Comprehensive psychology homework help
1. What is the purpose of the comprehensive examination?
The comprehensive examination is designed to assess the degree to which you have met your program goals and learner outcomes.
2. What resources are available to help me prepare for my comprehensive examination?
3. What can I do to prepare for my comprehensive examination?
4. When do I take my comprehensive examination?
You should work with your department chair or designee to communicate your intention to take the comprehensive examination in the term in which you are enrolled in the last course or courses required for your program of study.
5. How do I take the comprehensive examination?
You will be attached to the online comprehensive examination course during he term in which you are scheduled to take your comprehensive examination. The examination questions are made available to students within the online comprehensive examination course on the day the exam is scheduled to begin. You will have one week to develop your responses and submit your work to the examination submissions area of the course.
6. What is the best way for me to prepare for the comprehensive examination?
You should begin preparing for the exam from your very first course in the program. Outline essential material as you progress through each course so that you will be able to draw from this when preparing for the actual exam.
7. How long do most students take to study for and prepare for their comprehensive examination?
This is a value judgment to be decided on by each student. Keep in mind that you are preparing for the exam during every course you take in the program. The exam is administered electronically and is open book and open note, so keeping your course materials, adding to your outlines, or keeping a course-by-course journal will expedite the preparation process.
8. Do I have to use APA format in my comprehensive examination?
Yes, the expectation is that you will follow APA guidelines as you complete the comprehensive examination.
9. How important are correct grammar and spelling in my comprehensive examination?
Correct spelling and grammar are expected at all times from all students.
10. Are the readers of my comprehensive examination expecting me to know all of the theories associated with my concentration?
The readers expect you to exhibit a thorough knowledge of all relevant theories as studied throughout your courses.
11. If English is not my primary language, may I have an editor review my responses and make suggestions?
Graduate students are expected to complete the comprehensive examination without the assistance of an editor or other individuals. Independent work is expected of all students in completing the comprehensive examination.
12. Will there be anyone available while I am taking my comprehensive examination to answer questions that I might have?
You may address questions related to accessing the comprehensive examination toolbox to your program chair or designee.
13. How are my responses assessed?
Two faculty members will read and assess your work. Your responses will be scored against program-specific learning outcomes and in accordance with graduate level expectations of performance.
14. How am I notified of the results?
Your department chair or designee will post your exam results in the course and/or email the results to you by the final day of the term.
15. How long do I have to wait for the results?
You will be notified of your results prior to the end of the session in which you take the comprehensive examination.
16. What happens if I do not pass?
You have two more opportunities to successfully complete the examination if you do not pass the first time. See the Comprehensive Examination Guide for additional details.
Please note that the following vignettes represent samples of the types of questions you will be asked to respond to on the comprehensive exam. You will NOT receive these questions on the comprehensive exam; they are for study purposes only.
Please compose a well-written and organized essay in response to each of the following questions. When writing your essays, please
Vignette: Utilize this scenario for all of your responses
A 42-year-old African American woman was brought to the emergency room by police officers for evaluation prior to going to jail to await disposition. She reported that she had been shopping when “something happened.” She said that she had no recollection of events between the time she entered the store and an hour later, when she was arrested for shoplifting in a nearby department store with a considerable amount of stolen property on her person. She protested her innocence and became so agitated, belligerent, and profane that the arresting officers took her to the hospital for evaluation. At the hospital she reported that two years previously she had been arrested for shoplifting and had had amnesia for the act.
The charges against her were then dropped because she explained that both the shoplifting and the amnesia resulted from her forgetting to eat after taking her insulin. Of note, her blood-sugar level on testing in the emergency room was elevated.
The patient calmed down appearing asymptomatic after the evaluation and was transferred to jail pending a preliminary hearing.
When she learned that her release was planned for the next day and that the charges against her would not be dropped, she became extremely agitated, angry, and abusive to the officers. Shortly thereafter, she complained of a headache and said she had no recollection of her abusive behavior. Later that evening she accosted an officer angrily. When the officer responded and addressed the patient by name, “Naomi,” the patient said that her name was “Oprah” and that she would not allow herself to be called “Naomi,” whom she described as a “wimp and a loser.”
“Oprah’s” voice and movement were somewhat different from those of “Naomi.” She claimed that she had done the shoplifting and stepped back so that “Naomi” could be caught and humiliated, and that if she had wanted to, she could have evaded detection easily. She was returned to the ER and subsequently admitted to the inpatient psychiatric unit for observation.
