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The Reiss-Epstein-Gursky Anxiety Sensitivity Index Report (Assessment)


The Reiss-Epstein-Gursky Anxiety Sensitivity Index (ASI-R) is the psychological assessment instrument which is used to measure such a variable as the anxiety sensitivity which can be explained as the fear of anxiety.

Thus, the anxiety sensitivity is the fear of the anxiety-related factors which can lead to the negative and threatening physical, psychological, and social consequences.

To have the opportunity to receive the important information on the patient’s level of the anxiety sensitivity, Reiss developed the ASI-R as the 16-item measurement which is rated on a 5-point scale. The original ASI-R was developed and improved with references to Epstein and Gursky’s researches.

The ASI-R is used to determine whether the patient is characterized by the high anxiety sensitivity, and the test is effective to identify the patients who suffer from the panic disorder and from the posttraumatic stress disorder (Barlow, 2004, p. 350; Reiss-Epstein-Gursky Anxiety Sensitivity Index, 2014).

While choosing the appropriate and valid psychological assessment instrument, it is necessary to refer to the aspects of the decision theory and such indicators as the hit rate, miss rate, false positive errors, and false negative errors which can influence the test interpretation procedure and the overall validity of the psychological assessment instrument.

Correct and incorrect decisions related to interpreting such a psychological assessment instrument as the ASI-R are based on discussing the hit rate, miss rate, false positive errors, and false negative errors, and they can affect the accuracy of the test interpretation and following diagnosis.

It is also important to determine what type of errors can be discussed as acceptable while conducting measurements.

Definitions of Hits, Misses, False Positive Errors, and False Negative Errors in Relation to the ASI-R

While interpreting the psychological assessment instrument such as the ASI-R, correct decision should be based on the analysis of the hit rate. From this point, the hit rate is the number of those persons who possess the qualities measured with the help of the analyzed assessment instrument (Cohen, Swerdlik, & Sturman, 2012, p. 169).

These identified people are discussed as having the definite characteristic or quality. Referring to the ASI-R, it is important to note that ‘hits’ are the measure which are related to those persons who are determined as characterized by the certain level of the anxiety sensitivity.

The correctness of the decision made by the psychologist also depends on the miss rate. ‘Misses’ are the failures in identifying the patients who are characterized by the certain attribute or characteristic.

The miss rate determines those people who were not identified appropriately as possessing the certain attribute or characteristic (Cohen et al., 2012, p. 169).

The ASI-R is developed according to the principles of the self-report, and the test can be proposed for individuals and for the groups of people. That is why, the ‘misses’ can be identified only while focusing on the anxiety sensitivity examined in the group of clients.

‘Misses’ can also be discussed as false negative and false positive errors. False negative errors are the ‘misses’ which are associated with stating that the person possesses the definite attribute in spite of the fact that the person is not characterized by the certain quality (Cohen et al., 2012, p. 169).

Referring to the ASI-R, it is possible to note that false positives occur when the persons who really do not have the high level of the anxiety sensitivity are identified as possessing this quality.

False negative errors can be defined as the ‘misses’ which occur when those persons who possess certain qualities are identified as not having them (Cohen et al., 2012, p. 169).

Discussing the case of the ASI-R assessment, it is important to note that false negatives and false positives are typical for the test because the ASI-R is based on the principle of the self-report, and the factor of subjectivity can prevent the psychologist from receiving the accurate results to conclude on the problem effectively.

How Hits, Misses, False Positive Errors, and False Negative Errors Might Apply to Interpreting the Construct Measured by the ASI-R

The ASI-R is discussed as the traditional psychological assessment instrument used to measure the patients’ fear of anxiety.

The assessment tool is designed as the self-report that is why hits, ‘misses’, false positive and false negative errors can affect the process of interpreting the anxiety sensitivity measured by the ASI-R significantly.

While focusing on the hits, it is important to pay attention to the fact that the ASI-R is the multidimensional psychological assessment instrument that is why it is necessary to determine the level according to which the anxiety sensitivity is characteristic for the person.

