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ERIC Number: EJ952837
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Dec
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 74
ISSN: ISSN-1040-3590
Unresolved Questions Concerning the Effectiveness of Psychological Assessment as a Therapeutic Intervention: Comment on Poston and Hanson (2010)
Lilienfeld, Scott O.; Garb, Howard N.; Wood, James M.
Psychological Assessment, v23 n4 p1047-1055 Dec 2011
In a recent article in this journal, Poston and Hanson (2010) reported a meta-analysis of 17 studies on the use of psychological assessment as a therapeutic intervention (PATI) and concluded that "psychological assessment procedures--when combined with personalized, collaborative, and highly involving test feedback--have positive, clinically meaningful effects on treatment" (Poston & Hanson, 2010, p. 203). Although extant data suggest that PATI can sometimes exert positive effects, Poston and Hanson's (2010) meta-analysis may overstate the magnitude of these effects because the authors (a) included several studies that combined assessment with treatment components that are irrelevant to PATI, sometimes rendering it impossible to attribute any observed effects to PATI per se and (b) excluded numerous nonsignificant results. Moreover, the studies Poston and Hanson (2010) reviewed neglected to rule out Barnum effects as alternative explanations for client improvement, raising the possibility that PATI works for reasons other than those proposed by its advocates. We conclude that Poston and Hanson's (2010) review leaves a number of lingering questions concerning the treatment utility of PATI unanswered. (Contains 2 footnotes and 1 table.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory; Beck Depression Inventory