For the next two days, the patient had many apparent switches of personality, accompanied by conspicuous changes in dress, makeup, and demeanor. On several occasions “Oprah” was disruptive, and twice “Naomi” reported to nurses that she had found things belonging to other patients in her possession.
There were no consistent differences in blood-sugar levels in the different personalities or changes at the time of the shifts. A neurological workup with extensive electroencephalographic studies proved unremarkable. The patient began to complain that her behavior was out of her control and that she could not be held accountable for it. Each day’s progress notes revealed further details of the differences between “Oprah” and “Naomi.”
A counselor was asked to see the patient. He observed the presence of both “Oprah” and “Naomi” and documented their polarized and clear-cut differences. The personalities were detailed and elaborate as they discussed issues relating to the patient’s current legal difficulties. He learned that the patient had an extensive history of discrepant behaviors that she had “forgotten,” to which many witnesses would attest, and that her family often remarked that she was “like two different people.”
He found that these episodes had usually occurred when the patient had engaged in behavior that brought adverse personal consequences upon her. He noted that the patient was on a unit that, by coincidence, had three other patients with similar symptomology and that, beginning the day the patient learned that the charges against her would not be dropped, she had begun to associate more frequently with those patients.
An extensive history, taken over several days, and ancillary sources failed to reveal any history of childhood abuse and there was no indication that the patient had experienced any other overwhelming traumatic events.
Furthermore, the history indicated that the patient, despite the apparently classic nature of her two personalities, had never shown or complained of any other significant psychological symptomology. Her history includes having been raised as an only child in a middle-class urban environment by her mother and grandmother.
She reports that she has a good relationship with all members of her family although she has a more distant relationship with her father, who works long hours as an engineer. His mother and grandmother work as teachers in nearby private schools. Both her parents are of Haitian descent though the patient was born and has lived her entire life in the United States.
The patient’s developmental history includes having met all physical and cognitive developmental milestones on time, with mild difficulties in reading and peer relationships. In early elementary school she was reported to have had some ‘acting out’ problems including hitting another child, and talking back to adults, however, these behaviors were not severe or long-term enough to warrant suspension or ongoing concern. In high school, no behavior problems were noted, and she was described as socially somewhat reclusive, having only one or two close friends.
Prior hospital records were found for “Naomi” indicating a long history of alcohol, heroin, and cocaine use, but upon confrontation about this history she claimed to have been clean for three weeks prior to her arrest. Her initial blood work was positive for both opiods and cannabis.
The counselor also noted that the “Naomi” he was interviewing was somewhat different from the “Naomi” with whom her family and friends were familiar. The usual “Naomi” was pleasant and mild-mannered unless “crossed,” at which times she became angry and belligerent. He also found that the patient was not very hypnotizable.
He undertook a prolonged interview in which he covered a wide range of topics over several hours. As the interview proceeded, “Oprah,” who was completely consistent in her presentation during her discussion of matters related to the shoplifting and disruptive events on the ward, began to become inconsistent in her voice and manner. She complained that the consultant disbelieved her and was trying to “trick” her.
As “Oprah” seemed unable to maintain her presentation, “Namoi” vehemently reproached the consultant for doubting the account offered by “Oprah,” for whose past behaviors and current interactions with the consultant she had consistently maintained she had amnesia. At these angry moments, her behavior was indistinguishable from “Oprah’s.” After another hour’s interviewing, during which the patient made several efforts to convince the consultant that she had amnesia during the shop lifting episode, she ceased to display the amnesiac behaviors.
When she was introduced to her public defender who told her she would be arraigned the following day, she flew into a rage and threatened that she would slash her wrists with the first sharp object she could find. She also claimed that she was hearing voices in her head telling her to kill herself.
Based on the vignette provided, please compose a well-written and organized response to each of the following questions. When writing your responses, please:
Psychological Theory and Practice
Legal Theory and Application
Assessment, Research and Evaluation
Leadership, Consultation, and Ethics
Written Assignment Standards
All written assignments submitted are expected to be of the highest caliber and consistent with quality professional standards and should demonstrate mastery of standard American English. The university-approved edition of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association must be followed. The manual provides explicit instructions on how to structure work, construct references, create headings, present ideas, generate tables, report numbers and statistics correctly, and more. The manual organizes all written work products and all students must strictly adhere to APA style, format, and organization.
The following reference materials on style and format are published by the American Psychology Association ( http://www.apastyle.org/):
APA Publications Web Site
APA Manual & Related Resources
APA Style Helper (Electronic)
( if interested here are the Instructors final scores, comments from the first exam taken by the previous tutor)!!!