On the contrary, it is rather difficult to determine the hit rate because the accurateness of the test results depends on the level of the observed anxiety sensitivity without references to the number of persons examined with the help of this psychological assessment instrument (Barlow, 2004, p. 350).

As a result, the focus on hits and the hit rate is not reasonable for the ASI-R.

However, while referring to the examination of the groups with the help of the ASI-R, it is important to state that the hits and misses play the important role in interpreting the anxiety sensitivity as the construct measured by the assessment tool.

In spite of the fact that the ASI-R is based on the principle of the self-report, the percentage of persons who can be identified wrongly according to the ASI-R or the percentage of ‘misses’ cannot be rather high because of the people’s focus on their fears and anxiety while answering the proposed questions.

There are situations when false positive and false negative errors can be observed in relation to measuring the anxiety sensitivity.

Referring to the interpretation of the construct, it is important to note that false positive and false negative errors are closely associated with the factor of subjectivity and inadequate perception of the situation (Hunsley & Mash, 2008, p. 236).

Certain psychological problems and disorders can influence the persons’ data, and these factors can lead to false positive and false negative errors.

In this case, false positive errors as the determined ‘misses’ can be discussed as acceptable types of errors in relation to the ASI-R because such results can stress on the persons’ other psychological problems and fears.

How Hits, Misses, False Positive Errors, and False Negative Errors Can Affect the Evaluation of the ASI-R’s Validity

While discussing the question of the ASI-R’s validity, it is important to note that hits, ‘misses’, false positive and false negative errors can affect the evaluation of this psychological assessment instrument.

Validity can be defined as the test’s characteristic according to which the assessment tool can be discussed as measuring the certain construct effectively or non-effectively.

Referring to the validity of the ASI-R, it is necessary to focus on the effectiveness of the assessment tool in relation to measuring the anxiety sensitivity.

In spite of the fact that the ASI-R is usually discussed as characterized by the good internal consistency, such factors as the hits, ‘misses’, false positive and false negative errors can influence the general appropriateness of the ASI-R for measuring the level of the patients’ anxiety sensitivity.

The hit rate is not appropriate to be discussed as influencing the validity of the ASI-R because the assessment is mainly used to measure the anxiety sensitivity in individual patients.

The issue of ‘misses’ can affect the procedure of evaluating the test’s validity because of the necessity to decide on the test’s sensitivity and specificity (Barlow, 2004, p. 350).

Nevertheless, the failure to identify the patients suffering from the high level of the anxiety sensitivity is minimal because of the test’s focus on determining the patients with panic disorders.

The false positive and false negative errors’ role in discussing the validity of the ASI-R is also minimal because the percentage of false negatives and false positives is usually low while discussing the ASI-R results (Hunsley & Mash, 2008, p. 236-237).

Nevertheless, there are situations when the determined anxiety level makes the psychologists provide wrong conclusions about the psychological disorders. However, the ASI-R is discussed as useful to make decisions regarding the patients’ level of the anxiety sensitivity and associated psychological disorders.

Conclusion

Different correct and incorrect decisions can occur while interpreting the ASI-R because of the impact of the observed hits, ‘misses’, false positive and false negative errors.

However, these issues can affect the psychologist’s decision regarding the patient’s state minimally because the ASI-R is designed appropriately, and it is characterized by the high validity.

While referring to the range of acceptable errors, it is possible to determine false positive errors as acceptable while interpreting the ASI-R results.

References

Barlow, D. (2004). Anxiety and its disorders: The nature and treatment of anxiety and panic. USA: Guilford Press.

Cohen, R. J., Swerdlik, M., & Sturman, E. (2012). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement. USA: McGraw-Hill Education.

Hunsley, J., & Mash, E. (2008) A Guide to Assessments That Work. USA: Oxford University Press.

Reiss-Epstein-Gursky Anxiety Sensitivity Index. (2014). Web.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Reiss-Epstein-Gursky Anxiety Sensitivity Index'. 1 July.

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