CNL523 Psychological Testing and Clinical Diagnosis

CNL523 Psychological Testing and Clinical Diagnosis

Select a diagnosis from the following:

  • PTSD
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Schizophrenia
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Insomnia
  • Other type of diagnosis with instructor approval

Write a 750 word paper about your selected diagnosis. Use headings and include the following in your paper:

  • A brief summary of the chosen disorder that includes symptoms, prevalence, development, and course according to the most recent version of the DSM.
  • An explanation of the types of tools that would be used in order to make a diagnosis of the disorder. One tool described should be the DSM‘s cross-cutting symptom measure.
  • A minimum of two recommended psychological tests that could be used for the selected diagnosis.
  • For each of the tests listed, include an explanation if the test is considered reliable and valid (use the Mental Measurements Yearbook in the GCU Online Library for this information). The Mental Measurements Yearbook can be found by navigating to the following link, then scrolling to the Mental Measurements Yearbook with Tests in Print:
  •  Would a personality assessment be an appropriate tool for diagnosis? Why or why not?
  • Additional information about each test to include the price, length of time to administer, and any other relevant information.

Include at least three scholarly references in addition to the textbook in your paper.

Introduction and Summary of the Chosen Disorder

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder in which patients interpret reality abnormally. Approximately 1% of the world’s population has been diagnosed of schizophrenia; and approximately 1.2% of Americans have been diagnosed of this disorder. The disorder is caused by the combination of negative environmental, genetic, physical, and psychological factors. According to DSM-5, diagnosis of schizophrenia is done if an individual exhibits two or more symptoms, one of these symptoms must be delusions, hallucinations, or disorganized speech for at least one month (Waugh, et al., 2017). Other symptoms of schizophrenia are diminished emotional expression and gross disorganization.  Other DSM-5 criteria used in schizophrenia diagnosis include disturbance signs over the last six months and below average performance at work, self-care, or interpersonal relations.

Tools Used for Selected Diagnosis

The DSM’s cross-cutting symptom measure: This tool helps clinical experts and therapists in assessing mental health concerns that are important in schizophrenia diagnoses (Ronald, 2017). For example, if the client is diagnosed of delusions, counselors rely on this tool to identify additional symptoms such as hallucinations or disorganized speech which may have a significant and negative impact on the client’s treatment.

Brief psychiatric rating scale (BPRS): Psychologists use this tool to study populations suffering from schizophrenia and associated with psychotic disorders (Irene, Stephen, Richard, Steven, & Robert, 2011). This tool helps therapists track changes in client’s symptoms over time.

The 16-item negative symptoms assessment (NSA-16): Therapists use this tool in diagnosing schizophrenia patients of reduced social drive, restricted speech quantity, reduced emotion, reduced interests, and other negative-related symptoms (Ronald, 2017).

Psychological Tests for Selected Diagnosis

Some of psychological tests suitable for schizophrenia diagnosis include personality testing and cognitive testing.

Personality tests: Personality tests enable the therapists to measure a client’s personality. In therapy, these tests help in diagnosing schizophrenia symptoms. In conducting these tests, therapists administer both objective and projective tests, such as self-report measures (Ronald, 2017). The results of the test are based on the patient’s personal responses and the therapist does not show any bias in their interpretation.

Cognitive tests: In schizophrenia diagnosis, psychologists administer cognitive tests in order to identify the client’s cognitive impairment and other related symptoms such as hallucinations (Irene, Stephen, Richard, Steven, & Robert, 2011). Upon this completion, counselor reflect on the changes that the individual exhibits over the past 1-6 months to diagnose which symptom is being manifest into the patient.

Validity and Reliability of the Recommended Tests

Validity of personality tests: According to (Ronald, 2017), personality assessment inventory give valid results for diagnosis of schizophrenia. In psychiatric diagnosis, personality tests provide sufficient and appropriate results for the diagnosis of schizophrenia if well analyzed and interpreted. Personality tests adequately examine delusions and hallucinogenic symptoms in patients of schizophrenia. Also, the severity, presence, and phenomenology of delusions and hallucinations are equality assessed through personality tests and this gives valid results.

Validity of cognitive tests: Overall, cognitive ability tests have been proven to give above the average operational validity for schizophrenia diagnosis.  According to (Ronald, 2017), cognitive ability tests have a higher degree of criterion-related validity. Other predictors of schizophrenia, besides delusions and hallucinations, add only small rates of incremental validity to cognitive tests.

Personality Assessment

The validity and reliability of personality assessments are supported by measures of personality styles and traits. According to (Lee, Bruce, & Roberto, 2017), personality assessments are appropriate in schizophrenia diagnosis for they help the assessor in refining clinical diagnoses, structuring the report and its interpretation, and in informing psychological interventions. In schizophrenia diagnosis also, personality assessments give therapists insightful information into the patient’s personality, and this facilitates the choice of a better treatment plan.

According to (Ronald, 2017), therapists use psychological assessments in setting treatment plans based on the severity of the disorder to the patient in a manner that appropriately benefits the patient. Psychological assessments have been proved reliable by psychologists when it comes to recovery plans for schizophrenia patients.

Additional Information about Each Test

Personality tests: Personality tests help in measuring dysfunctional behavior that is symptomatic of a more severe concern (Ronald, 2017). In schizophrenia diagnosis, these tests consist of eighty questions and lasts for ten minutes for patients to complete. Here, the assessor administers a physical and psychological exam to the patient. The cost for personality test differs based on the client’s problem severity, but charges range from $65 to $250 per hour.

Cognitive ability tests: Cognitive ability tests cost between $100 to $200 per session, and this cost is affected by the counselor’s reputation, length of therapy session, the counselor’s training, and insurance coverage (Irene, Stephen, Richard, Steven, & Robert, 2011). These tests are short-term and can be administered to populations aged between 4-25 years old.


The paper has discussed schizophrenia diagnosis. As per DSM-5 diagnosis criteria, the symptoms of schizophrenia are hallucinations, delusion, and disorganized speech. Personality and cognitive ability tests help psychologists in the diagnosis of schizophrenia.


  • Irene, M. H., Stephen, R. M., Richard, S. E., Steven, P. R., & Robert, M. B. (2011). A Brief Cognitive Assessment Tool for Schizophrenia: Construction of a Tool for Clinicians. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 37(3), 538-545.
  • Lee, A. C., Bruce, C., & Roberto, L. F. (2017). Three Approaches to Understanding and Classifying Mental Disorder: ICD-11, DSM-5, and the National Institute of Mental Health’s Research Domain Criteria (RDoC). Pyschological Science in the Public Interest, 6-17.
  • Ronald, J. C. (2017). Pyschological Testing and Assessment (9th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
  • Waugh, M. H., Hopwood, C. J., Krueger, R. F., Morey, L. C., Pincus, A. L., & Wright, A. G. (2017). Psychological Assessment with the DSM-5 Alternative Model for Personality Disorders: Tradition and Innovation. Professional Pyschology, Research and Practice, 48(2), 79-89.

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