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Undergrad Psych Discussion

Discussion in 'Psychology [Psy.D. / Ph.D.]' started by PSYDR, Dec 22, 2008.

  1. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    MOD NOT: I split this out to it's own thread. -t4c

    personal take on it :

    the problem: i believe many individuals desire to gain a graduate education in psychology to figure out their own problems rather than seek treatment. what i call the "i am smart enough to figure this out myself" phenomenon.

    my solution: APA makes a full psych battery as part of the admission process. find individuals who match the typical mmpi-2, WAIS, etc profile of successful psych students. admit them. exclude others. could be easily defended in court. a precident is already established. would also be a good intro for assessment courses.


    probability of this happening: zero.

    i also believe this should be applied across all programs: psyd and phd alike.
     
    #1 PSYDR, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2008
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  3. psychmama

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    Wow! Not only harsh, but rather smug and self-satisfied aren't we?
     
  4. Therapist4Chnge

    Therapist4Chnge Neuropsych Ninja Faculty
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    While that would open up a can of worms for people....I completely agree.
     
  5. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Interesting idea. How would you define successful? Further, how would you prevent gaming the system? Would you rule out masters level student all together from applying to doctoral programs as they may know the WAIS? What about people that work as neuropsychology technicians before graduate school? I kind of like the idea for a clinical assessment to rule out mental illness. But, that's not legal.
     
  6. JockNerd

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    Is this a joke?

    I totally disagree and think the idea is absurd. Maybe weeding out people who have weak emotional stability. But beyond that, how do you judge this? Because my inclination is to think that quite a few "successful" grad students are at least at the cusp of a few disorders on the MMPI. I bet I am. The WAIS? :rolleyes: It's designed to measure potential for academic acheivement, but I think at a PhD level the things I do are sufficiently removed from object assembly to render it useless in grad admissions.

    But, it does seem like a pretty nice way to get a bunch of zombie-like cookie-cutter psychologists who do the same old things in the same old ways. That seems to be pretty appealing in modern academia.


    JS, do you have the day off work today or something buddy? So many posts. :)
     
    #5 JockNerd, Dec 22, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2008
  7. racek

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    or, perhaps, people encounter their own problems while studying intensively. in a field like ours.

    the paradoxical thing about this idea is that, despite the claim that psych. grad. students are seeking to "figure out their own problems" (and who isn't?), the solution proposed is to transform grad. programs into OCD group therapy.

    anyhow. putting aside (a lot of) questions underlying the assumption that there are factors on these tests that predict success in grad. school (as well as questions about how one might operationalize a variable like "success"), i'm not sure that i'd want a cohort comprised of my MMPI dopplegangers. there's something to be said for diversity.
     
  8. Psyched77

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    I've seen a few situations first hand in which this idea would have weeded some pretty unstable people out & would have made a lot of us more comfortable. I mean, it's no secret that there is a fair amount of dysfunction circulating around grad-level psych programs. Your proposition, however, would also weed out a lot of really amazing people who didn't apply to fix their own problems (as you suggested), but to use their history as a springboard of understanding. As it is, the "upper echelons" of psychology are dominated (at least in my experience) with young people (often lacking life experience) from privileged backgrounds. And you think we have an "ivory tower" reputation now? If we globally weeded out mental illness, we would lose a great deal of creativity, intelligence, & a the range of diverse thinking that is vital to the field. So much of the research world is already a political game; imagine how it would look if we targeted only "perfect" people! (Not to mention the issue of certain types of people being very skilled at "beating" psychological batteries! Or the issue of psychological batteries sometimes being unfairly biased against certain groups of people!) One of my professors cautions grad students against "assistant professor syndrome"....described by being hypercritical & assuming one is the EXPERT. I don't condone the complete push to have the consumer of psychological services be a full co-investigator, but I DO believe that we must refer to the consumer for their expertise in x disorder. This is somewhat different than what you're referring to, but it barks up the same tree. By further removing ourselves from "flaws," we further remove ourselves from knowledge, information, & insight. Plus, such a policy expresses distrust in recovery. If we don't believe in full recovery, then what the "heck" are we doing in this field? I'm not saying that it would be good policy to admit someone who is actively cutting (just as an example), but someone with that history & perhaps some residual effects should not be excluded. I would think their insight would be valuable.
     
  9. cara susanna

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    There's also the misconception that forensic psychologists are like FBI profilers, IMO.
     
