Psychological tests and measurements: Beck Depression Inventory Essay Sample

Psychological tests and measurements: Beck Depression Inventory Essay Sample

This paper will analyze the facets of psychological tests and measurements by analyzing the Beck Depression Inventory. This analysis will examine two articles relating to the Beck Depression Inventory and will determine the uses, users, and settings of the measure.

Beck Depression InventoryPsychological testing and measure has developed and progressed and is used in a wide variety of settings by a wide variety of individuals. Testing can assist helping professionals in determining illness or deficiency and help create unique and individual treatment plans. Encyclopedia Britannica defines the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) as “a 21-item self-administered test, measures subjective experiences, and psychological symptoms associated with depression” (Beck Depression Inventory, 2009). By analyzing two articles regarding BDI, Team A has been able to determine the uses, users, and setting in which the Beck Depression Inventory is applicable and how this psychological measure is beneficial in psychological disciplines as well as other scientific fields.

Discovering the Beck Depression InventoryIn article one, Assessing the Reliability of Beck Depression Inventory Scores: Reliability Generalization across Studies, Fan & Yin state that the Beck Depression Inventory as the most popular measurement of depression (2000). BDI is a measurement that has been applied to various fields such as clinical psychology. The primary purpose of BDI is to use the meta-analytic reliability generalization procedure to discuss the reliability of the score. BDI has many factors that can affect the results, yet the meta-analytic approach seeks to observe the factors that affect the reliability score of the BDI. Through extensive research, researchers have used the meta-analytic approach to understand the factors that affect the reliability of estimates, and the form of measurement conditions depending on whether the score is low or high. Typically, there is a significant difference in variability, yet meta-analytic approach seeks to understand the findings.

In article two, Beck Depression Inventory, the BDI was designed by a well-known cognitive therapist named Aaron T. Beck. This psychological test has multiple questions designed to measure the depth of depression (, 2009). The test is designed to detect symptoms of depression by asking 21 questions, each with four possible answers. The primary purpose of the BDI test is to observe the changes in symptoms of depression by a health care physician. According to the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders, “Individual questions of the BDI assess mood, pessimism, sense of failure, self-dissatisfaction, guilt, punishment, self-dislike, self-accusation, suicidal ideas, crying, irritability, social withdrawal, body image, work difficulties, insomnia, fatigue, appetite, weight loss, bodily preoccupation, and loss of libido” (, 2009).

Both articles, Assessing the Reliability of Beck Depression Inventory Scores: Reliability Generalization across Studies and Beck Depression Inventory had similar definitions as well as descriptions of the BDI. Both articles described the BDI and how many people are affected with major depressive disorders. Both articles addressed the factors that affect major depressive disorder that are “negative attitudes towards self, performance impairment, and somatic disturbance” (, 2009). In comparing high and low scores, no correlation was found regarding race, sex, or age (Fan & Yin, 2009). The articles Assessing the Reliability of Beck Depression Inventory Scores: Reliability Generalization across Studies and Beck Depression Inventory had differing methods in the results. In article one, according to Fan & Yin (2000), the results of the analysis depends on test and score reliability. Article one uses the Meta Analytic Approach, which has been designed for reliability purposes. Article two results tested for concurrent validity, which measure the results with current standards (, 2009). The test for construct validity has shown to have a significant impact on behaviors.

Uses of the Beck Depression InventoryThe Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was designed to test severity of depression among patients. The BDI has been tested extensively through the use of a meta-analytic approach, factor analysis and the using established standard psychological test to ensure accuracy of reliability, validity, concurrent validity, and construct validity of the test. The severity of the depression is based upon the BDI scores. Testing is scored differently for people who have been diagnosed with depression opposed to those that have never been diagnosed with depression. Measurement scores for those who have never been diagnosed with depression a score of 21 or over represents depression. For those who have been diagnosed with depression, there are different stages of depression ranging from 0- 63 (, 2009). The BDI is one of the most popular testing tools, used by clinical psychologists, for diagnosing depression. The BDI was designed to be used by mental health or medical professionals. The BDI consist of 21 questions, long form used by clinicians, and 10 questions, short form, used by primary care providers (, 2009).

