EPSY 544

Fall 2007

Appraisal in Counseling


Instructor:                              Kim Asner-Self, Ed.D., LCPC, NCC

Class Hours:                          Monday   3:30 – 6:00 pm 

Office Hours:                         Mondays 1:30 – 3:30 walk-in or by appt


                                                            8:30 - 9:30 pm by appointment         

                                                Tuesdays 11-12 and 2-4 pm walk-in or by appt.


Office:                                     Wham 222M


Phone:                         (618) 453-6927

E-mail:                        kasner@siu.edu

Web page:                  http://mypage.siu.edu/kasner/


Course Purpose:


This course is designed to establish an understanding of principles and procedures which characterize the nature of standardized and non-standardized appraisal, purposes for which such appraisals are used, ways in which results can be interpreted to various audiences (e.g., students, teachers, parents, counseling clients, professional colleagues), and how to use appraisal for treatment planning. 


Required Reading:


American Psychiatric Association (2000).  Diagnostic and statistical manual for mental

disorders – Text revision. (4th ed.).   (DSM-TR).  Washington, DC:  Author.


The DSM-TR will be used in your practica, EPSY 548a & 548b, and with your

internship EPSY 591.


Whiston, S. C. (2000).  Principles and applications of assessment in counseling.  Belmont, CA: 

            Wadsworth/Thomson Learning


Test booklets as assigned, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) and the Strong

            Interest Inventory (SII).


Handouts or reserve readings as assigned, such as:


Tinsley, H. E. A., &  Bradley, R. W. (1986).  Test Interpretation.  Journal of Counseling and

Development, 64, 462-466.



Testing Materials


Students are required to complete at least three standardized instruments outside of class.  Results of these instruments will be used in class to practice report writing and test interpretation.  Consequently, these results will not be confidential.


1.                  Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - Specimen Set must be purchased.

2.                  The 16PF – will be received in class.

3.                  Strong Interest Inventory (SII) – Prepaid profile consumable test booklet must be purchased.


Course Objectives


By the end of the course, it is expected students will be able to:


1.                  understand basic principles that govern the process of human appraisal inclusive of diversity across age, culture, and ability,

2.                  understand basic measurement and statistical concepts underlying the construction, selection, use, and interpretation of appraisal instruments,

3.                  understand characteristics, strengths, weaknesses of intelligence, aptitude, and  achievement tests, and noncognitive inventories,

4.                  evaluate the suitability of a particular appraisal instrument for a particular purpose ethically,

5.                  utilize appraisal procedures for interpretive understanding, decision making or diagnosis,  and treatment planning, and

6.                  demonstrate skills in communicating assessment results in clear oral and written language.


Basis for Evaluation


Homework..............................…………………………….100 points

Exam….……………………………………………………150 points

Assignments........................................................................550 points

      Ia.  MBTI...........................................................…….20

      Ib.  16 PF……………………………………………10

      Ic.   SII……………………………………………….20

      II.   Videotape critique…………………………......100

      III.  Instrument critique…………………………….100

      IV.  DSM IV-TR case analyses………………….......50

      V.   Videotaped interpretation……………………..100

      VI.  Case Study and Treatment plan……………….150

Final Exam…………………………………………………200 points

                                                                                           1000 points


Notice:  If you have any type of special need(s) or disability for which you require accommodations to promote your learning in this class, please contact me as soon as possible.  The office of Disability Support Services (DDS) offers various support services and can help you with special accommodations.  You may wish to contact DDS at 453-5738 or go to Rm 150 at Woody Hall to verify your eligibility and options for accommodations related to your special need(s) or disability.  Your learning is important to me, to this profession, and to your future clients. 


You will be assigned both readings and written homework due the following session.  We will use your readings and your homework as a basis for class discussion.  The homework is designed to help you practice the concepts, apply them, and point out areas of confusion.  This homework is designed to encourage you to take risks and make mistakes in a safe environment.  You will receive full credit if you have done the homework completely and thoughtfully (showing your work so I can help you if the answers are not correct), partial credit if you simply attended to the work, and no credit if no effort is evident, you did not show your work and got the answer wrong, or if you do not turn in the homework.


Homework – 100 points total (There are five (5) homework assignments, each worth 20 points.


Note:   Homework is due at the beginning of class, after which it is late.  Late assignments are docked 10% of the total possible points per 24-hour period.  If you know you will not be in class, turn in your homework early!!