  10. racek

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    psyched77, that was a beautiful post. thanks.
     
  11. WannaBeDrMe

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    Aww, you sound like a social worker... I LOVE it! Ha.

    PsyDr, while you are right in the impossibility of your suggestion and I disagree in the approach to solidifying sanity... I think that at the very least, mental health professionals should be held to the same referential character standards as the weaker species known as lawyers. (I joke... be easy...)

    How many of us have lawyer friends? You know their bar apps require those character references to be sent/mailed and they are thoroughly evaluated on multiple levels... Perhaps that would at least offer mental health licensing boards some sort of baseline data with which to start evaluating those who do end up with complaints and actions on their licenses...

    My license application required some references but I know it was nothing like what my lawyer friends had to do where people were expected to speak thoroughly about the character of the person... I know that process isn't perfect... b/c a lot of my lawyer friends are also total douchebags... but maybe it's a start.

    I don't think your example could hold in court, by the way, psychological disabilities are protected in the same way as other disabilities and without proof that a disability makes someone incapable of completing a task, or at risk of putting someone else in harm's way b/c of their disability, you can't exclude based upon presence of psychopathology alone...

    Also, what the others said about grad student mentality being absolutely forced off-key just by design of the system...

    re: professional schools... i admit that I have this bias, if I hear someone tell me they are in grad school for clinical psychology at one of those schools (or even considering it), I just lose confidence in their ability -level... and I shuoldn't... i'm not brilliant, the only reason I have a shot at working with big names is because my research interests just happened to fall ass backwards in line with their research interests... I just really feel like too many people don't understand psychology as a profession and I'm offended when they think it's as easy as just deciding to help people...
     
  12. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    sort of half working, half not purgatory state.
     
  13. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    wannabe:

    the reason attys have such strict reference requirements is that they are officers of the courts. attys also have a disclosure period in grad school.


    racek:

    my proposed solution only focused on disorders, which may interfere with being an effective practitioner. by definition a disorder interferes with daily functioning.


    jocknerd:

    wechsler's conception of intelligence is to how one is able to effectively act in his in her environment. it was not about academic achievement. my original wechlser book is in my office, so i can't give the precise definition just now. the operationalization of success would need some work undoubtedly. but shouldn't a behavioral science base it's practices on objective data?

    js:

    fair enough about test security. again, i don;t think it would ever happen. however, i believe that a science that relies on objective measures to evaluate individuals should apply its own practices to admissions.

    psyched:

    i disagree. i believe our role is that of experts, not of companions. personally i want my provider in any area to have the most knowledge about the problem using objective science. i do not care if they have experienced the problem through a subjective experience. if i had a broken laptop, i would call my tech. i would not care if he had broken his laptop before.
     
  14. Cosmo75

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    Thanks for admitting this and that it's unfair. This is where I have the problem. I'm a prof. school student by choice. Grant it, my school has lost its freaking mind with admissions since I enrolled (I'm currently on internship). 5 years ago class sizes were small, though not as small as PhD programs, and the school had a good reputation. I think the reputation still holds, but with their new policies I'm not sure for how long.

    I know that bias like this exists, knew it before I went in. I worry about it whenever I disclose my program to someone with a PhD or MD. And I really don't think I should have to. Yes, there are crappy students in my school. I'm willing to bet there are crappy students in PhD programs. In fact I know there are by my interactions with practicum students. But just by virtue of saying "I go to University X" they don't have to worry about being thought of as less competent upon immediate first impression.

    This is my personal bias, but I think I had to work harder to get where I am because of my choice to attend a prof. school. I didn't fall into a research lab, I had to get hired by one. I didn't just get grant money, I had to apply for it. My research time was 100% extra on top of everything clinical my program required. It wasn't built into my schedule for the week. I know I'm making generalizations and there are PhD students who have to apply for grants, etc. It's not really fair is it ;)

    I'll continue to face bias because I've chosen a more academic path. I'm not enamored by clinical practice nor a full blown academic job, so I'll have to find some sort of happy middle ground. But even when I go on my post-doc (which is 50% research) I'll have to face bias solely because I have 4 letters after my name, not 3.

    This is why I'm cheesed off at my school, and other schools who are enrolling way too many people. Because the good students end up getting lumped in with those who shouldn't be there, which then perpetuates this bias.
     
