Free Essay

Psychological Assessment

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By pinkertonlj
Words 1647
Pages 7
Psychological Assessment of Nina Sayer, The Black Swan Lisa Pinkerton PSY-215-Q3847 Southern New Hampshire University


Name: Nina Sayer Date of Evaluation: 02/01/2015
Date of Birth: 01/01/1992
Age: 23 years, 1 month

PURPOSE FOR EVALUATION: Nina Sayer is a 23 year old, single, white female. She is the lead ballerina in a prestigious New York Ballet Company. She has been under an intense amount of stress due to the pressures of her job and her demands from her ballet director. She suffers from hallucinations and paranoid delusions. She describes her delusions and hallucinations as bizarre and sometimes violent. She has trouble recognizing what is real and what are her delusions and hallucinations. After struggling to get the role as the white swan in Swan lake, she is extremely paranoid and afraid that someone is trying to take her lead role in the ballet. She focuses this paranoia on a particular ballerina named Lily. She is extremely thin and shows signs of an eating disorder. She uses purging as a way to control her weight. Nina also has scars on her shoulders from self- mutilation. She seems very shy, reserved and almost childlike, but has moments of being very dark and reckless. This dichotomy in her personality causes her great distress. She feels she is under extreme pressure to be perfect for her mother and others. This obsession with perfection and her feeling of losing control is a major factor in her psychotic breakdown.

The educational level of Nina Sayer is unknown.
Social/ Emotional: Nina has no friends and has difficulty making friends because of her extreme shyness and work schedule. Any free time she has is spent with her mother.
Family History:
Nina lives with her mother. Her father is unknown. Her mother, Erica, is an ex- ballerina that lives vicariously through Nina. Her mother blames Nina for ending her ballet career, which causes Nina to carry a lot guilt and pressure to be perfect because she does not want to disappoint her. She says her mother is controlling, smothering, and treats her like a child. Nina says her mother is obsessed with her which makes her uncomfortable. She mentioned her mother would sometime slip into her room at night to watch her sleep. Nina's mother believes that Nina is not acting like herself and is beginning to crumble under the pressure of the job.

Medical History and Psychological History:
Nina does not have any history of psychological or medical issues prior to this incident


The movie Black Swan is a psychological thriller about a woman's descent into madness. It revolves around the character Nina Sayer, a very complex woman, who is a shy, fragile, soft spoken young ballerina that suffers from low self- esteem and is obsessed with perfection. Her desire to be flawless, at all cost, would eventually cause her death. She lives with a controlling mother, Erica, who is an ex- ballerina that gave up her career to give birth to Nina. Erica uses this sacrifice as a way to manipulate and guilt Nina into control. Nina's desire to please her mother and appease her guilt lead to her obsessive pressure to be perfect. When she is offered the lead role in Tsychaikovsky's Swan Lake, she was told she would have to embraced her dark side, the black swan, and let go of the illusion of perfection. She struggles to maintain the sense of control while discovering the dark side within her. This causes great internal conflict for Nina. It is the inability to accept her internal dichotomy that drives her into fatal psychosis.
Nina's behavior would fit into a few different disorders. She begins the movie exhibiting symptoms of having an obsessive compulsive personality disorder and anorexia nervosa. Her desire to be perfect could be linked to both of these disorders. In an article discussing multidimensional perfectionism and personality disorders, researchers say that there is a connection between perfectionism and the diagnosis of certain disorders such as anorexia nervosa and obsessive compulsive disorder (Ayearst, L, 2012). Nina also has low self- esteem, which is exacerbated by her rigid perfectionism. She, as with all perfectionists, has a tendency to have unrealistic standards, is highly critical of oneself, and believes it is either success or failure, having no middle ground. By having these high standards, the perfectionist, often suffers from negative consequences such as low self- esteem, guilt, shame, and feelings of failure (Hamachek, D 1978).
Nina believes one way to maintain her illusion of perfection is to maintain control and this manifests in an obsessive compulsive personality disorder. This disorder is described as a preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, and mental and interpersonal control, at the expense of flexibility, openness and efficiency (Psych Central, 2014). People with OCPD also have an excessive devotion to work which can interfere with their social and family life (Van Noppen Phd., B. 2010). Because of Nina's desire to be perfect, she practiced excessively and made little time for anything else. Nina's low self-esteem and the controlling pressure from her mother could be a contributing factor in her OCPD. Her rigid perfectionism was a way to prove her self -worth and appease the guilt imposed by her mother. Another symptom of obsessive compulsive personality disorder is feeling upset or unbalance when the order is disrupted. This symptom is represented in Nina's inability to accept her ballet director's request to find the perfection in the imperfection. This is the beginning of her unraveling. Nina's job as a ballerina and the pressure to maintain a dancer's body played a factor in her eating disorder. She used restricted eating and purging to control her weight. The DSM-V criteria for anorexia nervosa is a distorted body image, restricted intake of food, and fear of becoming fat. This is evident when Nina was afraid to eat the cake her mother had bought to celebrate and by the minimal amount of food she ate throughout the day.
Nina's perfectionism and low self-esteem could be another factor in her eating disorder. Researchers at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance study how perfectionism, self-esteem and eating disorders correlate among dancers. They found that perfectionists dancers with low self- esteem suffered greater anxiety and were at risk of developing an eating disorder. (Nordin-Bates, S,. et al, 2011). They also suggested that perfectionism and eating disorder were exacerbated during periods of stress (Nordin-Bates, S,. et al, 2011).
Although she showed signs of other disorders, schizophrenia, a brain disorder in which causes a person to lose touch with reality, would be her final diagnosis. For a person to be diagnosed with schizophrenia, they must meet the specific criteria. According to the DSM-V, They must have two (or more) of the follow symptoms must be present for a period of a one month . At least one of these should include, delusions, hallucinations, disorganized speech, disorganized or catatonic behavior, or negative symptoms. Nina experienced persecution delusions. She believed that another ballerina was trying to steal her part. She also had bizarre and sometimes violent hallucinations. In criterion B, social/occupational dysfunction, the symptoms would have to interfere with one or more major function such as work or relationships. Because of Nina's psychosis, she was having difficulty concentrating on her work. She was breaking down and beginning to spiral out of control. She would also meet criteria C, disturbance persist for at least six months. Because of the elimination of subtypes and implementing a dimensional rating scale of an individual symptom in the DSM-V, Nina sayer would be diagnosed as having schizophrenia at a level 4, especially regarding her hallucinations and delusions.