Course Schedule


This class is divided into three sections.  Part One covers measurement and appraisal concepts, Part Two addresses the application of appraisal concepts, and Part Three introduces diagnosis and treatment planning.


PART ONE:  Measurement and Appraisal Concepts:  This section of the course covers the history, philosophy, ethics and the basic measurement and appraisal concepts you will need before you can begin to work with clients. 



Aug 20                         Introduction, History, and Overview of Course,

Course materials and requirements

-         History and Philosophy of Assessment

-         Types of Measurement scales

For next Monday:

Read the Overview (pp 1-3),Chapter 1 – Assessment in Counseling

And Chapter 2 – Basic Assessment Principles

      Homework # 1



Aug 27                              -     Types of Measurement Scales (cont)

                             -    Norm-referenced and criterion referenced instruments

-         Measures of Central Tendency and Variability

-         Normal Distributions

                                                                                                                               -     Scores

For next class: Read Chapter 3 and Complete Homework # 2

Assignment # 1a -  completed SII prepaid form


Sept 3                          LABOR DAY HOLIDAY-No Class


Sept 10                                                                                                            Reliability; SEM

For Monday:  Read Chapter 4 (only pages 68-83) and complete

                        Homework # 3


Sept 17                                                                               Accuracy in Measurement: Validity

For Monday:  Complete Homework #4

Read Chapter 5 – Instrument Selection, Administration, Scoring, and Communicating Results

Read the overview pp. 109-111, Read Chapters 6 and 12.

Read Tinsley, H. E. A., & Bradley, R. W. (1986).  Test Interpretation. 

            Journal of Counseling and Development, 64, 462-466.


Sep 24                                                             Introduction to administering, scoring, and communicating results

For Monday:  Quiz (half class only)


PART TWO:                      Application of Appraisal Concepts


            The course will now switch from learning about concepts to doing something with them.  Classes will be more experiential where we will, for example, begin interpreting instruments to each other.  Outside of class a series of activities (Assignments II, III, IV, and V) will focus around assessing some aspects of a client you and s/he identify.


1.      First, I am hoping that the overall quality of instrument interpretation will be higher if counselors-in-training have opportunities to observe others’ assessment interpretation before the actual assignment was due.  Therefore, the following videos were collected from former students with their and their clients’ permission, to use for instructional purposes.  These videos offer some examples of work that combine counseling with interpretation as opposed to simply enumerating the assessment results to the client.  Assignment II is to watch three (or more if you’d like) of these tapes down in the lab.  Choose one (or more) and address the following points completely.

a.       How do you react to the way the session began?

b.      Discuss how well you think the counselor explained the nature and objectives of this interpretation session.

c.       Explain how the counselor drew the client out about what his or her performance on the instrument meant to the client.

d.      Give examples of how the counselor used information from the instrument to help clients better understand themselves.  Offer some suggestions for doing this even better.

e.       In what ways was there a balance between providing information and a counseling interaction or not?  How did counseling actually take place?

f.        Discuss your views on how the session ended.  What sort of a summary  helped the client integrate information?

g.       What will you do similarly and differently than this counselor-in-training when you do your instrument interpretation?


2.      Next, locate a willing and interested participant.  Simply indicate to persons you are taking an appraisal class in your counseling program and need to locate, evaluate, administer, score, interpret, and write a report on an instrument from which they could learn something about themselves.  You’d be surprised how many people would like to be the focus of this activity.  To make this a meaningful activity, do not select a family or class member as your client.  Too often they participate from obligation rather than preference.


3.      After some advanced preparation concerning types of instruments available and the skills necessary to administer, hold a discussion with your client.  Discuss the kinds of instruments they might take and how they could be helpful in decision-making, i.e. establish a purpose for the assessment.


4.      Select a standardized instrument appropriate for your client and complete an evaluation (ASSIGNMENT #III).  To expand your knowledge of instruments, those used for instructional purposes in EPSY 544, like the Myers-Briggs, or in EPSY 100, like the Self Directed Search, may not be used in this assignment.