MA FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY COMPREHENSIVE EXAM
STUDENT ID: Student A
Fall A 2017
PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE: ASSESSMENT (A)
Grade: Unacceptable (1)
The student demonstrates insufficient knowledge of how the assessment process might be utilized to enhance understanding of the client’s presenting problems, as well as aiding in formulating diagnostic impressions and a treatment plan. The student states that he/she would conduct “personality assessment, family relationship assessment and mental health assessment to analyze the problems of the Abby” but does not detail any specific assessment instruments that would be recommended (other than a structured interview). There is also no mention of specific mental health issues that would be addressed in assessment (e.g. intellectual functioning, suicidality, homicidality, psychosis, sociopathy). There are statements in this section that reflect a lack of familiarity with and accuracy of understanding the assessment process, e.g. discussion of psychiatrists rather than psychologists conducting diagnostic testing and the statement that assessment results increase patient confidence and make them more aware of their own capacity. Finally, this section is poorly written grammatically, making it somewhat difficult to follow the student’s communications.
PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE: DIAGNOSTIC IMPRESSIONS (B)
Grade: Emerging (2)
The student lists Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder as possible diagnoses, but the student’s provided list of diagnostic criteria is not matched to these diagnoses. One of the criteria listed in the DSM-5 for a diagnosis of OCD is that the disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder. In this case, Trichotillomania (Hair Pulling Disorder) would more precisely describe the client’s presenting symptoms. The student identifies some specific disorders within the broad category of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (e.g. Delusional Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, “Personality Disorder”, and Schizophrenia), but does not indicate why one of these diagnoses might better fit the presenting data than another.
The student does not include any discussion of whether the client’s symptoms might merit a diagnosis within the category of Disruptive, Impulse Control and Conduct Disorders. Additionally, there is no mention of whether Bulemia Nervosa and Pyromania might be listed as provisional (rule out) diagnoses meriting further investigation, along
with consideration of possible organic factors, exposure to trauma and possible intellectual disabilities. Finally, the student mentions that the client’s level of openness should be considered in formulating a diagnosis, but does not elaborate on this point or offer other individual/cultural factors which might be considered.
Overall, this section does not represent a proficient understanding of the diagnostic process.
LEGAL THEORY AND APPLICATION: THEORETICAL FORMULATION
Grade: Emerging (2)
The key task in this section is to conceptualize the client utilizing a specific theoretical framework. The student provides a description of social, biological and learning theories, but does not seem to understand the meaning of these theories and does not link them at all to actual events in the client’s history/presentation which may explain her symptoms, such as pregnancy and birth complications, developmental delay, sexual trauma by father and brothers, etc. Further, the student does not sufficiently address the topic of victim/offender psychology, as there is much in this client’s history which suggests that her history of trauma (biological and psychological) may have contributed to her forensic presentation. In conclusion, the student does not sufficiently grasp the purpose of a theoretical formulation as a means of understanding the client’s behavior and their alleged crime.
LEGAL THEORY: DESCRIPTION OF CRIME
Grade: Unacceptable (1)
The student describes the crime in the present case as arson. While this is a component of the crime, it would be important to note that the client was charged with attempted murder of her brother by arson. Furthermore, life imprisonment is not necessarily the penalty for arson. Additionally, if convicted, this client would be convicted of attempted murder, not just of arson. The student offers one scholarly citation discussing the general impact of arson on its victims.
LEGAL THEORY AND APPLICATION: LEGAL IMPLICATIONS
Grade: Unacceptable (1)
The student provides a sufficient description of the legal definition of Competency to Stand Trial, but does not provide a specific legal standard/landmark case precedent relevant to this standard, focusing incorrectly instead on the forensic psychologist’s evaluation of the patient facing trial.
The student’s description of the concept of Duty to Warn is poorly written, with confusion about references to therapist, client, and victim. It is not accurate that clinicians fail to warn out of fear of being found liable under Duty to Warn; in fact, liability would more likely arise out of a failure to warn an identifiable victim. Again, the student provides no landmark cases in this area, misunderstanding the concept of a landmark case precedent.
The student’s description of the concept of Insanity is also poorly written, with references to “abnormal” behavior…violation of community norms, …and dangerousness.” This definition is not accurate and also does not reference the important point that the insanity defense pertains to the defendant’s mental state at the time of the commission of the crime. The student cites a case where a defendant was found to have feigned insanity, rather than a case where a defendant was found to be criminally insane at the time of the commission of the crime.