Diagnostic Impressions- DSM-V 301.4 Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder 307.1 Anorexia Nervosa 295.90 Schizopherina Level 4

Treatment recommendations:
1. Psychiatric hospital for observation and therapy.
Because of Nina's complete psychotic breakdown, she would not be able recognize she was in need of help. She would need others to take control. Nina would need emergency involuntary hospitalization, or commitment. This would be done in an effort to protect Nina and possibly others from harm. By committing Nina to a psychiatric hospital, doctors would be able to monitor the Nina's condition, medication, and progress.

2. Antipsychotic and anti- anxiety medication. A neuroleptic , such as thorazine, would benefit Nina because this type of medication helps reduce the symptoms of hallucinations and delusions (Whitbourne, S. 2000). She would also need an anti- anxiety medication to relieve some of the anxiety associated with her recovery.
3. Cognitive behavioral therapy Cognitive behavioral therapy Nina find strategies to cope with her disorders. It would teach her how to recognize and reframe her dysfunctional thinking.


Ayearst, L., Flett, G., & Hewitt, P. (2012). Where is multidimensional perfectionism in DSM-5? A question posed to the DSM-5 personality and personality disorders work group.Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 3,4, 458-469. Halgin, R., & Whitbourne, S. (2000). Schizophrenia Spectrum and Other Psychotic Disorders. In Abnormal psychology: Clinical perspectives on psychological disorders (7th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill.

HamacheCk, D. E. (1978). Psychodynamics of normal and neurotic perfectionism. Psychology, 15, 27-33.

Nordin-Bates, Sanna M. , Walker, Imogen J. and Redding, Emma(2011) 'Correlates of isordered Eating Attitudes Among Male and Female Young Talented Dancers: Findings From the UK Centres for Advanced Training', Eating Disorders, 19: 3, 211 — 233

Psych Central. (2014). Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Symptoms. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 25, 015, from compulsive-personality-disorder-symptoms

Tandon, R., et al., Definition and description of schizophrenia in the DSM-5,Schizophr. Res (2013)
Van Noppen,Ph.D., (2010). International OCD Foundation. Retrieved form http:// uplaodedfiles/maincontent/find- help/ocpd%20fact% 20%sheet.pdf

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Psychological Assessment

...1 Student Number: 42858798 Module PYC 4807 Assignment 1 Title: Developing a Psychological Measure. 2 Contents Page Title Page 1. Introduction : What is Psychological Testing 2. Development of Psychological Measure 2.1 The planning phase 2.2 Item Writing 2.3 Assembly and Pretesting of measure 2.4 Item Analysis 2.5 Standardisation of the Final version 2.6 Technical Evaluation and establishing norms 2.7 Publishing and ongoing refinement Cross Cultural test adaptation 3. 3.1 Initial Translation 3.2 Synthesis of the Translation 3.3 Back Translation 3.4 Expert Committee 3.5 Test of the prefinal version 3.6 Submission of Documentation 4. Conclusion 5. References 1 3 4 5 6 6 7 8 9 10 11 11 11 12 12 12 13 14 3 1. Introduction: What is Psychological Testing Psychological testing refers to the administration of psychological tests. A psychological test is an objective and standardized measure of sample behaviour . The term sample of behaviour refers to an individual s performance on tasks that have usually been prescribed beforehand. The samples of behaviour that make up a paper and pencil test, the most common type of test, are a series of items. Performances on these items produce a test score....

