Psychodiagnosis: An introduction to tests in the clinical practice of psychodynamics

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Reviews the book, Psychodiagnosis: An Introduction To tests In The Clinical Practice of Psychodynamics by Saul Rosenzweig, with the collaboration of Kate Levine Kogan. This book is intended as an introductory text and is written in agreeably non-technical language. Fortunately the style is factual rather than pseudo-literary throughout. The author describes the chief function of the book as follows: “to explain the purpose, materials, instructions, obtained data, scoring methods, and interpretation of a representative group of psychological tests as these are currently applied.” The book lives up to its purposes as stated. It is to be noted that the author does not promise to provide a rationale for psychodiagnostic testing, nor does he attempt to do so. This reviewer doubts the wisdom of this omission since the selection of tests for discussion, the recommended devices for administration, scoring and interpretation of tests, and the diagnostic summaries inevitably reflect a theoretical bias. As it is, the author's theoretical preferences are discernible only to the sophisticated reader. A selection of psychological tests are discussed under the broad categories of general intelligence, measures of intellectual deviation, vocational aptitude and interest tests, personality inventories and projective methods. The second half of the text is largely devoted to case discussions illustrating the process of psychodiagnostic integration and a variety of applications. It would have been clearly impossible for the author to discuss all available tests in each of the general areas receiving consideration. In view of this fact one wonders why the detailed discussion of selected instruments was not supplemented by at least an enumeration of other tests widely used in the same area. The book makes its greatest contribution in the liberal use of case material and test protocols. While rarely referring to general principles of psychodiagnostic testing, it succeeds in giving a coherent and orderly picture of the inter-relationship between clinical data, test findings and the characteristics of personality functioning which are reflected by both. It succeeds in removing the element of mystery from the process by which the clinical psychologist arrives at his conclusions and frankly acknowledges the decisive importance of the clinical judgment and theoretical viewpoint of the psychodiagnostician. The book is recommended as a textbook for clinical psychologists in training. It should also prove useful to psychiatrists and those in allied disciplines who wish to acquaint themselves with the work of the clinical psychologist. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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