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Biological Assessments

Biological assessments are often used in clinical psychology, particularly clinical research, to assess physiological states associated with environmental changes and psychological differences. Furthermore, current conceptualizations of psychopathology indicate the importance of understanding psychological processes from multiple units of analysis that include biology: genes, brain, behavior, and self-report. In fact, these conceptualizations of psychopathology emphasize that psychological disorders, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), are brain-based disorders.

Common biological assessments include electrocardiogram (ECG), which measures heart functioning; electrodermal (sweat gland) activity (EDA); respiration (breathing rate); blood pressure (BP); electrooculography, which measures eye movement; electromyogram, which measures muscle activity; level of cortisol, a stress hormone; and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which measures blood oxygenation changes in the brain. ...

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