Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Critical Psychology

pp 132-136

Assessment

  • Stijn VanheuleAffiliated withDepartment of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Consulting, Ghent University Email author 

Introduction

Psychological assessment is the praxis of describing and evaluating an individual’s mental and relational characteristics and/or problems in idiographic terms. It aims at giving a comprehensive review of an individual’s functioning and often focuses on biographical information. It is typically undertaken by a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Definition

Psychological assessment is the praxis of describing and evaluating an individual’s mental and relational characteristics. While assessment frequently consists of psychological testing and/or administering interviews, it also more broadly aims at giving a comprehensive review of an individual’s functioning. It often contextualizes mental functioning in terms of biographical information. Assessment is used in diverse domains, ranging from academic psychological research to various domains of applied psychology, such as personnel selection, student guidance, counseling, and ...

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