    #13 Cosmo75, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  15. racek

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    i thought you wanted to determine the profile of successful grad students (unless OCD, i am assuming sub-clinical) and exclude the rest. i didn't realize you were implying that the excluded all had disorders.

     
    #14 racek, Dec 23, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2008
  16. psychanon

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    This is getting OT, but-- come on, we're supposed to fighting against the stigma of mental illness, not nurturing it. There are so many brilliant researchers and therapists who have struggled with one form or another of mental illness-- ranging from depression to borderline to OCD to social phobia to bipolar disorder. Think about your own department, or about the successful therapists you've known over the years-- how many people do you think would qualify for one Axis I or II disorder or another? How many of you would? Psychology has always been peopled by weirdos-- it's perhaps a quirk of a field that studies abnormal behavior, or maybe instead a byproduct of the single-minded devotion that is often required by clinical psychology. If we began to exclude people based on such an arbitrary criterion, we would filter out much of the talent that has driven our field for the past 100 years. Maybe having a little insight into the difficulty of mental disorders isn't really a bad thing, and maybe elevating people in the field above the people we study is a bad thing. And yes, mental disorders by definition interfere with functioning, but all mental disorders do not necessarily the type of functioning that is necessary for success as a psychologist. [/rant]

    I agree that getting into psychology to understand oneself isn't the best justification, but I doubt it's the primary reason that application numbers are bloated. I think a lot of people study psychology because it's interesting and accessible (majors aren't usually as hard as they should be). The problem is that hoards of people get to the end of college and realize that they can't really do anything in this field with a BA degree. Then they think "Hmmm, a doctorate would be cool!" without really understanding the time and dedication that it takes, and when they figure out that they either aren't qualified for the traditional route (or that they don't want to take the time to get qualified), they go to Argosy et al., who is only too happy to accept their money. And they won't consider sensible alternatives like social work because then they "won't get to be called doctor" (which, by the way, is the very worst idea to go into 100K+ of debt in the whole entire universe). It's not that these people are dumb. Many people want to get a doctorate while skipping many of the traditional steps (doing research in grad school, taking time to become qualified for traditional programs). There's nothing wrong with that impulse. It's that these for-profit corporations are out there taking advantage of these whims that kills me.

    So what do we do? I think a good step would be to make undergraduate psych majors harder. That would be difficult to manage, but in theory it would scare people away from the field by exposing them to what it really entails. I mean, at my school, the university will not let the psych department make its major harder because they feel they need an easy major for all the people who can't manage harder majors to take. How messed up is that?
     
  17. biogirl215

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    PSYDR, would your proposal exclude people with a history of disorders or only people with active disorders?
     
  18. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet
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    I agree wholeheartedly. A couple of thoughts, though, on how the psych major should be different. First of all, considering the biological model psychology has moved toward, I don't understand why we aren't required to take a (more or less) full pre-med-level curriculum as undergrads. Seriously! Even BSW programs often require a good, solid year of bio! If we hope to have prescriptive authority for clinical psychologists, I think this should be built into the UG education -- require a year of general biology, a year of general chemistry, a year of organic chemistry and maybe substitute a semester (or, better yet, a year) each of neurobiology/neuroscience and physiological or bio- psychology instead of a year of physics. A year of pathophysiology and a 1-semester course each in anatomy and physiology would be good too. (If we needed to get rid of some classes to make room for those sciences, I might propose combining courses since so many basically just keep covering the same topics repeatedly anyway.) If we actually had that kind of biological education plugged into the psych major, we would be far more qualified to call ourselves scientists (since our understanding of the other sciences would be much stronger) and we wouldn't have to explain away the fact that we have so little biomed training when we try and get laws passed for prescribing psychologists. It would also cut down on all the lazy students who sign up for psychology because it's an "easy, feel-good science" [​IMG]
    Secondly, I think we need to do a better job of screening for and/or training students on their writing skills. Anyone else had the wonderful TA experience of failing what seems like half a class of upper division psych students on a paper because they can't even write in formal English, much less write a structured paper?! I almost wish I'd thought of this idea when I was TA'ing that class!

    [​IMG]
     
  19. cara susanna

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    Again, I only have my personal experiences to contribute: many, many psych majors I know hate bio and were mystified by my taking a year and a half of it.

