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What is the role of research and statistics in clinical ps

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What is the role of research and statistics in clinical psychology?

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Kate

Statistics and research are inseparable and necessary in the field of clinical psychology. Used properly, with ethics and professional guidelines, research and statistics benefit all people by discovering new and more effective treatments and psychological interventions. With research and evaluation new insight into human behavior can occur and better interactions, including therapies, medications, and so forth can be recommended.

For example, for many years, those who suffered with post-traumatic stress were asked as a part of treatment to relive the trauma and to discuss feelings related to it. With research and statistical analysis of data this treatment protocol was discovered to be very harmful. Reliving trauma and the feelings related to it was in fact causing the disorder to become worse. Without research and comparative statistics the older methods, which appeared on the surface to be effective, would have remained in place and caused further harm.

In clinical psychology, statistics and research also plays an effective part of the process of developing and refining evaluative tests and measures. Even projective tests as old as the Rorschach inkblot series have been improved with research and statistical evaluation. Groups of known cohorts are compared with new groups, and the test’s results compared on a statistical confidence interval. This evaluative process improves the results of the test and makes it even more effective.

Essentially research in the field of clinical psychology answers the key question of what are the effects of an action/process. Without it, the assumptions of effectiveness are limited and face validity becomes the only way to assess. Statistics and research give credit and validity to what we do and we improve methods and treatments for clients/patients in the long run.

 

Kate

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