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1.Please define scientific reliability and validity.

Scientific reliability and validity are crucial in the determination of whether a measurement is proven to work and if it is consistent across time. Validity helps make meaning out of test scores and research so we know who the finding can be applied to (Branson, 2014).  For example, we would not use the same exact therapy for depression of a child as we would on depression for an elderly person.  Studies and research are conducted so we as therapists can scientifically be sure that certain techniques and theories can benefit our clients.  The reliability factor shows consistency across time and is supposed to give us proof that certain methods work for certain mental problems (Branson, 2014). As the DSM has proven, although some measurements cannot be scientifically proven, it does notstop things from being published (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).  It is our responsibility to do our research rather than taking everything at face value. 

2.Discuss whether in your opinion some conceptual construct or an evaluation tool (a measure, an instrument, a scale) can be unreliable but still be considered valid? Whether your answer is yes or no provide your argument and offer the references for it.

In my opinion, if a measurement or scale is proven unreliable after retests have been given, then we should evaluate the exterior factors contributing to the low reliability (Hagen, 2007).  As Branson (2014) states, when multiple observers come up with consistent results after viewing the same factors, this would be considered valid regardless of the reliability (Branson, 2014).

3.After reviewing the Beck and Hamilton Depression Scale Podcasts and accompanying readings, select the one that you believe is the better scale, and offer your reasons for why.

If you are a believer of the DSM-IV (V), regardless of its scientific reliability and validity, then the Beck Depression Scale would be the better scale.  The strengths of this depression scale are generally reliable with a coefficient alpha between 0.90 and 0.93 on average.  However, referring to the validity of the DSM as comparison is not very comforting in my opinion.  This test has a gender bias, cultural bias, and the questions all have equal amount in weight when scored.  It also focuses totally on negative symptoms and does not take into external factors which could lead to a client’s depression (Hagen, 2007).  The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale does not follow the official DSM diagnostic criteria and shows differences in anxiety and depression, so I tend to lean more towards agreeing with this rating scale.  However, the internal reliability has a wide range from 0.46 to 0.97 but the interrater reliability has a range from 0.82 to 0.98 which is incredibly good (Bagby, et al., 2004).  In conclusion, I believe either scale would work but they both need updating and revisions.


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