    It was really sad to watch my class flailing about during Biopsych. I was one of the people who had taken Neurobio, which was offered through the biology dept. the semester before, and it was a piece of cake for us.
     
  20. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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    Agree. . . and psych majors are often whiny little monsters. "It's too haaard," whine, bitch, whine.
     
  21. Jon Snow

    Jon Snow Senior Member
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  22. JockNerd

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    Now THIS I think is brilliant.

    In my undergrad in Canada, we WROTE. My undergrad neuro and stats classes were mostly written, no wussy m/c. I was insulted when my 3rd-year psych of personality course was tested with m/c. I teach for the first time in Sept., and I hear US students are all afraid to write because of the laughable way high schoolers are tested there. Well, tough for my students, they're getting short answer/long answer/essay tests.

    Making the UG degree harder (and returning to a C as "average") would be great.
     
  23. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet
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    But since when did what students hate have anything to do with what they must learn to earn a degree in a subject area or what they must know to be successful? If they can't get through a few bio classes, I really don't think they have the understanding of the human body necessary to understand the "whole person." The mind and body are too closely connected to have virtually no education on the body's systems be required in psychological training.
    I only have my experience to go off as well, and while I don't mind bio, I hate chemistry, but I realize its importance in understanding biology and pathology (including psychopathology), so I am willing to pursue education in that area. I think if they are committed to the field of psychology, they will jump through those hoops as they come up and may even surprise themselves!
     
  24. cara susanna

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    Err... I was agreeing that undergrad psych curriculum needs more focus on biology etc.
     
  25. biogirl215

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    I TA'ed Introductory Psych this semester (ran labs, graded quizzes) and was shocked by how *poorly* the students did overall (I AP'ed out of psych and so I never took intro). I agree writing-heavy classes are good (of course, I'm a writer, so I'm biased :) ), as so much of this field is written (pubs, thesis, diss, etc.).
     
  26. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet
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    Sorry, I was clarifying. I apologize.
     
  27. cara susanna

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    No problem :D

    I was a history minor, so I had to write a LOT. Fortunately, I'm good at it (not to sound vain, it's just always been a strong point of mine.)
     
  28. Therapist4Chnge

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    MOD NOTE: I moved the undergrad psych tangent to its own thread.
     
  29. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    racek,

    i apologize for not being more specific. i was proposing that individuals applying to programs be given a full psych battery. those with low IQs, disorders, etc would be declined admissions. the data collected from the standard psych battery admission could then be compiled at a central location. this data could then be utilized to create predictive models of individuals who are likely to succeed in their prospective endeavors. whether the model applies to individual in a given program or course of study, etc. individuals with X profile applying to Y program could then be declined based upon the likely basis of success. an exmaple of this would be individuals who fit the profile of being great therapists but terrible "assesors" could be declined from the therapy track and encouraged to apply to the assessment track.

    the idea: use objective measures to create a positive experience for the individual.

    i believe this is much more kind and honest than the common fable of telling everyone that they can be anything they want to be, which simply is not true. i could never be a professional basketball player, my body simply doesn't fit that profile. in the words of a neuropsych at mayo: "this isn't lake winnepasake and not all children are above average"
     
  30. hermionephd

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    What about people like Linehan?
     
  31. JockNerd

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    Recommended reading for PSYDR: http://www.amazon.com/Mismeasure-Man-Stephen-Jay-Gould/dp/0393314251

    I'm not really clear on the point of this thread as it pertains to this bizarre idea about giving psych applicants a test battery, given that it would never happen, is illegal, and is a bad idea. But, again, it does seem to me like a pretty neoconnishly good way to get a nice little band of fall-in-line psychologists.

    IQ testing seems to be a poor idea. I'm willing to bet anyone applying to grad school has at least a 110 to get through college. Every undergrad who was WAISed by my cohort for extra credit did. And once you restrict range, predictive power goes down the tubes; I doubt there's much difference in the performance of WAIS IQ 110 and 125 graduate students.

    The "disorders" part is particularly interesting (in the same way that helicopter accidents are interesting). What disorders would disqualify someone from being a psychologist? Bipolar and BPD, maybe, but I'd see that as more a result of emotional instability. OCD? I bet a fair number of great scientists are diagnosable with OCD. Something funner then? Disqualify people for sexual masochism? How about Gender identity disorder?