This section is poorly written and demonstrates an unacceptable level of understanding of the three key legal concepts.
RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: FORENSIC EVALUATION
Grade: Unacceptable (1)
The student discussed no specific instruments which might be used to address the forensic questions in this case. In fact, the student seems not to understand the idea of how specific assessment instruments might be used to determine the client’s psycho-legal status. The student mentions seeking a patient history, which is valid, but focuses on potential data such as interviewing police officers and people who have interacted socially with her, rather than actual police/court records and records from her lengthy mental health settings and services.
While evaluating context is always useful, and assessment of the patient’s current state of arousal may offer clues, there is no mention of standardized measures to assess the client’s possible insanity at the time of the crime, risk of danger to self/others and competency to stand trial.
Finally, rather than rendering a judgment as to whether the client meets the three psycho-legal standards, the student states that the client may be suffering from a “personality and mental health disorder” such as OCD, which the student offers as an explanation for the behavior which led to the alleged crime of attempted murder by arson.
Overall, there is no meaningful linkage of clinical data with legal standards to address the relevant forensic questions in this section.
RESEARCH AND EVALUATION: RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Grade: Emerging (2)
The student begins by proposing the following research question:
“What are the effects of personality aspect of Abby to her criminal behavior?”
Not only is this statement poorly written grammatically, it focuses on researching the client rather than a broader sample of persons charged with a similar crime. The student correctly states that personality factors would be the independent variable in this study and criminal behavior would be the dependent variable.
The student states that a survey method would be used, but does not state who would be surveyed, what instruments might be used, what specific aspects of personality would be addressed, etc. The potential contribution of this proposed study is very generic, rather than offering something more specific like identifying predictive factors that might contribute to prevention of such behavior.
The student does not express a clear understanding of the value of research methodology in contributing to an understanding of criminal behavior in this section.
LEADERSHIP, CONSULTATION AND ETHICS: ETHICAL ISSUES
Grade: Unacceptable (1)
The student erroneously states that the ethical/legal dilemma is the present case is whether the client is a candidate for a community resource program. This is the referral question, not an ethical/legal dilemma. The student displays further confusion about ethical/legal dilemmas by stating that the client’s potential conflicting issues or professional duties should be explored, rather than addressing those issues regarding the clinician. As the student continues to detail a step by step plan, there is no mention of any actual ethical/legal dilemmas in the present case. Further, the student fails to identify any specific important ethical considerations, consistent with the APA Ethics Code and SGFP, such as informed consent, steps to ensure privacy and confidentiality, avoidance of harm and steps that would be taken if the client reveals current risk of harm to self or others. It should also be noted that the court is the “client” in this case. Therefore, the client must be informed that he is not entitled to confidentiality with respect to the court, though his record is otherwise confidential with respect to outside parties. It would also be useful to voice caution about serving in a potential Multiple Relationship, if serving simultaneously in both an assessment/referral role to the court and a treatment role.
INTER-PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS: DIVERSITY AND MULTICULTURAL COMPETENCE
Grade: Unacceptable (1)
The student begins this section by stating that sexual orientation, SES and physical disability are the relevant diversity factors that would be a focus in this case. This is curious as there is no mention of the client’s sexual orientation or of her being sexually active and there is no mention of the client having a physical disability. The student
otherwise only mentions culture and historical context in a general way as important, but offers no specific aspects of the client’s identity that may be important to consider in assessing, diagnosing, conceptualizing or treating this patient. There is no mention of key salient cultural factors which were identified in this case such as intellectual/developmental functioning, family constellation, trauma history,
age, obesity and other medical concerns and psychiatric status.
It is very unclear why the student offered the following additional statement regarding diversity: “However, the aspect of globalization has facilitated multiculturalism thus making it hard for the psychiatrists to determine the cultural competence of the patients (Hays, 2016).”
Finally, there was also no discussion of specific areas of competence which the assessing or treating clinician should possess in order to work within the boundaries of their competence and to serve the client effectively. Likewise, areas of cultural similarity or difference between therapist and client would also be important to consider.
INTER-PERSONAL EFFECTIVENESS: WRITING IN APA STYLE
Grade: Unacceptable (1)
The quality of the student’s writing and expression of ideas is very poor throughout the paper and is not at all consistent with graduate school scholarship. There are citations provided in the paper and listed in the reference list, though quotations did not include page numbers in the citation per APA guidelines.
Total Points: 13/40 FAIL
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