Principles of Psychological Assessment

Subject PSYC90030 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 6.25
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1.5 hours of lectures/seminars per week for a 12-week semester
Total Time Commitment:

62 hours


Enrolment in one of the following Psychology professional training programs, 527CL, 527CN, 080CL, 080CN or MC-PSYCHCS

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Completion of psychology studies to fourth-year (Honours) level. At the beginning of the subject it will be assumed that students are familiar with basic concepts of psychological assessment in particular the concepts of validity and reliability as covered in introductory tests such as:

Anastasi, A., & Urbini, S. (1997). Psychological Testing (7th E). Prentice Hall, New Jersey.


Cohen R.J., & Swerdlik M.E., (2005). Psychological Testing and Assessment. (6th ed.). McGraw-Hill, Boston, or equivalent.

Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements, Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Stephen Bowden


Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences

12th floor Redmond Barry Building (Building 115 Map)

Telephone: + 61 3 8344 6377



Subject Overview:

This subject introduces professional coursework students who are studying a clinical or clinical neuropsychology to the principles and practice of psychological and neuropsychological assessment, covering childhood and adulthood. Current trends in the theoretical understanding of personality, psychopathology and cognitive ability will provide the conceptual basis assessment practice. It will be shown that psychological and neuropsychological assessment is best understood to include all aspects of the clinical encounter which lead to diagnostic case formulation. In particular, the subject content will address the application of techniques derived from psychological science to enhance correct classification of psychological conditions.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To provide an overview of the principal criteria practicing psychologists use to evaluate the quality of psychological data, as they relate to the clinical assessment of individuals
  • To provide familiarity with a variety of assessment techiniques useful for the evaluation of psychological conditions in child and adulthood with an emphasis on cognitive ability assessment
  • Illustrate the theoretical context in which these assessment techniques are located
  • Illustrate how criteria for evaluation of psychological test reliability and validity can be used to enhance the accuracy of psychological classification decisions
  • Illustrate the techniques for life-long learning related to evaluation of the validity of psychological opinions

A written report of 1000 words (25% of assessment), to be submitted mid-semester

An end-of-semester two-hour written examination (75% of assessment).

Prescribed Texts:

Kaufman, A.S., & Lichtenberger, E.O. (2009). Essentials of WAIS-IV Assessment. John Wiley and Sons, New York.

Anderson, V., Notrham, E., Hendy, J., & Wrennal, J. (2001) Developmental Neuropsychology: A Clinical Approach. London: Psychology Press.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Written,oral and interpersonal communication skills
Analytic, information integration and synthesizing skills
Ability to evaluate the quality of data against formal criteria

Related Course(s): Master of Psychology (Clinical Child Psychology)/Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology)
Master of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology)/Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)
Master of Psychology (Clinical Psychology)/Doctor of Philosophy
Master of Psychology (Organisational/Industrial Psychology)/PhD

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