    If the underlying goal is to stop people from going into psych to resolve their own problems, then there's a simpler, better, and more reasonable alternative. Here it is: stop people from going into psych if they just want to solve their own problems. If that's the variable of interest, then assess the variable of interest. It seems easy enough to do, and plenty of grad school applicants who have that characteristics get weeded out because of their personal statements anyhow.
     
  32. cara susanna

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    Forgive my ignorance, but what do you mean?
     
  33. WannaBeDrMe

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    Cosmo - for what it's worth, I love the idea of professional psychology... as much as I've been pulled in other directions by mentors, I still want only my PsyD. I think we share the same mindset... why can't we have intensive clinical training AND intensive research? It will take extra effort on our part... but what's so bad about that anyway? I think there are a lot of people like us... balance is what we are seeking... I think...

    As for undergrad psych, I have undergrad courses from 2 schools. My main undergrad institution was a women's college, very rigorous curriculum, I barely made above a B- in my first 5 classes and I'm not slow... ha. Though it was a small department, the professors were well-published, well-respected, had all attended top programs and post-docs at some point in their careers and held appointments in some of the best programs in the nation. I think I've spoken here before about one of my professors who considered himself a statistician before a psychologist... Good stuff, very difficult, learned a lot, lots of exposure and experience clinically and with psychometrics and research... several animal labs that were not computerized, everything by hand, creating our own schedules, etc.

    Post-degree, I took another 12 courses (41 hrs total w/labs) at a state university with a large and well-funded psych dept. They had just received a grant I wanted to work under and the easiest way to get in seemed to be going for another bach degree. The professors were GREAT and the research was amazing, ironically, I felt their curriculum was much less rigorous than my small school... for example, I re-took learning just b/c I had a C and wanted to prove I could do better... it was the same text as my other school but the lab was practically ran by a computer and all we did was chart data. The professor was/is great... but it was definitely not as intellectually stimulating as my previous experience. Some other professors were on par w/my first degree, however, but I found I had to put up with much more whining from other students... "it's too hard," "can we delay the test," "what about multiple choice"... yuck.

    I never TA'd in psych so I can't speak to undergrads outside of my personal experience but I'd say that in general, people are becoming less intellectually capable. I blame a shift in training from teaching process thinking to focusing on memorization/recall to meet the needs of our state's standardized tests. I TA'd social work and I had a wide range of students in my class, plenty of non-trads, plenty of trads (big lecture classes), and the difference between their work was night/day. None of those childrens can write anymore... none of them... but even more offensive is their lack of ability to put out new information... nothing is getting synthesized... it's strictly in/out...

    I think for psych to be sured up as a profession, education needs to be sured up on the whole... individuals need to be given more guidance and direction and opportunities for undergrad (even high school) experiential learning projects. More exposure to new concepts and the ability to test out fields and find their fit... I think a lot of people choose psychology b/c it's so present... like medicine/law/education... If people knew as much about other less discussed careers... they might find those just as interesting and a better fit and pursue those paths...
     
  34. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow
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    Unfortunately this doesn't seem to go away in some master's program students either.
     
  35. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow
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    Thanks :D You hit the nail right on the head.
     
  36. Cosmo75

    Cosmo75 Post-Doctoral Fellow
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    Nothing boosts productivity like a little hypomania :cool:
     
  37. racek

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    No apologies, though I simply don't think this is a good idea, not at all, hence the sarcasm of my last post. I don't think I need to even mention the debate surrounding IQ. And regarding disorders, I agree with psychanon:
    Of course, there's quite a bit of debate regarding the medical model/cohesiveness of the DSM. Likewise, your laptop "metaphor" and basketball player example are a little bit too biologically deterministic for me. And anyhow, would we exclude people from programs if they had a degenerative disease like MS? Their future is much more predictable than someone with bipolar disorder. Even if we got the kind of statistical power that medical researchers get, I wouldn't agree with such criteria for exclusion. Psychology is elitist enough as it is.
     