Words: 3413 - Pages: 14

Premium Essay

Psychological Assessment

...Parents and caregivers who are concerned about a child's development would seek developmental assessment and intervention from a health professional in order to support that child to reach his/her maximum potential. Young children are difficult to assess due to their high activity levels, distractibility, short attention span, and limited ability to concentrate. As a result, the assessment practitioner needs to have a good knowledge on how to work with children (Tutorial Letter 101 Psychological Assessment, 2013). The assessment of these young children therefore requires full investigation into the child's...

Words: 5480 - Pages: 22

Premium Essay

Psychological Assessment

...What is psychological assessment? Psychological assessment is a process of testing that uses a combination of techniques to assist in arriving at some hypotheses about a person and their behaviour, personality and capabilities which is used to make effective decisions such as those in the selection process. Psychological assessment is also referred to as psychological testing, or performing a psychological battery on a person. The South African Context Psychological assessment has developed considerably compared to the past during period the apartheid era. This is mainly due to the introduction of Employment Equity and Affirmative Action in South Africa which brought about an immense amount of changes especially in that of procedures taken in the workplace. Changes had to be made to incorporate the diversity that is experienced in South Africa, aswell as incorporating new legislation. Various factors in South African workplaces ranging from unemployment and equity considerations to rapid occupational change driven by technological inputs, have placed greater emphasis on effective selection and development of human resources. This leads to greater demands on psychological assessment in the organizational setting with respect to ensuring responsible, ethical and equitable assessment....

Words: 311 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Psychological Assessment

...Matthew Psychological Assessment PYC4807 Assignment 02 858953 Declaration I, the undersigned, hereby declare that this is my own personal work, except where the work(s) or publications of others have been acknowledged by means of reference techniques. I have read and understood tutorial letter PSYHONM/301/0/2013 regarding technical and presentation requirements, referencing techniques and plagiarism. Matthew Table of contents This essay looks at the process you would follow in developing a psychological assessment measure. To better understand how this is achieved this paper will examine the principles of psychometric theory and how they are used to develop a psychological measure. To achieve this one must look at norm-referenced and criterion-referenced measures, the process used to develop a psychological measure, and the principles of reliability and validity. Norms When attempting to examine and understand what goes in to developing a psychological measure, one must first understand why psychological measures are used. In psychology psychological measures are used to measure characteristics of an individual, or a group of individuals, and compare them to others. However, when trying to measure an individual’s characteristics and compare them to others, one must first understand that there are different tests used to compare the results of these tests. These are referred to as norm-referenced tests and criterion-referenced tests....

Words: 3591 - Pages: 15

Premium Essay

Psychological Assessment

...Response Paper: The Usage of Utility Psychological Measurement for Mental Illness Diagnosis Winifred Gordon Southern New Hampshire University Abstract This week assignment we are asked to write a response paper discussing the utility of using psychological measures that are in relations to mental illness diagnosis. With so many changes that are ongoing, there is a movement in the psychology world for the use of psychological measures to further aid in diagnosing mental illnesses and to push for specific measures as part of the diagnostic criteria. In this week paper I will respond to both articles and give my response to my thoughts when it relates to the usage of utility psychological measurements in relations to mental illness. Response Paper: The Usage of Utility Psychological Measurement for Mental Illness Diagnosis “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) marks the first significant revision of the publication since the DSM-IV in 1994. Changes to the DSM were largely informed by advancements in neuroscience, clinical and public health need, and identified problems with the classification system and criteria put forth” (Regier, Kuhl, and Kupfer, 2013). Because of the new movement in psychology, the requirements of utility usage in psychological measurements, can now help aid with diagnosing mental illness....

