The Role of Theory in Psychological Assessment

Darielle Greenberg, Elizabeth O. Lichtenberger and Alan S. Kaufman

in The Oxford Handbook of Child Psychological Assessment

Published in print April 2013 | ISBN: 9780199796304
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The Role of Theory in Psychological Assessment

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  • Clinical Psychology



This chapter reviews the role of theory in cognitive and neuropsychological assessment from a historical perspective. Theory has been applied to both test development and test interpretation, and it provides a strong framework for valid psychological assessments. Theory-based tests of the twenty-first century such as the Kaufman Assessment Battery for Children—Second Edition (KABC-II), Stanford-Binet Intelligence Test—Fifth Edition (SB-V), Das-Naglieri Cognitive Assessment System (CAS), Woodcock Johnson Test of Cognitive Abilities—Third Edition (WJ-III), and Differential Ability Scales—Second Edition (DAS-II) are highlighted as valid and reliable testing tools. Contemporary methods of test interpretation, including the Cross Battery Assessment approach and the Planning, Attention-Arousal, Simultaneous, and Success (PASS) model of processing, are presented as valid methods of interpretation based on theory. As noted from the chapter's historical perspective, incorporating theory in an assessment helps clinicians synthesize information that is gathered from the evaluation's multiple sources, and ultimately results in more accurate interpretations and interventions.

Keywords: theory; psychological assessment; cognitive; neuropsychological; testing; Cross Battery Assessment; PASS model

Article.  18809 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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