  38. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    jocknerd,,

    you are most likely citing ADA and EEOC laws when you state "it is illegal", correct? there are several areas wherein these laws do not apply, especially when there is a public health concern. this is why nearly every job has a drug screen prior to employment. these screens exclude some drug abusers. there is nothing illegal in this. it is only illegal when a process excludes a protected group. being ill is not a protected group. ADA rulings also state that a personality characteristics are not protected. there have been consistent rulings wherein both ADA and EEOC laws are not enforceable when an individual with a mental illness cannot perform his/her duties (42 U.S.C. 12111(8); 29 C.F.R. §1630.2(m). medical examinations are also allowable. for example: all employees at nuclear power plants have to take a psych battery. so do commercial pilots. there is a precident for this, and i believe the practice would easily survive a trial.

    when i was applying to grad schools, several programs did require full psych batteries. i believe rosemead was one of them. UM also gave every applicant an MMPI back in the day.

    i don't see where including extra measures should be a problem to make an admissions determination. or do you want to do away with all measures? anyone can get in. a 0.5 GPA? sure, come on in! a 200 GRE score? sounds good to me! we use measures all the time to exclude people. society is largely OK with this. to me, it seems much more humane to tell someone that their ambitions are not in line with their abilities. there is some social protection in this as well (e.g., driver's tests).

    as for the measure being used: i don't really care what it is, so long as it is objective. you do't like the MMPI or the WAIS? fine. i don't really care what measure is used. currently we only use one standardized measure: the GRE. GPAs and LORs are highly subjective, given the likely low inter rater reliability. is a 4.0 from harvard a better indication of academic achievement than a 4.0 than FSU? you betcha.

    i am calling for an expansion of the use of objective measures in psych admissions. i see nothing nothing wrong with this.

    as for the disorders: the answer to your question is YES. by definition a disorder causes a a significant impairment in functioning. there are many poor diagnosticians out there who diagnose all sorts of disorders when there is no impairment in functioning. sexual masochists who do not have a significant impairment in functioning do not have a disorder, they are just into weird sex. i personally could care less if students were into pretty much anything. i know a psychologist who is actually into bondage and stuff (which he mistakenly mentioned over a lot of beer). he has no impairment in functioning, so no disorder. the DSM even describes impairment. i am not calling for the removal of anyone with weird habits.

    there are many many many individuals who are denied admission from grad school every year for a host of reasons. some of these are that they have poor GRE scores. some for poor GPAs. there is nothing illegal about this. i


    as for the Gould book: i did read that book. gould's argument is largely based upon statistical inference and challenges the idea that IQ is inherited. to me, this is a stupid argument. of course there is some relationship between genetics and IQ. down's syndrome. the degree to which IQ is heritable remains to be seen. gould's primary assertion in this book is a challenge to evolutionary psychology, which i have made no reference to in my posts. i agree that evolutionary psychology went way too far a while back.

    as for gould's take on IQ tests: gould excludes many neuroimaging findings, which conflict with his central thesis. this is interesting to me , as he has claims a biological expertise. i don't really think you can argue too much with actually seeing the function of the brain. for example, there is a highly positive correlation between myelinization and IQ. seems to make sense: an insulated wire has a higher functional capacity than an uninsulated one. there is also a highly positive correlation between concordance (the ability of an individual's brain to work in a synchronous fashion) and IQ. MRI findings have found a correlation between white matter development and IQ. fMRI findings have demonstrated an attenuated hemodynamic response in relation to IQ. so why does he not mention any of this? i believe it is partially because it does not support his thesis. i also believe this is partially because it has little to do with his central thesis that IQ is not a highly heritable measure. also gould is a paleontologist, with no training in IQ measures.

    i think what i am responding to, though, is the reluctance of many students to firmly measure and diagnose, which seems related to a position
    of caring for one's patients or identifying with them or whatever. however, the profession is to objectively study the mind.

    racek: if you recall this debate was started because someone asked how to reduce the number of poor psychology student. sounds like it was already an elitist conversation to begin with. we need to be exclusive to ensure the safety of the public. if you are a grad student, you know the WAIS question to which i refer.
     
    #37 PSYDR, Dec 24, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  39. hermionephd

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    She has admitted to having been diagnosed with BPD in the past. If she were given a test battery to see if she were crazy or not before entering graduate school, something tells me that she would be screened out immediately (and if you've ever worked with borderlines in a clinical setting, or on a personal level even, you know what I'm talking about). And yet it seems as though her personal experience with the disorder is something that allowed her a unique vantage point from which to treat it. She's a genius, and a MAJOR player in the field of clinical psych, I would hate to have had a situation in which she was excluded.