Meta-analysis is a method used for condensing all the genuine statistics of many various studies pertaining to the same subject. A result from a meta-analysis will show the statistics of a correlation or measure of effect size representing all the subjects of a topic. The meta-analytic approach is a technique used to test the reliability and validity of the BDI test (Yin & Fan, 2009).

Users of the Beck Depression InventoryThe content validity (degree in which items are represented on the test that is to be measured) of the BDI because the test was designed by clinicians, using depressive symptoms from patients. Concurrent validity is seen when a measure occurs consistently among existing standards.35 studies have shown concurrent validity in the BDI and depression test, such as the Hamilton Depression Scale and the Minnesota MultiphasePersonality Inventory-D (, 2009).

Construct validity of the BDI measures internal variables (biological factors, attitudes, behaviors) and is related to medical symptoms, such as anxiety, stress, sleeps patterns, alcoholism, suicidal behaviors, and adjustments among youths (, 2009). The factor analysis, another supporting factor for the validity of the BDI, views the BDI as showing one condition (depression) as containing three factors; negative attitudes toward self, performance impairment, and bodily disturbance. The BDI has also been supported for reliability by following the standards established through psychological testing that was published in 1985 (, 2009).

Settings for Use of MeasureThe setting in which the BDI takes appropriate measures is clinical psychology. This is because, clinical psychologists is ones who deal with “assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders” (Van Wagner, 2009). The purpose of beck depression inventory is to assess and see the level of depression a person is deep into and to judge the situation about how and why depression occurs.

Clinical psychologists deal with adolescent mental health, adult mental health, learning disabilities, substance abuse, emotional drain, and health psychology (Van Wagner, 2009). They keep detailed records of goals and assessments (Van Wagner, 2009). Clinical psychologists keep detailed information about severe psychiatric disorders such as depression. To keep track of records, clinical psychologists keep detailed records of assessments, diagnosis, and treatment notes (Van Wagner, 2009). “It also was noted that reliability estimates from studies involving substance addicts were consistently lower than reliability estimates from studies involving normal subjects as participants” (Yin & Fan, 2009). The document assesses the reliability of the tests provided for beck depression inventory and to judge and see how a person who is dealing with depression can survive, and this shows how clinically it can be proven to be right or wrong.

Tests will prove reliability in differing clinical settings. Survival form is done through verbal and formal assessments to judge the level of depth the person is going through. The “long form of the BDI is composed of 21 questions or items, each with four possible responses” (, 2009). This assessment showed results for answers from zero to three and explained reasons correlating to experience major depressive disorders in the following weeks. This survey assesses moods, crying, irritability, past memories, fatigue, insomnia, loss of appetite, and more. The BDI is testing to see the validity of depression in a person. After the survey, patients were diagnosed by how much depression they have and how they can survive with medication or therapy.

ConclusionIn conclusion, The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is a widely used and effective measure of depression. It can be used by a variety of people but is generally used in a clinical setting to assess patients that may be suffering from depression. This test can also create options when it comes to specific disorders and the treatment plans that will be most effective for the suffering individual. The BDI is made up of only 21 questions but had been relied on to define depression.


Beck Depression Inventory. (2009). Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved November 15, 2009,from, T. P. (2003). Psychological testing: A practical introduction. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. (2009). Beck Depression Inventory. Retrieved November 9, 2009 from Wagner. (2009). Reader Question about Clinical and School Psychology: Retrieved from, P. and Fan, X. (2000). Assessing the Reliability of Beck Depression Inventory Scores:Reliability Generalization across Studies. Educational and Psychological Measurement 2000; 60; 201 Retrieved on November 10, 2009, from