Following the collection of sufficient relevant data, the process of psychological assessment continues with a phase of evaluation in which these data are interpreted. The interpretation of assessment data consists of drawing inferences and forming impressions concerning what the findings reveal about a respondent's psychological characteristics. Accurate and adequately focused interpretations result in summary descriptions of psychological functioning that can then be utilized in the final phase of the assessment process as a foundation for formulating conclusions and recommendations that answer referral questions. Reaching this output phase requires consideration during the evaluation phase of the basis on which inferences are drawn and impressions formed, the possible effects on the findings of malingering or defensiveness, and effective ways of integrating data from diverse sources.
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