    HOWEVER, I do see the OP's point, and I have certainly known people who maybe shouldn't be in psychology for that reason. I think as a professor I'd mostly want to know how conscientious they were, maybe put a few OCPDs in my lab, that would be great! Ha! I always saw the interview, whch isn't as common in other fields as it is in clinical psych, as (in part) an attempt to screen out those who are in it for the right versus the wrong reasons.

    :)
     
  40. biogirl215

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    You know, when we went over the history of psych in the Intro to Psych class I TA'ed, it became apparent how many of the founders of psychology has serious issues, many that lead to the development of the seminal theories of the field (just off the very top of my head, I can think of Freud, Adler, and Jung).
     
  41. apumic

    apumic Oracle of the Sheet
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    In regards to programs that require a psych battery prior to admission. I can confirm that Rosemead requires the MMPI. Really not a big deal at all, I don't think. I think it'd be unethical to screen people out solely on having a significant peak in their profile, but if the profile reveals pathological tendencies or something, that is something admissions committees would want to be aware of prior to accepting a student. I doubt any school that requires the MMPI uses it to simply exclude people who may have pathological tendencies. Additionally, while I do not have evidence to back this up, my own impression from taking the MMPI (twice) has been that the questions are focused on what is currently occurring in a person's life and/or upon the person's recent history. My guess would be that someone whose depression, BPD, or OCD has improved through therapy and/or medication would show little difference from a "normal" on the relevant scales. If that is the case, then the MMPI (and other similar assessments) would be most likely to reveal issues that would actually impact the prospective graduate student's success -- not simply irrelevant mental illness from years ago that has largely been treated and resolved.
     
  42. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    psychmama and hermionephd:
    sorry, i missed your posts. i like to respond to everyone who addresses me.


    psychmama:

    i don't feel that proposing an idea is smug. i have a hypothesis, i expressed it. i have never said i was superior to anyone.

    hermionephd:

    sorry it took so long to respond. i have been working at the hospital for the last 7 days straight. i had no time to ask about linehan, whose biography i know nothing about.


    my point is that i view psychology as a science. i believe that we should use objective measures whenever possible to further this cause. seems logical to me. i am sure my proposal would exclude some people who could benefit the field. just as the GRE does. i also believe many people are excluded due to personality variables during interview. this reliance on a subjective process (i.e., interview) is a strange measure to me. i propose an objective one. it would be interesting to see what this shift from subjective criteria to objective criteria yielded. all sorts of data could be collected an analyzed. it also seems like something that as a social science we should do. many disagree with me.

    individuals such as linehan may have been excluded. who knows? but i also wonder about individuals who were excluded in the past on interview that may have been a benefit to the science. it would seem more objective to base decisions on standard measures as opposed to the "that person rubbed me the wrong way" currently used.


    EDIT: oops, i already responded to js. i'll leave rosemead's admission criteria up though

    (http://www.rosemead.edu/admissions/apply/).
     
    #41 PSYDR, Dec 24, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  43. cara susanna

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    Wow, I didn't know that, even though she's one of my research idols. :D

    I agree that it would be very bad if Dr. Linehan had been excluded on the basis of a psych evaluation, in part because she has contributed so much.
     
  44. racek

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    moving from personal interviews to personality tests seems to me about as effective as removing posts from this forum and replacing them with:
    psydr: X# adjectives
    Y# nouns
    Z# fillers
    etc.

    we do work with people in this field, after all.

    also, i don't completely understand the reference to rosemead's criteria, but in addition to the MMPI, two personal references are asked for, one from a pastor. quote from a description of the degree programs:

    "You gain a firm foundation of scripture and the great historic doctrines of the Christian church and the ability to apply these truths to the issues and needs of today's world through psychological research, theory, and clinical practice. "
     
  45. racek

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    ps - i apologize if i don't understand the context of the link --my previous post responded to the use of this program's requirements as an example. not sure where this discussion started. but i wanted to point out what else was required in addition to the MMPI
     
  46. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    racek:

    1) i had posted the rosemead admission link to demonstrate that some programs do utilize this technique for admissions.


    2) i disagree with your analogy. personality tests do not simply count things, they compare response patterns against normative samples. significant variations from the mean are considered abnormal.