Words: 881 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Psychological Assessment

...How can I as an educator and Professional Development Manager working with teachers, support and enhance the learning and achievement of pupils in a whole school improvement process? Submitted by Michael Anthony Bosher For The Degree of Doctor of Philosophy of the University of Bath 2001 May 2002 Vol 1.1 Copyright ‘Attention is drawn to the fact that copyright of this thesis rests with the author. This copy of the thesis has been supplied on condition that anyone who consults it is understood to recognise that its copyright rests with its author and that no quotation from the thesis and no information derived from it may be published without the prior written consent of the author’. This thesis may be made available for consultation within the University Library and may be photocopied or lent to other libraries for the purposes of consultation. …………………………… Contents Tables and Figures 2 Acknowledgements 3 Abstract 4 Preface 5 Introduction 13 Chapter 1 A Cultural Context 18 Chapter 2 An Autobiography 25 Chapter 3 Methodology 40 Chapter 4 The School's Action Research Cycles 89 Chapter 5 School Effectiveness and School Improvement 107 Chapter 6 Vignette 1 Alan Shelton a Teacher 'Par Excellence' 120 Chapter 7 Some More Vignettes 158 Chapter 8 A Personal Development Review 184 Chapter 9 The Circle is Completed 190 References...

Words: 170109 - Pages: 681

Premium Essay

History of Psychological Assessment

...History of Psychological Assessment XXXXXXXXXX PSYCH/525 August 29, 2011 Dr. Alexis Hernandez History of Psychological Assessment The history of psychological assessment is a fascinating story and has abundant relevance to present-day practices. Psychological assessment refers to scientific techniques psychologists often use to identify the human personality. Psychological assessment is a process that involves the integration of information from multiple sources, such as tests of normal and abnormal personality, tests of ability or intelligence, tests of interests or outlooks, as well as information from interviews (Framingham, J. 2011). Psychological assessment is one of the most important parts in applied psychology. In this paper writer will explore the historical roots of psychological assessment, explain why the event is significant, and how it has affected the development of psychological testing in the 21st century. Psychological Testing is the core of Clinical Psychology focusing on the measurement of traits, human abilities, and characteristics. Psychologists primarily use the various tests to measure cognitive, intelligence, and personality traits (Framingham, J. 2011). For example, the civil service selection system in China is used to recruit officials according to merits rather than political or family association. Exams were introduced in the Han dynasty....

Words: 798 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Ethics in Psychological Assessments

...Ethics in Psychological assessments Consider the American psychological Association writing the first formal code of ethics in 1942, detailing professional use of assessments. Addressed were qualifications for the test users, responsibilities, principles, guidelines, application and use of assessments for psychologists. Additionally the American counseling Association code of ethics provides expectations for conduct with the primary emphasis being on the role of the professional counselor. Again MFT provides the some code of ethics in which to provide expectations of the licensed Marriage and Family therapist. Examples of provisions within those guidelines for the use of assessments, but more specifically the responsibility of the professional counselor, plus implications for not following ethical decision making model of principles. While considering the foundation set forth by those professionals with wisdom, experience and knowledge whom submitted a draft for approval, the American psychological association created an empirically developed code that was based on ethical dilemmas. Although the American Psychological Association had been in existence since 1892 with no formal code of ethics for over 59 years, there was a scientific /professional ethics, and code of conduct observed in 1950. A survey was used to gather actual descriptions of professional activities providing that guideline which set precedence for years to come in the APA profession....

Words: 952 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Psychometric Properties of Psychological Assessment Measures

...Assignment 02: Psychometric properties of psychological assessment measures LIST OF CONTENT PAGES 1. INTRODUCTION 3 2. STEPS IN DEVELOPING A PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASURE 3 1. Planning phase 3 1. The aim of the measure 3 2. Defining the content of measure 4 3. The test plan 4 2. Item writing 5 1. Writing the items 5 2. Reviewing the items 5 3. Assembling and pre-testing the experimental version of the measure 6 1. Arranging the items 6 2. Finalizing the length 6 3. Answer protocols 6 4. Developing administration instructions 6 5. Pre-testing the experimental version of the measure 6 4. Item analysis phase 7 1. Item difficulty (p) 7 2. Discrimination power 7 3. Preliminary investigation into item bias 8 5. Revising and standardizing the final version of the measure 8 6. Technical evaluation and establishing norms 8 1. Issues related to the reliability of a psychological measure 8 1. Definition 8 2. Measurement error 8 3. The reliability coefficient 9 4....