5.      Obtain a written permission (informed consent) from your client to do the following:  a) administer the standardized instrument you evaluated which is appropriate for your level of training, b) score the instrument, c) make a videotape of you interpreting the instrument to the individual, d) give a 5 minute description of the instrument and why you selected it before the tape is replayed to EPSY 544 students and the course instructor, e) submit the videotape for instructor evaluation (ASSIGNMENT #IV), and f) erase the tape immediately after you have use it to write a case-study, and it has been returned to you.  Remember to include the full name of the course, a way to contact you, and limits to confidentiality (all four legal points in addition to limits inherent in a training tape).


6.      Write a case report about your client including a section on diagnosis and treatment planning.  (ASSIGNMENT #V).


Assignments are due at the beginning of each class after which they are docked 10% per 24 hour period. 


All written assignments need to be grammatically correct, in APA format (as in a journal article except where otherwise noted), and well written.  If you have difficulty writing, I encourage you to go to the Writing Center as soon as possible.  If you do not know what plagiarism (intentional or unintentional) is, I encourage you to go to the Writing Center as soon as possible.  You may also check out http://www.plagiarism.org/learning_center/what_is_citation.html.  Finally, How you write an assessment report will have an impact on your future clients’ well-being.


Oct 1                                                               Exam (for half the class only; the rest of the class will be taught)

Putting Assessment into a framework

-         Intelligence Testing

                                    -    Achievement, and aptitude testing

-         How are these three concepts similar and different?

For next Monday: 

Read Chapter 7 – Intelligence and General Ability Testing and

Chapter 8 – Measuring Achievement and Aptitude:  Applications for Counseling


Take the 16PF and return on Oct 10


Oct 8                                                               Locating and Selecting Tests (visit materials center and the library)

For next Monday: Read Chapter 10 – Appraisal of Personality

Video Critique Assignment (Assignment II)


Oct 15                                             Discussion of student tapes

Personality Testing – Projectives

-         Hands-on with the CAT and Rorschach

                             -    Interpretation of 16PF

For next Monday:  Read Chapter 9 – Career Counseling, Chapter 15 – Ethical and Legal Issues in Assessment, and Appendix C

Assignment #1c Complete and self-score the Meyers-Briggs Type Inventory

 Assignment III  Instrument Critique


Oct 22                        Discussion of ethical and legal issues

Career Counseling, Theory and assessment

-         Hands-on with the MBTI and the SII and Interpretation of Card Sort

For Monday:  Read Chapter 13 – Assessment and Diagnosis

-         Read the DSM-TR:  pages xxiii – xxxvii; 1-12; 27-37 well.

-         Read and study the DSM-TR: Mood Disorders (pp 345-428).

Seriously look at pages 13-26 and Appendix A


Oct 29                                                                                                               The DSM_TR

-         Overview

-         Axis I

-         Axis II

-         Axis III

-         Axis IV

-         Axis V

Treatment Planning                                                                                


For next Monday:

Assignment IV Present your video tape to the class


Nov 5 and 12                                                                                 In-class video presentations

For Monday, Nov 29th: Read and study the DSM-TR: Disorders Usually First Diagnosed in Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence (pp. 39-134) and Schizophrenia and Other Psychotic Disorders (pp. 297-344) and Personality Disorders (pp. 685-730).


Homework #6 presentation of Sarah


Nov 19                        NO CLASS – THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY


Nov 26                                    View tape of Sarah, discuss diagnosis and treatment planning

                                                                        Case Presentation Discussion in Professional Settings.

                                                                                                View tapes of Rachel and Jack.

For next Monday complete Assignment VI 


Dec 3                                                               Assignment VI -  Select one of the two DSM cases (Rachel or Jack) from

                                                                        the written summaries.  Reviewing the video available in the

Teaching Skills Lab.  Complete the Multiaxial Evaluation Report following the format on pages 35 - 36 of the DSM-TR.   In addition to the form, include a written explanation justifying and explaining your clinical judgment.  This written explanation should not be longer than 5 double-spaced pages and is due TODAY.


Cases 2 and 4 will be discussed in class.  The students will explain their assessments to the class.  Be aware not all clinicians come to the same conclusions when evaluating cases.  But the skilled ones can justify and explain their clinical judgments.  You will be graded on your well thought-out, professional written justifications of your diagnosis, not on whether your diagnosis is in perfect agreement with others’ work. 


Course Evaluation


Dec 10                                                             Final Exam…comprehensive multiple choice and short answer.

                                                                        DUE:  Assignment 5  Case Study and Treatment Plan


Summary of Assignments

I.                    Take the Strong Interest Inventory and submit the prepaid Profile for scoring, take the MPTI and self-score it, AND take the 16PF and submit the answer sheet for scoring. 


