I am not really a numbers person. I’ve always been pretty good at math, but assessment and statistics get a bit too complex for me. And most importantly, I’m uninterested.

But, just when I thought that the Assessment and Research Methods class I am taking would do nothing for me, besides keep me from writing (I’ve been without a blog post for two weeks), it has surprised me.

I’m understanding that there are a lot of things to consider when we look at assessment. Basic idea, I know, but hear me out…

When we look at whether something is reliable, we consider if it is consistent. Let’s say we have a test. We check for reliability to see whether the test measures the same one time versus the next. When we look at when a test is valid, we go through rigorous testing to make sure the test is measuring what it says it is measuring. Further, a test can be reliable, but not valid.

Wow. Look at me. Understanding my class a little. Now, before you get bored, like I do with this class, listen to how assessment applies to every day mental health:

We go through life taking in endless inspiration, advice, viewpoints, and all kinds of ideas that shape us. We do a lot of this mindlessly. Sometimes we think we are paying attention, but are we? Do we spend time to assess what we are taking in?

Take a closer look. Researchers go through intensive studies to be able to claim that their ideas are reliable and valid. Do we take even take a little time to consider our own lives?

I remember a time when I just listened to whatever some one “in charge” said. If the person said it was right or wrong, it was. Was it reliable? Was it valid?

We take advice and listen to inspirational stories, but if we were really assessing the content, would we find that it even applies to our own lives?

If some one tells us to do more for other people, but we already do that, having no mind for our own regard, does that advice apply? Or, do we need insight on how to set better boundaries?

We have to stop mindlessly consuming whatever we see, think, or hear. I’m not suggesting that we do a full assessment to find out the statistics on reliability and validity.

BUT, I am suggesting that if there is THAT much thought and consideration for quality research, there needs to be more thought for what content we apply to our personal lives.

Be mindful. Consider what you read. Analyze what you apply. Think about what you say, what you hear, and what you do.

Is it valid? Is it reliable? Does the content apply to you? Who said what you are listening to is true? Are THEY reliable?

P.S. Although I appreciate this reminder from a class that I don’t love, I do hope it doesn’t keep me from being absent so long on my blog this week. Until I get another break from numbers, stay well-minded.

Published by madewellminded

I am a mental health therapist in training. I am on my way to finishing my master's degree in clinical mental health counseling. I am also a creative nonfiction writer and a poet with a bachelor's degree in English writing. I am an advocate for mental health. I am deeply passionate about making a difference in the stigma attached to mental health through knowledge, awareness, and creative writing. I want to share my own story, as well as the stories of others who have persevered through great adversity. I am also a wife to an amazing husband, a mother of two beautiful babies, and a Christian who wants to show love, kindness, and acceptance to everyone I meet.

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