Words: 6499 - Pages: 26

Free Essay

Introduction to Psychological Testing

...Introduction to Psychological Testing Aryne F. Levine PSY/475 May 24, 2012 Glenn Leighbody Introduction to Psychological Testing The term test is a difficult term to define. There are several major categories and sub- categories of assessments. The major categories of assessments relate to the type of examination. The sub-categories of assessments relate to the manner in which the assessment is taken. Assessments can be used for a wide variety of purposes in the professional, military, and educational worlds. The validity and reliability of a test affect the overall purpose of the test. Human error and individuality can affect the reliability and validity of psychological assessments. Definition of the Term Test The term test is defined as an analytical assessment, examination, or appraisal that is used to measure the abilities, understanding, intellect, proficiencies, or skills of an individual or group (Merriam-Webster, 2012). There are many major and minor categories of tests. The five major test categories are: The five main categories of psychological tests are: mental ability tests, achievement tests, personality assessments, interest and attitude assessments, and neuropsychological tests. The minor categories of tests are: performance, paper and pencil, power, speed, individual, group, maximum performance, typical performance, norm-referenced, and criterion referenced examinations....

Words: 1723 - Pages: 7

Free Essay

Utilization of Psychometric Reports

...A job interview will tell you much more about a person than any other psychological tests. The interview process will offer an accurate report of the actual behaviors of the person at work, the genuine skills that the person possesses, the productivity of the person and that the happy and affable responses of a prospective employee during the interview suggest that the person is most likely to like his/her job. If you think that the aforementioned statements are nothing more than a common sense, then you must know that common sense is not always reasonable. As a matter of fact, those abovementioned statements are untrue. In most cases, psychometricians who interpret psychological tests and conduct preliminary interviews have confirmed that interviews alone are not particularly good selection tool to distinguish the productivity, skills, behavior and the motivation of the employee. Using interviews alone does not give sufficient information for effective selection decision making, particularly in areas that are not amenable to training, such as cognitive ability and attitude ( Webster, 2010). Psychological assessments are used in succession planning, employee screening, pre-employment decisions, and employee counseling situations. From a purely financial view, if psychological testing can prevent you from making one bad hire, it probably saves you tens of thousands of dollars....

Words: 7989 - Pages: 32

Premium Essay

The Assessment Process in Psychology

...Assessment Process September 07, 2013 CPSY - 6341 - 1 Assessment Process Psychologists perform an assessment to acquire vital information about clients and to execute a firm judgment to guide them while building a sound and steady foundation to start counseling procedures. In addition, the assessment process helps the psychologist to collect information and begin psychological testing that help further evaluative the client. However, a number of research grounded instruments can be used to aid in determining the clients emotional, behavioral, and cognitive functioning. Moreover, assessing and testing Sean will help to define any underlying variables that may account for his behavioral and academic problems that are not directly associated to his high levels of lead or the divorce of his parents. Furthermore, psychological testing results will further guide the psychologist with interventions and treatments that will most likely benefit Sean by providing important information. Two Potential Problems During the assessment of Sean, an eight year old child in the third grade, I came to the conclusion that two of his greatest obstacles are his parents pending divorce and the chronically elevated lead levels. According to Laureate Education, (2011) Sean has increasingly shown aggression with his peers in situations where he is both provoked, and not. ...

Words: 1018 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay


...Question 1 1.1 Discuss the differences between the following: a) Psychological Testing b) Psychometrics c) Psychological Assessment a) Psychological testing Psychological tests are basically an objective and standardized measure of a sample of behaviour; it can be referred to as a measuring instrument or procedure that was developed to measure variables related to the field of psychology. They set out three apparent characteristics: 1. It is a random sample test of for behaviour. 2. The random sample is obtained under standardized conditions 3. There are set rules for the marking of the instruments or obtaining of quantitative information of the random sample test. b) Psychometrics It is defined as a systematic and scientific way in which psychological measures are developed and the technical measurement standards required of measures. It is designed to show someone’s personality, mental ability, opinions, etc. c) Psychological assessment Psychological assessment is a process orientated activity aimed at gathering a wide array of information by using assessment measures and information from many other sources such as interviews, the information is then evaluated and integrated to make a conclusion or a decision. 1.2 Research participants want to know what anonymity and confidentiality are, explain....

Words: 3166 - Pages: 13

Free Essay


...However, hospital assessment forms but not detail to separate category. The Gordon’s Functional Health Patterns Assessment form provides organization framework within which health assessment takes place, so as to clarify and identify client needs, risk factors and specific health problems. The Gordon’s functional health assessment forms including 11 domains in functional health patterns as follows. This is Health perception...

Words: 1514 - Pages: 7

Premium Essay

Criminal Profiling: the Public Face of Forensic Psychology

...The fundamental elements of forensic psychology revolve around a combination of various aspects of the justice system and psychological aspects. The psychological aspects of forensic psychology is focused on understanding the legal principles utilised within the justice system. The failure to understand the fundamental legal procedures utilised within the justice system results...

Words: 2200 - Pages: 9