DUE  Ia SII       Sep 10                                                                  50 points (total)

          Ib 16PF   Oct  8

          Ic  MBTI  Oct 22


II.                 Submit a critique of a video taped test interpretation.  Video available for viewing at Teaching Skills Lab.


DUE Oct 15                                                                                                                       100 points


III.               Instrument evaluation


DUE Oct 22                                                                                                                      100 points


IV.              Interpretation video


DUE  Nov 5, 12                                 100 points


V.                 Written case study and treatment plan of video


DUE Dec 10                                                                                                                      150 points


VI.              DSM-IV- TR five axis case analyses.


DUE Dec 3                                                                                                                        50 points


      7.        HOMEWORKS 1-5                                                                               100 points

Total Assignments/Homework 650 points




1.                  The Exam, worth 15% of your grade, has a multiple choice/short answer format.  You will be allowed to bring two pages of notes (either one double-sided notebook page or two one-sided notebook page or the equivalent of two 8.5 by 11 sides of paper) as resources while taking this quiz. 


2.                  The Final Exam is cumulative and worth 20% of your grade.  It will be multiple choice/short answer and essay.  There will be a take home component and an in class component.  Essay responses will be graded according to three general criteria.  A high quality response is one that: (a) directly addresses the question, (b) contains enough specific details to convince the instructor that you have read and understood the concepts on which the questions are based, and (c) is grammatically correct.  In other words, essay responses will be evaluated for completeness, accuracy, relatedness to course readings and discussions, and adherence to the rules of standard English grammar.



What do grades in “Appraisal in Counseling” mean?  They are not a reflection of one’s self worth but do provide indications regarding mastery of Appraisal knowledge, comprehension, and application.


If you earn an A, you have the skills necessary to acquire the background to manage a counseling agency or school’s assessment program.  Consider some additional training to make psychometry one of your strengths.


If you earn a B, with continued attention to detail, you have the skills necessary to use assessment procedures with clients in counseling.  Sharpen these skills through supervised practice to develop appraisal in counseling as one of your strengths.


If you earn a C, be cautious when using appraisal data with clients.  At this point in your career development, appraisal is not one of your strengths.  Therefore, regularly consult with counseling colleagues about appraisal techniques and practices you are using. 


There are an equal number of points available through evaluation (tests) and activities (assignments). 


Final grades will be determined as follows:


                        A=900-1000 90% minimum

                        B=800-899 80% minimum

                        C=700-799 70% minimum

                        D=600-699 60% minimum

                        F=below 600


FOR ALL THE HOMEWORKS:  USE A SEPARATE PIECE OF PAPER TO RESPOND TO THESE ITEMS.  Respond in full sentences, typed (except where computation is necessary), SHOW YOUR WORK, and keep a copy for yourself. 


All homework is worth 20 points. 


Homework #1


1.                  What are the four scales of measurement, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each?  Give examples of each type of scale that are not in your Whiston textbook.


2.                  Discuss norm-referenced and criterion-referenced instruments.  Make sure you can define what they are and what their relative strengths and weaknesses are.


3.                  Discuss the three measures of central tendency.  Make sure you can define them and explain their relative strengths and weaknesses.


Questions 4-6 pertain to the following data set:


            1, 2, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 3, 3, 4, 10



4.                  Find the mode

a.       It is bimodal:  1 and 4

b.      The mode is 4.

c.       The mode is 3.

d.      The mode is 44.


5.                  Find the mean

a.       The mean is 6.

b.      The mean is 4.

c.       The mean is 3.

d.      The mean is 44.


6.                  Find the median     

a.       The median is 6.

b.      The median is 4.

c.       The median is 3.

d.      The median is 44.


7.                  Use Table 2.1 (attached, keep this table for later homework) to compute the mean, mode, and median of the Anger Control and Calmness scores. (show your work)


8.                  Compare the central tendencies of the two sets of scores.  Remember to mention skewness.


9.                  Why is variability an important concept in testing?  What are the measures of dispersion that are used in testing?


Homework #2


  1. Normal or Gaussian Curves


    1. Draw a normal curve. 

                                                               i.      Plot the mean, median, and mode.

                                                             ii.      What percentage of cases fall below the mean?

