguesa (Vol. 2). Coimbra: Quarteto.
Almeida, L. S., Simões, M. R., & Gonçalves, M. (Eds.) (2014). Instrumentos e contextos de avaliação psicológica (vol. 2). Coimbra: Almedina.
Archer, R. P., & Smith, S. R. (Ed.2008). Personality assessment. New York, NY: Routledge
Cohen, R. J., & Swerdlik, M. E. (2005). Psychological testing and assessment (6th Edition). New York: McGraw-Hill
Gonçalves, M. M., Simões, M. R., Almeida, L. S. & Machado, C. (Coords.) (2003). Avaliação psicológica: Instrumentos validados para a população portuguesa (Vol. 1). Coimbra: Quarteto.
Wilkinson, D. & Birmingham, P. (2003). Using research instruments: A guide for researchers. London: Routledge.

Weekly Planning

Week 1: Presentation of the course - goals, teaching and assessment methods, and expected results; General issues in psychological assessment - introduction.
Week 2: History of psychological assessment: conceptualization and epistemological questions. The actual status of psychological assessment. International guidelines for the use of psychological assessment tests.
Week 3: Psychological assessment: objectives, contexts, and sources. Psychological assessment: the psychologist’s skills.
Week 4: Selection of instruments and analysis of the psychometric characteristics of the assessment measures.
Week 5: Group work with tutorial guidance. Selection of assessment instruments and analysis of the psychometric characteristics of the tests.
Week 6: Training for the use of psychological assessment tests. Psychological assessment and society.
Week 7: Ethics and deontology in psychological assessment
Week 8: The interview as a psychological assessment method.
Week 9: Observation grids.
Week 10: Behaviour assessment scales.
Week 11: Development assessment scales.
Week 12: The assessment report.
Week 13: Written test. Group work with tutorial guidance. Case Study: analysis and integration of information from various sources and assessment techniques.
Week 14: Group work with tutorial guidance.
Week 15: Presentation and discussion of the group assignments. Conclusions.

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

In order to create conditions for students to understand the importance of the psychologist’s skills in assessment and the qualities of psychological assessment tools for the assessment process, the syllabus will transversal address issues about psychological assessment methods and techniques. In order to develop students’ skills in selecting and using different methods and psychological assessment techniques, the syllabus includes a variety of assessment methods, ranging from the interview to rating scales. In order to develop students’ autonomy in the selection and handling of psychological assessment techniques and instruments, the syllabus seeks to associate different assessment methods and techniques to different purposes and contexts of assessment. Finally, understanding the precautions to take into account in psychological assessment will be linked to learning psychological assessment standards and procedures.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The use of expository methods allows the transmission and analysis of new contents regarding psychological assessment, the psychologist’s role and assessment methods and techniques. These expository methods support students’ acquisition of knowledge in the field. The use of methodologies involving the active participation of students is achieved through the analysis and interpretation of articles, the analysis of case studies and preparation of individual and group assignments about psychological assessment and the use of assessment techniques and tools (interview, observation grids, behaviour rating scales, and development scales). An attitude of critical reflexion and integration of knowledge is expected from the students. The combination of these different methodologies will therefore allow to achieve the proposed objectives for the course.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Balanced decision makingYesYes
Bargaining abilityYes 
Commitment to effectivenessYesYes
Commitment to qualityYesYes
Cultural awarenessYes 
Ethical and responsible behaviourYesYes
Event organization, planning and managementYesYes
Foreign language proficiencyYes 
Information and learning managementYesYes
Initiative and entrepreneurship capabilityYes 
IT and technology proficiencyYesYes
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYesYes
Relating to othersYesYes
Research skillsYesYes
Understanding multiculturalism and valuing diversity  
Working in international contextYes 
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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