What Role Does Technology Play in Emotional and Mental Status Testing?
Computerized emotional and mental status assessment and testing is the reality for practitioners in the field of psychology who point at a range of advantages of using technology in their daily practice. In spite of the fact that the emotional and mental status assessment is often systematic, it is appropriate to use technology in order to conduct standardized tests and support screening procedures. Today, it is easier for psychologists and therapists to interpreter results and to analyze the data related to testing with the focus on using statistical tools while guaranteeing the high level of objectivity (Kaplan & Saccuzzo, 2013, p. 418). The speed in conducting tests with the help of technology and the improved data analysis based on the effective use of statistical procedures make the technology play the important role in the sphere of emotional and mental status testing.
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In testing, technology can be used in forms of computerized and standardized tests as well as psychological assessment applications that are available today in the Internet. The easy access to online tools and online data analysis make these tests appropriate for assessing emotional changes, but to be used for the mental status testing, they need to be supported with other effective tools. Many psychologists admit the fact that technology used in testing makes the procedure more efficient and less expensive in terms of resources and time (Butcher, Perry, & Hahn, 2004, p. 332). Using technology, it is appropriate to exchange the data between professionals and focus on the bias-free interpretation of the collected data. Therefore, the use of technology in testing is the distinct feature of the psychological practice today.
What Are the Strengths and Challenges in Interpreting and Reporting Results via the Use of a Computer-Aided Assessment Tool?
While using the computer-aided assessment tool, professionals can notice many strengths of the approach and face significant challenges. The stages of interpreting and reporting results are important because they allow concluding about the person’s emotional and mental status. The main strengths associated with using computer-aided assessment tools are the speed of the results’ analysis and interpretation based on a range of statistical and other analytical tools. After the data analysis, the specialist receives the data in the form of numbers that can be interpreted with the help of the program or by the professional (Butcher et al., 2004, p. 332). For reporting, the results can be easily arranged in tables and figures to represent the data effectively. Therefore, the psychologist saves time and costs in order to interpret the data and report them in the required form.
However, the challenges connected with using computer-aided assessment tools are also numerous because of the issues of privacy, security, validity, reliability, and lack of computer skills in professionals. First, researchers state that the use of computerized tools for interpreting and reporting assessment results can be associated with violating the patients’ privacy and security (Forbey & Ben-Porath, 2007, p. 16).
These problems are also typical for the use of Internet-based assessment resources. Second, there is a lack of evaluation for actively used computer-aided assessment tools in order to conclude about their validity and reliability and appropriateness to be used for interpreting and reporting the data. The other important challenge affecting validity of results’ interpretation is the factor of personal evaluation. There are situations when conclusions regarding the assessment results need to be supported with the observational data. One more challenge is the lack of computer skills in professionals who can face difficulties while using technologies and interpreting or reporting the results efficiently.
Technological Advances That Assist With Interpreting and Reporting Results Should Only Be Used as a “Tool” by the Counselor. Why This Is the Case? Provide at Least Two Examples.
Technologies used for interpreting and reporting results should be discussed as tools used by psychologists along with the other approaches, techniques, and means. This condition is important because there are many cases when the results of the computer-based interpretation cannot reflect the reality and be used for making conclusions because the provided data rejects the principle of subjectivity. For instance, while referring only to the data received with the help of the computer-assisted assessment, a psychologist cannot make decisions regarding the patient’s state with the help of observational notes, focusing on verbal and non-verbal factors (Lichtenberger, 2006, p. 20).
In order to make a decision regarding the patient’s emotional and mental status, it is important to concentrate on the person’s emotional expression, behavior, mimics, and gestures because observing nervousness in gestures or motor tics, the specialist can receive the full picture about the patient’s state and interpret the data efficiently.
There are also situations when the effective interpretation of assessment results with the help of technology is almost impossible because of differences in patients’ preferences and skills. Thus, many persons feel comfortable while speaking to the counselor during face-to-face interviews. Moreover, some persons do not want to demonstrate their lack of computer skills if they are proposed to participate in the computer-based assessment.
As a result, the interpretation of the data collected with the help of technology can be invalid because of possible errors made by the patient while participating in the assessment. Finally, there are also persons who prefer a psychologist using a computer-based assessment for collecting the data and further interpretation because they feel embarrassed while speaking on sensitive topics and symptoms. Therefore, to interpret the collected data effectively, psychologists need to use a variety of tools selected depending on the case. The effective decision-making is possible only when the technology is supported with traditional techniques used for interpreting and reporting results.
What Are Some Concerns Regarding the Use of Social Media, Especially in Relation to Maintaining Professional Status Within the Counseling Field?
The use of social media by counselors and their patients is considered as a question for debates because there are many concerns associated with the issue. If the use of social media by persons with different mental disorders and psychological problems is often discussed in terms of effects n their health, the use of social media by counselors is discussed in the context of maintaining the professional status in the sphere of counseling (Lehavot, Barnett, & Powers, 2010, p. 161). The problem is in the fact that social media are associated with disclosing a lot of private information by counselors who develop professional relations with their clients. Thus, using the social media, potential or existing clients of counselors can have the access to the personal information posted by professionals at their web pages.
As a result, there is a ground for the discussion of ethical dilemmas and violating the principles of the professional relationship between counselors and their clients. A lot of personal and private information about counselors can be found online without using social media, but it is possible to speak about the real problem when clients send their counselors the “friend” requests (Lehavot et al., 2010, p. 161). Finally, more attention should be paid to developing the guidelines for specialists using social media in order to maintain the professional status within the counseling field. Additionally, counselors can overuse social media and similar resources while disclosing the information about their clients and while exchanging the information without any permission.
Butcher, J. N., Perry, J. N., & Hahn, J. (2004). Computers in clinical assessment: Historical developments, present status, and future challenges. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60(3), 331-345. Web.
Forbey, J., & Ben-Porath, Y. (2007). Computerized adaptive personality testing: A review and illustration with the MMPI-2 computerized adaptive version. Psychological Assessment, 19(1), 14-24. Web.
Kaplan, R. M., & Saccuzzo, D. P. (2013). Psychological testing: Principles, applications, and issues. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning. Web.
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Lehavot, K., Barnett, J., & Powers, D. (2010). Psychotherapy, professional relationships, and ethical considerations in the MySpace generation. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 41(2), 160-166. Web.
Lichtenberger, E. O. (2006). Computer utilization and clinical judgment in psychological assessment reports. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 62(1), 19-32. Web.