                                                            iii.      What percentage of cases fall between –2 standard deviations and the mean?

                                                           iv.      What percentage of cases fall between +2 and +3 standard deviations?

                                                             v.      What percentage of cases fall above the mean?

                                                           vi.      What percentage of cases fall below +3 standard deviations?

                                                          vii.      What percentage of cases fall below +1 standard deviations?

                                                        viii.      What percentage of cases fall below -2 standard deviations?

                                                           ix.      What percentage of cases fall below -1 standard deviations?


  1. Use Table 2.1 to compute the standard deviations and range of the Anger Control and Calmness scores. (show your work)  Draw normal curves for both sets of scores and label them appropriately with the mean and the scores that represent the  +3,+2, +1, -1,-2 and –3 standard deviations.  Plot the scores that represent the T-scores 40 and 60.


  1. A z-score of 1.0, when expressed as a T-score is
    1. –1.0
    2. 1.0
    3. 40
    4. 60


  1. Compare the central tendencies of the two sets of scores in Homework 1 (look at questions 7 and 8) using the information you obtained in Homework #2, exercise 2.


  1. Use everything you have calculated above to address the following scenario:  Suppose Susie and Gary’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Cantor, have come to school to talk with you about their children’s scores on the Jesness Behavior Checklist (see Table 2.1).  The Jesness purports to measure a variety of behaviors and personality characteristics in children where the higher the score, the more the child exhibits a particular behavior.  They are particularly concerned about the discrepancy in their children’s’ scores on the AC and CA scales.  Susie’s scores are Youth Number 12, and Gary’s scores are Youth Number 29. 
    1. If you are in the school counselor track, briefly write how you might interpret these scores. 
    2. If you are in the community or family track, briefly write how you might interpret these scores.
    3. What else do you feel you need to know to be truly helpful to Susie and Gary?


Homework #3


1.                  What are the different methods of estimating the reliability of an instrument’s scores?  What are the advantages and disadvantages of each method?


2.                  What statistical technique is often used to calculate an estimate of reliability?


3.                  With a reliability coefficient (r) of .90, the estimate of total variance of test scores attributable to unsystematic error is _______.


4.                  If a school counselor administered an aptitude test to her High School Juniors (randomly assigned to taking Form A or Form B), what could she do with the scores in terms of reliability?


5.                  If there is no evidence of a relationship between two groups of test scores, the correlation between them will be ______.


6.                  What would it mean if the correlation between interest in statistics and being a “fun date” was -.70?


7.                  What is the Standard Error of Measurement (SEM) and what is it designed to do?


8.                  If the standard deviation (sd) of a particular subtest of the WISC-III-R is 3 and the r =  .84, then what is the SEM of that subtest? (show your work)


9.                  Say a client’s score is 59 on an instrument.  The instrument has r =  .91 and sd = 10. (show your work)


a.       Where will the client’s true score fall 66 % of the time? 

b.      Where will it fall 95% of the time? 

c.       99.5% of the time


10.              A community agency is trying to decide which of two depression inventories to use with their clientele.  The D1 inventory manual reports norm group (n = 4523) test-retest reliability scores over two days of .95 and over 6 weeks of .45.  What could account for such a difference?



Homework #4


1.                  What are the different types of validity, and when would each type be important to an instrument user?


2.                  If you were assigned to select an instrument that would predict future suicide attempts, you would be most interested in evaluating what type of validity of the instrument’s scores?


3.                  What is the difference between concurrent and predictive validity?


4.                  A validity coefficient is best illustrated by the correlation between:

a.       Test and retest scores

b.      Two different instruments.

c.       Test scores and performance on a criterion

d.      An item and the total test score.


5.                  What can you say about an instrument’s scores that measure consistently but not what they were designed to measure?


6.                  An instructor announces that an exam will cover the topics of counseling theories and techniques.  You spend hours studying both concepts, but the test questions are only on techniques.  What type of validity would you say the test scores lacked and why?


7.                  A high correlation between the scores on a self-report inventory of depression and a depression measure completed by the therapist is an example of what kind of validity evidence?


Homework #5


Design a brief professional case presentation, inclusive of a DSM-IV-TR diagnosis, on Sarah, that you would present to a team of mental health professionals including social workers, psychiatric nurses, psychologists, and psychiatrists.  Keep in mind their training when you work to present Sarah in a way that can offer her efficacious help.