Classification & Diagnosis of Phobias

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  • Created by: jg1234
  • Created on: 08-03-16 21:25

Inter-Rater Reliability

- an experiment that is conducted using more than one researcher to increase the reliability of the findings - if all of the researchers get the same findings it suggests that the measure is reliable 

Skyre et al 

- asked 3 clinicians to assess 54 different patient interviews using the Structured Clinical Interview (SCD) 

- found that there was high inter-rater agreement suggesting that this is a reliable source 

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Test-Retest Reliability

- conducting the same experiment more than once to see if the same results are collected again 

Hiller et al 

- used the Munich Diagnostic Checklist (MDC)

- found that there was a satisfactory to excellent diagnositc agreement in the test-retest study using the MDC scale 

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Picon et al - using the Portugese Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI) 

- found that there was good test-retest reliability over a 14 day interval 

Kendler et al - face-to-face and telephone interviews to assess individuals with phobias 

- over a month interval there was a mean agreement of +.46 and over 8 years there was an agreement of +.36 

- Kendler says that some of the low results may be due to the participants poor recall and it may be due to a difference in the decisions that were made by the interveiwer 

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IDA - Diagnosis By Computer

- the reliability of diagnosis may be increased by the use of computerised scales instead 

Kobak et al - there is increased reliability as there is less opportunity for the administrator to influence the results given and people with social phobias may prefer to answer without another person there 

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- this is an important issues for the validity of diagnosis 

- comorbidity is the extent to which two phobis co-occur 

Kendler et al - found that there is high levels of comorbidity between social phobias, animal phobias, anxiety and depression 

- some conditions may not be seperate entities so the distinction category isn't clear 


Eysenck - up to 66% of patients with one anxiety disorder are likely to be diagnosed with another 

Vasey & Dadds - the treatment success of anxiety disorders was unrelated to the original diagnosis of the phobia - some treatments worked equally well 

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Concurrent Validity

- this looks at questionnaires and interviews used in diagnosis 

- concurrent validity establishes the value of a new measure of phobic disorders by correlating it with an existing measure 

Herbert et al - concurrent validity in Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI) by giving the test and various other measures to 23 social phobics 

- the results showed that the measures correlated well 


Mattick & Clarke - Social Phobia Scale (SPS) correlates well with other measures 

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Construct Validity

- this is used to assess questionnaires and interviews used to diagnose phobias 

- it measures the extent a test for phobic disorders really does measures a target construct (symptom) of phobias 

- to do this clinicains identify possible target behaviour we would expect in someone with a phobic disorder and see if people will score high on the test for phobic disorders and exhibit the target behaviour 


- Social Phobia and Anxiety Inventory (SPAI) correlates well with behavioural measures of social phobias 

- Beidel et al - the SPAI doesn't correlate well with the behaviours that are related to anxiety disorders 

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Implications of low reliability and/or validity

- in order to construct research on the effectiveness of treatments for phobic disroders researchers require a reliable and valid means of assessing the disorders 

- the diagnosis and classifications of phobias are critical 

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IDA - Cultural Differences

- the cultural norms of 'normal functioning' and 'normal fears' are likely to affect the diagnosis of phobias 

- judgements vary with respect to the culturally-relative disorders 

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