    3) as for working with ppl: it's true that we need to place the data in context. APA ethics demand it in assesment. however, when i do a (neuropsych) assessment i don't simply ask the individual "do you have dementia?" (subjective assessment). i also do not make my own impression and diagnose with no data (subjective assessment). i compare their performance on objective cognitive measures to age, race, and educational norms. i then place the data in the context of the individual's history.


    why not do something similar for admissions?

    so far the only arguments against this practice that i have heard are:

    a. possibly illegal
    b. having disordered individuals in the field yields more creatvity (!!!!!!)
    c. the measures are not valid
    d. test security

    my responses have been

    a: i am not sure, but i think there could be a legal basis for the advocacy for this practice. i also pointed out that there are a few programs that have a history of requesting MMPIs for admission. again i am not sure about this.

    b: society only accepts so much variation. for example, most states have a legal system for reporting a psychologist who is impaired from substance abuse (a variation of normal behavior). it would be cruel to accept an individual who is incapable of being an effective student/practitioner.

    c: the measures are valid based upon biological findings and decades of research. it is also concerning to me that ppl are challenging the validity of 2 of the most common psych tests out there.

    d: i had not thought about this.



    however, ppl have responded in an emotional manner, which seems to preclude a logical debate. i'll bow out at this point.
     
  47. WannaBeDrMe

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    I didn't know that either... where did you hear that hermione? I'm not disputing, just genuinely curious.
     
  48. racek

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    apologies if you wanted to bow out of the discussion, but i think this merits a response. by the way, i didn't see the point at which things got emotional rather than logical. however, if you choose not to respond, no hard feelings (just hard logic).

    1) exactly why i wanted to point out the other non-objective criteria the same program used (which is --and forgive me if i offend anyone-- quite the subjective measure)

    2) linguistics, and psycholinguistics for that matter, might say otherwise. there are normative patterns for written/spoken language. why not include posts that fit this criteria and exclude others? and i wasn't referring to descriptive stats. alone

    3) we already do that for admissions. no one asks "how's your math?" you take the gre. no one asks, "how's your overall academic performance?" there's gpa. but including "disorders" in such criteria is something else.

    IMHO we should be open to healthy debate and different points of view/personalities/subjectivities/intelligences. that said, I don't know why the idea would be concerning to you. there's quite a bit of controversy regarding the validity/generalizability of IQ tests. professional literature, not just from pre-grad students applying to programs. so i don't think it's concerning to mention this at all.
     
    #47 racek, Dec 24, 2008
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2008
  49. hermionephd

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    I don't think that we should let in crazies cause they might be more creative ('cause doesn't research generally prove this to be untrue?), I just worry that a lot of people might be excluded. Just because you're crazy doesn't mean you're in psychology to fix yourself... maybe you like being a borderline! Hah! :)

    Anyways, interesting discussion. As a professor I'd like to find the most conscientious people, and if the NEO-PI-R or MMPI can tell me that, then bring it ON.
     
  50. hermionephd

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    If you can find something that says I'm wrong, DEFINITELY let me know so I don't say it again. I hate being wrong... but I can take it.

    That said, one of my graduate professors attended a number of her workshops and apparently it came up or was mentioned at one of them. But now I'm trying to find something written down that says she was diagnosed, and if she were diagnosed it would have had to have been after she started her career because BPD was added in 1980. So... trust that I will be following up on my "source," ha! :)

    Side note: Isn't it sad that you have follow a question with "I'm not disputing, just genuinely curious," shouldn't we just give people the benefit of the doubt?
     
  51. PSYDR

    PSYDR Psychologist
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    recek,

    fine. we can do this then.

    1) your "hard logic" contains many formal fallacies of logic. specifically:

    a. fallacy of accident
    b. begging the question
    c. fallacy of many questions


    all these formal fallacies negate the argument. i love logic. especially hard logic.

    2) psycholinguistics does not have normative databases for semantic processing. sorry.

    3) i have already contended that the GRE is an objective measure. however, i have also stated that GPA is largely subjective, given the vast differences between effort and ability required in different undergrad programs (e.g., harvard vs. FSU). as for screening for disorders: of course this is done in the interview. try showing up to an interview drunk. see if you get in.


    to support my original position

    Daehnert & Carter (1987).The Prediction of Success in a Clinical Psychology Graduate Program. Educational and Psychological Measurement, Vol. 47, No. 4, 1113-1125


    Gough (1980). Personality Correlates of time required to complete work for the phd degree in psychology. Adavnces in Personality Assesment.

    (sorry the format on the last one is wrong).


    NOW i am bowing out. this decision is no indication of losing the argument.

    happy holidays.
     

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